Friday, 2 December 2016

A Realist and a Constructivist stumbling on a rock

After stumbling on a rock, a Realist says:
  • "... rocks, in contrast to our thoughts of rocks, surely do exist outside of thought, a fact that alone explains Alison’s stumbling on this rock along a road in Vermont without first thinking it into existence." From: Johnson D. K. & Silliman M. R. (2009) Bridges to the world. Sense, Rotterdam, page 8.
A Radical Constructivist, after stumbling says:
  • "... SOMETHING, in contrast to our thoughts of SOMETHING, surely DOES exist outside of thought, a fact that alone explains Alison’s stumbling on SOMETHING along a road in Vermont without first thinking it into existence ....
  • ... BUT TO THINK SOMETHING AS  'STUMBLING' AND SOMETHING AS A 'ROCK' REQUIRES MY OWN MENTAL CONSTRUCTION OF IT AS 'STUMBLING' AND AS A 'ROCK' ..."
see also 2.12.2010
http://marco-bettoni.blogspot.ch/2010/12/david-k-johnson-sleepysand-in-minds-eye.html

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Mit Aristoteles an den Grenzen des Wissens stossen ... mit Kant darüber hinaus?


Aristoteles philosophische Schriften zu lesen heisst, an den Grenzen unseres Wissens vorzustossen – denn auch heute noch, 2‘338 Jahre nach seinem Tod, stehen wir an derselben Grenze, an die er uns geführt hat, z.B. in Fragen der Erkenntnistheorie.

Wir denken zwar, wir hätten jene Grenze überschritten und unser Wissen erweitert: aber das ist nur Wunschdenken und Illusion. Wir stehen noch auf dieser Seite der Grenze, dort wo Aristoteles schon gestanden ist und werden sie nur überschreiten, wenn wir sein Werk weniger als Antwort auf Fragen sondern vielmehr als Anregung zum Nachdenken begreifen werden.

Immanuel Kant hat uns in seiner "Kritik der reinen Vernunft" den Weg dieser Grenzüberschreitung gewiesen, aber wer versteht schon seine Kernbotschaft?

Beispiel 

Aus "Über die Seele" (De Anima, Περί ψυχής), ein Werk in dem Aristoteles "unter anderem Fragen der Erkenntnistheorie, der Philosophie des Geistes, der philosophischen Psychologie und der Handlungstheorie" (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_anima) anspricht:
  • ὁ μὲν γὰρ λόγος ὅδε τοῦ πράγματος, ἀνάγκη δ' εἶναι τοῦτον ἐν ὕλῃ τοιᾳδί, εἰ ἔσται· (Περί ψυχής, Buch A, 403b)
  • Übersetzung (eigene): Denn während der Begriff dies ist für den Gegenstand, muss er in jener Materie sein, um zu sein.
  • Übersetzung mit Erläuterungen: Denn während der Begriff (λόγος) dies (ὅδε, bezogen auf εἶδος = „Form“ im vorangehenden Satz) ist für den Gegenstand (τοῦ πράγματος), muss er in jener (bezogen auf „Materie“ im vorangehenden Satz) Materie (ὕλῃ) sein, um zu sein (εἰ ἔσται – um zu existieren).
Hier geht es um die Beziehung zwischen Begriff (λόγος) und Gegenstand (πράγμα). Aristoteles verwendet dafür die Relation Form zu Materie und ein nicht näher beschriebener, stillschweigend angenommener Mechanismus, wodurch der Begriff sich in der Materie verwirklicht (Vergegenständlichung). Nun ist genau dieser Mechanismus der entscheidende Punkt, um die Grenze des Wissens in dieser grundlegenden Thematik zu überschreiten! Aristoteles kümmert sich nicht darum: aber er führt uns zu diesem Punkt der Grenze unseres Wissens und es liegt nun an uns:
  1. dies zu merken
  2. Wege zu finden um die Grenze zu überschreiten
Kant hat das 2‘100 Jahre nach Aristoteles zwar schon getan (siehe seine Analytik der Begriffe), nur wurde sein Beitrag dazu bisher noch nicht in der von ihm gewiesenen Richtung weiterentwickelt (sondern in vielen anderen Richtungen ...), leider.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

How to strengthen your soul - My way

Responsibility for what we know is not always easy, requires, among other, a strong soul. The path depicted in this picture shows my current way of strengthening my soul, work in progress ...


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Knowledge and Goodness

In short: it is GOODNESS that enables us to KNOW!

"I mean, do you think there's any advantage in owning everything in the world except good things, or in understanding everything else except goodness, and therefore failing to understand anything worthwhile and good?"

- Plato, Republic, Book VI, 505a (translated by Robin Waterfield, 1993)

"So the sun is not to be identified with sight, but is responsible for sight and is itself within the visible realm. Right?
"Yes" he said.
"The sun is the child of goodness I was talking about, then" I said. "It is a counterpart to its father, goodness. As goodness stands in the intelligible realm to intelligence and the things we know, so in the visible realm the sun stands to sight and the things we see."

- Plato, Republic, Book VI, 508 b (translated by Robin Waterfield, 1993)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

The essence of the essence of constructivism



In one famous article dating from 1988 (German edition 1998), Maturana states that the problem of reality is “the most important problem of our time”. I fully agree with him and I think that realism needs to be expressively refuted and the choice between realism and constructivism cannot be considered “a matter of taste”, an attitude which in my view prevents to make progress in solving the problem of reality in a more viable way. 

In the constructivist thesis that “reality is the construction of an observer” and in the realist thesis that “reality exists independently”, the term reality is merely a homonym, means two different things! Hence the common attitude to mention them, as if they would mean the same, is very confusing!

For me as a constructivist, the reality that I construct is not a physical reality but a conceptual one. 

For a realist, on the contrary, the reality that he sees as existing independently is actually a combination of the two: physical reality as the “reference” and conceptual reality as its “copy” in his head. 

In constructivism we need to disentangle these two things, and here is where Maturana’s reflections about autopoiesis and cognition become essential. 

Consider for example his differentiation between two fundamental ways in which we, as humans, can understand explanations; he distinguishes two mutually exclusive explanatory paths: the path of ‘objectivity without parentheses’ and the path of ‘objectivity with parentheses’ (Maturana 1988:28ff)

On the explanatory path of objectivity without parentheses, the observer assumes either implicitly or explicitly that he is capable of making statements about the logic of things, as if the logic he accords to them would exist independently of him. He does not ask himself: “How can I say that the logic of this thing exists independently of me?” If someone makes the implicit assumption that he can reference things, as if the logic he accords to them exists independently of him, then he is also effectively stating that the explanations he applies can ultimately be validated by the things themselves, independently of him. This explanatory path therefore contains the implicit and unaware assumption that an individual can reference a logic which exists independently of him and which validates what he says. And what could that be? It is a logic of reality (the logic of being, the essence of things etc.) or in other words a universal truth. It is universal because it exists independently of us. It is valid for everything because it is independent from everything.
 
On the explanatory path of objectivity with parentheses, the observer notes something different, something very interesting: that his explanations are validated by his actions. The logic of his experience is explained by the logic of his other experiences and not by a reference to a logic which is independent of us. The observer sees himself as a source of validation for his own statements. This is the essence of the essence of constructivism!   And it is highly relevant for understanding our responsibility for what we know.

References:

Maturana, H.R. & Varela, F. (1980) Autopoiesis: The Organization of the Living. Dordrecht: Reidel.
Maturana, H. R. (1988): REALITY: The Search for Objectivity or the Quest for a Compelling Argument. The Irish Journal of Psychology, Vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 25-82.
Maturana, H.R. (1998) Biologie der Realität, Frankfurt a/M: Suhrkamp
Maturana, H.R. (1992) Explanations and Reality. Transcript of a plenary talk at the Congress "Die Wirklichkeit des Konstruktivismus", Heidelberg, 18.10.1992 http://www.weknow.ch/marco/A1992/Heid/Maturana921018.htm

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Prinzip der Ethik nach K-O. Apel

„Wenn man zeigen kann, daß schon die logische Argumentation (und damit auch die Wissenschaft) als Bedingung ihrer Möglichkeit eine intersubjektiv gültige Ethik voraussetzt, dann ist man in der Lage, die szientischtische Blockierung der ethischen Rationalität in rational zwingender Form aufzuheben und ein für alle Argumentationswilligen unbestreitbares Prinzip der Ethik anzugeben.“

- Karl-Otto Apel: Diskurs und Verantwortung, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1988, 36
Dieses Prinzip der Ethik sieht Apel in der wechselseitigen Anerkennung in einer idealen Kommunikationsgemeinschaft.
Quelle: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szientismus

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Universal responsibility

"I believe that to meet the challenge of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for his or her own self, family or nation, but for the benefit of all mankind. Universal responsibility is the real key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace, the equitable use of natural resources, and through concern for future generations, the proper care of the environment." The XIVth Dalai Lama,  more ...