Thursday, 2 December 2010

David K. Johnson - Sleepysand in the Mind’s Eye

The newest critique to Radical Constructivism (RC), an article by David K. Johnson titled "Footprints in the Sand" in Constructivist Foundations 6 (1),  does in no way contribute to understand the weaknesses of Radical Constructivism, it is merely sleepysand in the mind's eye:
At the basis of the obfuscation and jungle of misunderstandings contained in David K. Johnson's article lies the fundamental confusion:
  • "a THING, in contrast to our thoughts of that THING, surely does exist outside of thought"
This is well exemplified in a statement found in the new book by David K. Johnson & Matthew Silliman (2009:8):
  • "But 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.
From David K. Johnson's article we can learn three lessons:
  1. The fundamental emotion of Johnson's critique “is powered by the authority of universally valid knowledge” (Maturana & Poerksen 2004:41-42) and the basis of its explanations is the reference to objects in the external reality.
  2. This kind of criticism to RC originates from an unaware confusion between what belongs to RC and what belongs to Realism.
  3. A blind spot makes that critics do not understand how to deal with things in themselves and as a consequence easily overlook the intimate relationship between the two sides of the radical constructivist coin: construction & viability.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Fundamental human factor

In a paper published this year I wrote:
  • Recent developments in brain sciences show an increasing tendency to determinism: the denial of the possibility of choice. This is the (logical) consequence (and demonstration) of the underlying assumption that knowledge is the logic of reality. But we are not like stones rolling downhill (Spinoza): the power to choose is a constitutive and unalienable property of human life (Freeman, W. J., How brains make up their minds, New York, 2000). The blessing of freedom and the burden of responsibility: the fundamental human factor!
From: Bettoni, M. & Eggs, C. (2010). "User-centred Knowledge Management: A Constructivist and Socialized View". Constructivist Foundations, Vol. 5, number 3, 130-143.

Ernst von Glasersfeld in Beats Biblionetz

In Beats Biblionetz gibt es
  • im Bereich Personen
  • den Eintrag Ernst von Glaserfeld mit
    • Texte
    • Definitionen
    • Bemerkungen zu Personen, Bücher, Texte, Fragen, Aussagen
    • persönliche Bemerkungen
    • Biographie (aktualisiert 1999)
    • CoautorInnen
    • Zitationsnetz
Interessant wäre zu jedem Autor ein "Aussagen-Netz" mit allen wichtigen Aussagen des Autors zu seinen wichtigsten Begriffen aus allen seinen Werken.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Anaxagoras - the mind causes all things

In the Phaedo, Socrates says ....
  • “Then one day I heard a man reading from a book, as he said, by Anaxagoras, [97c] that it is the mind that arranges and causes all things. I was pleased with this theory of cause, and it seemed to me to be somehow right that the mind should be the cause of all things, and I thought, 'If this is so, the mind in arranging things arranges everything and establishes each thing as it is best for it to be'. 
  • So if anyone wishes to find the cause of the generation or destruction or existence of a particular thing, he must find out what sort of existence, or passive state of any kind, or activity is best for it."
  • As I considered these things I was delighted to think that I had found in Anaxagoras a teacher of the cause of things
  • [98b] So I thought when he assigned the cause of each thing and of all things in common he would go on and explain what is best for each and what is good for all in common.
in: Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 1 translated by Harold North Fowler; Introduction by W.R.M. Lamb. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1966. 1925

Plato - Unwritten Doctrines

Giovanni Reale wrote in his History of Ancient Philosophy (1992):
  • ... the writings have not been for Plato the full expression or the most important communication of his thought, and therefore the reading and the interpretation of the dialogues are to be reassessed through a new vision. (p. 8)
  • We are hence able ... to understand why so great a writer could be convinced of the limited character of the communicative function of writing; and therefore we are finally in a position to interpret his self-testimony contained in the Phaedrus in a correct manner .. (p. 9)
  • ... Aristotle himself has told us that these teachings that Plato communicated only in oral discussions were called the Unwritten Doctrines (aàgrafa dógmata). (p. 14)
Reale, Giovanni (1990) A History of ancient philosophy. Vol.2 Plato and Aristotle. Translation of: Storia della filosofia antica, 5th edition. Edited and translated  by John R. Catan. Albany (NY): State University of New York Press.