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Glasersfeld E. von (1974) Jean Piaget and the radical constructivist epistemology
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Andersen P. B.
The semiotics of autopoiesis. A catastrophe-theoretic approach.
Cybernetics & Human Knowing
Available at http://cepa.info/3619
This paper has a dual purpose. On the one hand, it suggests ways of making autopoietic theory more precise and more operational for concrete communication analysis. I discuss concepts such as distinction, system, bound- ary, environment, perturbation, and compen- sation. The explication of the concepts is ba- sed on catastrophe theory, and in order to make them operational I emphasise their affinity to traditional semiotics and communi- cation theory. On the other hand I propose changes to the semiotic tradition in order to incorporate insights from autopoietic theory, namely that the human condition is characte- rised by the phenomenon of self-reference and therefore also by the unavoidability of para- doxes. Firstly, this means that truth cannot be a basic semiotic concept; instead the notion of stability is suggested. Secondly, in order to act in a paradoxical context, we need to unfold the paradox in time, which again calls for a dynamic theory of meaning.
Andrew A. M.
What is there to know?
Available at http://cepa.info/3657
Constructivism, socioculturalism, and Popper’s World 3.
Available at http://cepa.info/2965
In comparing constructivist and sociocultural perspectives, it is worth considering at the outset whether any empirical or scientific claims are involved – claims that could be vulnerable to evidence – or whether the differences are entirely perspectival. The slogan “students construct their own knowledge” is not by itself a falsifiable claim. It is simply a concomitant of any cognitive stance – including the stance of folk psychology. As long as one views the mind as a container whose contents are beliefs, schemata, cognitive structures, or other cognitive objects, then any plausible explanation of how those objects get into the mind has to assume that they are created there. What alternative is there, short of thought transference? The only way to reject it is by rejecting the whole structure of cognitive psychological ideas built upon the mind-as-container metaphor.
Varela F. J.
Learning and the Immune network: Reinforcement, recruitment and their applications.
In: Patton G. (ed.)
Biologically inspired computation
. Chapman and Hill, London: 166–192.
Varela F. J.
The immune learning mechanisms: Reinforcement, recruitment and their applications.
In: Paton R. (ed.)
Computing with biological metaphors
. Chapman and Hall, London: 166–192.
Constructivism in mathematics and science education.
Available at http://cepa.info/2951
Where is the mind? Constructivist and sociocultural perspectives on mathematical development.
Available at http://cepa.info/3049
Currently, considerable debate focuses on whether mind is located in the head or in the individual-in-social-action, and whether development is cognitive self-organization or enculturation into established practices. In this article, I question assumptions that initiate this apparent forced choice between constructivist and sociocultural perspectives. I contend that the two perspectives are complementary. Also, claims that either perspective captures the essence of people and communities should be rejected for pragmatic justifications that consider the contextual relevance and usefulness of a perspective. I argue that the sociocultural perspective informs theories of the conditions far the possibility of learning, whereas theories developed from the constructivist perspective focus on what students learn and the processes by which they do so.
A theory of intellectual development, Part I: Radical constructivism.
For the Learning of Mathematics
Available at http://cepa.info/3875
Part 1 of a three-part article analyzing radical constructivism (as one interpretation of Piaget) and the socio-cultural perspective (as one interpretation of Vygotsky), including major principles, primary contributions to mathematics education, and potential limitations. Introduces an integration of the two theories through a feminist perspective.
Varela F. J.
Development of idiotypic network in shape space.
Journal of Theoretical Biology
Based upon the shape-space formalism, a model of an idiotypic network including both bound and free immunoglobulins is simulated. Our point of interest is the network development in the context of self antigens. The investigations are organized around simulations initiated by various spatial configurations of antigens; the behavior of the system with respect to antigens is analyzed in terms of morphogenetic processes occurring in the shape space. For certain values of the parameters, the network expands by traveling waves. The resulting spatial pattern is a partition of the shape space into zones where introduction of an antigen entails an infinite growth of the clones binding to it, and into zones where, on the contrary, the anti-antigen idiotypes decrease. Among the parameter combinations tested, some produce a partition that remains static whereas others produce a partition that changes in time. For other values of the parameters, the patterns generated do not partition shape space into zones; in these cases, it is observed that the system systematically explodes when an antigen is present.
Heisenberg and Gödel in the light of constructivist evolutionary epistemology.
Available at http://cepa.info/3010
The constructivist evolutionary epistemology (CEE) has taken up the demand of modern physics that theoretical terms have to be operationalizable (i.e. the description of nature should comprise only quantities, variables or notions which are defined by means of measurement facilities or other physical processes) and extended it by the idea that operationalisation is something general which must be the constituting basis also for observational terms. This is realised by considering the regularities we perceive and which we condense to the laws of nature as the invariants of phylogenetically formed mental cognitive operators. Experimental operators (i.e. measurement facilities) can be seen as extensions of these inborn operators. This will lead to the consolidation of the classical world picture if the mental and the experimental operators involved are commutable. Otherwise there will be invariants which cannot be described in classical terms and, therefore, will require non-classical approaches such as the uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics enunciated by Heisenberg. As the development of experimental facilities will never be completed and, therefore, will continue to bring about novel invariants, evolution of science cannot converge towards what many physicists envisage as the “theory of everything” describing definitively the structure of reality (Feynman, 1965; Hawking, 1979). So, both organic and scientific evolution are entirely open and non-deterministic. When seeing also mathematical objects and structures as invariants of mental operators we must expect similar phenomena. Indeed: Just as experimental operators, though constructed entirely according to the rules of classical physics, may lead to results which cannot be described in classical terms, there are also mathematical calculuses which, though based entirely on well tested axioms, can lead to statements which cannot be proven within the context of these axioms as shown by Gödel.
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