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Glasersfeld E. von (1974) Jean Piaget and the radical constructivist epistemology
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Merleau-Ponty and nature.
Research in Phenomenology
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/4050
The course on nature coincides with the re-working of Merleau-Ponty’s breakthrough towards an ontology and therefore plays a primordial role. The appearance of an interrogation of nature is inscribed in the movement of thought that comes after the Phenomenology of Perception. What is at issue is to show that the ontological mode of the perceived object – not the unity of a positive sense but the unity of a style that shows through in filigree in the sensible aspects has a universal meaning, that the description of the perceived world can give way to a philosophy of perception and therefore to a theory of truth. The analysis of linguistic expression to which the philosophy of perception leads opens out onto a definition of meaning as institution, understood as what inaugurates an open series of expressive appropriations. It is this theory of institution that turns the analysis of the perceived in the direction of a reflection on nature: the perceived is no longer the originary in its difference from the derived but the natural in its difference from the instituted. Nature is the “non-constructed, non-instituted,” and thereby, the source of expression: “nature is what has a sense without this sense having been posited by thought.”\\The first part of the course, which consists in a historical overview, must not be considered as a mere introduction. In fact, the problem of nature is brought out into the open by means of the history of Western metaphysics, in which Descartes is the emblematic figure. The problem consists in the duality at once unsatisfactory and unsurpassable – between two approaches to nature: the one which accentuates its determinability and therefore its transparency to the understanding; the other which emphasizes the irreducible facticity of nature and tends therefore to valorize the viewpoint of the senses. To conceive nature is to constitute a concept of it that allows us to “take possession” of this duality, that is, to found the duality. The second part of the course attempts to develop this concept of nature by drawing upon the results of contemporary science. Thus a philosophy of nature is sketched that can be summarized in four propositions: 1) the totality is no less real than the parts; 2) there is a reality of the negative and therefore no alternative between being and nothingmess; 3) a natural event is not assigned to a unique spatio-temporal localization; and 4) there is generality only as generativity.
Constructivism in computer science education.
Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/3080
Constructivism is a theory of learning, which claims that students construct knowledge rather than merely receive and store knowledge transmitted by the teacher. Constructivism has been extremely influential in science and mathematics education, but much less so in computer science education (CSE). This paper surveys constructivism in the context of CSE, and shows how the theory can supply a theoretical basis for debating issues and evaluating proposals. An analysis of constructivism in computer science education leads to two claims: (a) students do not have an effective model of a computer, and (b) computers form an accessible ontological reality. The conclusions from these claims are that: (a) models must be explicitly taught, (b) models must be taught before abstractions, and (c) the seductive reality of the computer must not be allowed to supplant construction of models.
computer science education
accessible ontological reality
Are firms autopoietic systems.
In: Geyer F. & van der Zouwen J. (eds.)
Sociocybernetics. Complexity, autopoiesis, and observation of social systems
. Greenwood Press, Westport CT: 125–139.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/2715
It is wondered whether firms are autopoietic systems that is, whether the paradigm of autopoiesis is applicable to for-profit organizations. Although only applications to other sciences will be touched upon, it will be clear that results can be extended to all kinds of social systems. This argument can be summarized as follows: Thesis I: Autopoiesis is not applicable to profit organizations or, in other words, firms are not autopoietic systems. Thesis II: Autopoiesis does not coincide with second-order cybernetics, whose basic concepts, if not taken as on/off conditions, can he applied to social systems.
Convergence toward enaction within educational technology: Design for learners and learning.
Cybernetics & Human Knowing
Educational technology is firmly grounded in the rational tradition. However, there are growing numbers of educational technologists who consider themselves constructivist in orientation. In this paper I look at design in the field of educational technology through the lens of an enactive constructivist framework in order to locate trends that suggest a convergence with the enactive position as explicated in the works of Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela. The enactive position provides a coherent framewok within which to guide constructivist practice.
Caporael L. R.
Natural tensions: Realism and constructivism.
In: Heyes C. & Hull D. L. (eds.)
Selection theory and social construction: The evolutionary naturalistic epistemology of Donald T Campbell
. State University of New York Press, Albany: 135–154.
Symbols and dynamics in the brain.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/4139
The work of physicist and theoretical biologist Howard Pattee has focused on the roles that symbols and dynamics play in biological systems. Symbols, as discrete functional switching-states, are seen at the heart of all biological systems in the form of genetic codes, and at the core of all neural systems in the form of informational mechanisms that switch behavior. They also appear in one form or another in all epistemic systems, from informational processes embedded in primitive organisms to individual human beings to public scientific models. Over its course, Pattee’s work has explored (1) the physical basis of informational functions (dynamical vs. rule-based descriptions, switching mechanisms, memory, symbols), (2) the functional organization of the observer (measurement, computation), (3) the means by which information can be embedded in biological organisms for purposes of self-construction and representation (as codes, modeling relations, memory, symbols), and (4) the processes by which new structures and functions can emerge over time. We discuss how these concepts can be applied to a high-level understanding of the brain. Biological organisms constantly reproduce themselves as well as their relations with their environs. The brain similarly can be seen as a self-producing, self-regenerating neural signaling system and as an adaptive informational system that interacts with its surrounds in order to steer behavior.
Luhmann’s theory of knowledge: Beyond realism and constructivism?
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/4534
Constructivist realism: An ontology that encompasses positivist and constructivist approaches to the social sciences.
In Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research
2(1): Article 7.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/4491
Varela F. J.
A new approach to the MEG/EEG inverse problem for the recovery of cortical phase-synchrony.
In: Insana M. F. & Leahy R. M. (eds.)
Information processing in medical imaging. Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume 2082
. Springer, Berlin: 272–285.
Little has been done yet to study the synchronization properties of the sources estimated from the MEG/EEG inverse problem, despite the growing interest in the role of phase relations in brain functions. In order to achieve this aim, we propose a novel approach to the MEG/EEG inverse problem based on some regularization using spectral priors: The MEG/EEG raw data are filtered in a frequency band of interest and blurred with some specific “regularization noise” prior to the inversion process. This formalism uses non quadratic regularization and a deterministic optimization algorithm. We proceed to Monte Carlo simulations using the chaotic Rössler oscillators to model the neural generators. Our results demonstate that it is possible to reveal some phase-locking between brain sources with great accuracy following the computation of the inverse problem based on scalp MEG/EEG measurements.
de Zeeuw G.
Constructivism: A “next” area of scientific development?
Special Issue “The Impact of Radical Constructivism on Science” edited by Alexander Riegler. Foundations of Science
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/2745
Radical Constructivism has been defined as an‘unconventional approach to the problem ofknowledge and knowing’. Its unconventionalityis summarised by its claim that it isimpossible to attribute unique meaning toexperience – as no mind-independent yardstick canbe assumed to exist against which to identifyuniqueness, and hence to produce knowledge andknowing. In other words, it is claimed thatthere is no ‘reality’ that is knowable to allindividual knowers. This claim appearsindefensible by itself, as it does not explainwhy the successes of traditional science appearas such. However, it is defensible in thecontext of numerous failures to achieve uniqueattributions, or of the history of science. Even so, what is missing are concrete methodsand research designs. This often leaves RadicalConstructivism to be critical only, toconcentrate on justifying the impossibility ofsuccess without contributing itself. Where this is the case it reduces scientiststo individuals considered unable to communicatewith others on public (and unique)attributions-who may do so only by borrowingmethods from previous approaches. It is arguedthat a more valuable contribution is possibleif Radical Constructivism is seen as a responseto the challenge defined by frequent failuresof traditional approaches. The latter may beextended such that the extensions converge toRadical Constructivism. Such extensions arebased on reported observations, rather than onexperiences in general, and are to beattributed meanings – uniquely as well asnon-uniquely – by way of a collective. The lattershould allow its ‘actors’ to restrict whatmaintains the collective to what is observableto others, as well as use the collective torestrict their own observations. The study ofcollectives thus allows for the study ofrestrictions or values, and hence for includingsubjective or constructivist experiences beyond(reportable) observations.
‘attached’ and ‘detached’ observation complete collective high quality experience high quality observation knowledge knowing language research design
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