Constructivism is a heterogeneous intellectual movement that spans across different fields of knowledge. Within constructivism there is a variety of discussions that deal with their own questions and particular references, and that appear clustered in the journals and publications of different scientific areas. Attempting to clarify this communication, the present paper explores scientific publications from Latin America that include the term “constructivism” among their descriptors, as listed on CLASE, PERIODICA and SCIELO databases. These publications have been segmented into 3 very general groups, according to the way in which constructivism is used: (1) those that seek to “apply” constructivism to the problems of their area; (2) those that take “constructivism” as their object of study or criticism; (3) those that adopt constructivism as a “framework” for notional or conceptual analysis. Some data about those publication groups is described and compared in an attempt to show how scientific communication about constructivism organizes in Latin America (publication area, subjects, keywords, main authors).
Excerpt: The Origin of Humanness, written in the early 1990s, brings together two strands of research: Maturana Romesin’s research into the origin of humanness and Verden-Zöller’s research into the rise of self-consciousness in the child during early mother-child play relations. The authors’ core claim is that the human species has evolved by conserving love as a fundamental domain of cooperation expressed through the basic emotions or moods of mutual respect, care, acceptance and trust (Homo sapiens-amans) rather than competition and aggression (Homo sapiens aggressans or arrogance). In this, they do not declare an ethical imperative, but rather situate ethics in biology, since, in their view, a responsible concern for the well-being of the other (human, species, biosphere, etc.) arises naturally from a manner of living in the biology of love. This is what they propose as a way for conserving the existence of social human beings (and what they call “social consciousness”) and for countering the dominant culture of domination, submission or indifference in Western society. Ethics, in this sense, is a choice of emotioning on an individual basis that in relation to a social community defines how a particular manner of living is to be conserved over the coming generations.
Upshot: Leng attacks the indispensability argument for the existence of mathematical objects. She offers an account that treats the role of mathematics in science as an indispensable and useful part of theories, but retains nonetheless a fictionalist position towards mathematics. The result is an account of mathematics that is interesting for constructivists. Her view towards the nominalistic part of science is, however, more in conflict with radical constructivism.
Context: Maturana’s published corpus is vast, and his publications span multiple venues, formats, and languages. For these and other reasons, the corpus is as complex as it is daunting in its scale. Problem: Over the last two decades, bibliographic data on Maturana’s publications had proliferated in terms of available resources, scope of coverage, and accessibility. However, as of 2011 the degree of accessibility was not matched by the inclusiveness, detail, and accuracy of the relatively few dedicated bibliographies upon which most such resources relied. It had become time to update, consolidate, and better validate the core bibliographic data. Method: The five most comprehensive electronic bibliographies were merged and collated. The merged listing was then validated using the available evidence and a three-tiered set of evaluation criteria. Finally, the resultant merged and validated listing was augmented with previously unrecorded entries and data, subject to the same evidentiary constraints and evaluation criteria pertaining to the validation phase. Results: None of the five bibliographies in the starting set was comprehensive. All five contained ambiguities, missing details, discrepancies, and outright errors. The updated and consolidated listing presented here is the largest, most comprehensive, and most accurate compiled to date. Implications: The resultant bibliography offers a more complete and more reliable reference resource to both veteran Maturana scholars and newcomers to his work than previously existing bibliographies.