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Glasersfeld E. von (1974) Jean Piaget and the radical constructivist epistemology
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The past, present, and future of artificial life.
Frontiers in Robotics and AI
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/1125
For millennia people have wondered what makes the living different from the non-living. Beginning in the mid-1980s, artificial life has studied living systems using a synthetic approach: build life in order to understand it better, be it by means of software, hardware, or wetware. This review provides a summary of the advances that led to the development of artificial life, its current research topics, and open problems and opportunities. We classify artificial life research into 14 themes: origins of life, autonomy, self-organization, adaptation (including evolution, development, and learning), ecology, artificial societies, behavior, computational biology, artificial chemistries, information, living technology, art, and philosophy. Being interdisciplinary, artificial life seems to be losing its boundaries and merging with other fields.
Artificial life has contributed to philosophy of biology and of cognitive science, thus making it an important field related to constructivism.
In: Shapiro L. (ed.)
The Routledge handbook of embodied cognition
. Routledge, London: 31–38.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/4462
This brief chapter will focus on two types of arguments for extended cognition inspired by Clark and Chalmers (1998). First, there has been the thought that cognition extends when processes in the brain, body, and world are suitably similar to processes taking place in the brain. We might describe these as cognitive equivalence arguments for extended cognition. Second, there has been the thought that, when there is the right kind of causal connection between a cognitive process and bodily and environmental processes, cognitive processes come to be realized by processes in the brain, body, and world. We might describe these as coupling arguments for extended cognition. What critics have found problematic are the kinds of similarity relations that have been taken to be applicable or suitable for concluding that there is extended cognition and the conditions that have been offered as providing the right kind of causal connection.
The enactivist revolution.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/4485
Among the many ideas that go by the name of “enactivism” there is the idea that by “cognition” we should understand what is more commonly taken to be behavior. For clarity, label such forms of enactivism “enactivismb.” This terminology requires some care in evaluating enactivistb claims. There is a genu-ine risk of enactivist and non-enactivist cognitive scientists talking past one another. So, for example, when enactivistsb write that “cognition does not require representations” they are not necessarily denying what cognitivists claim when they write that “cognition requires representations.” This paper will draw attention to instances of some of these unnecessary confusions.
Alrøe H. F.
Authors’ Response: A Perspectivist View on the Perspectivist View of Interdisciplinary Science.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/1172
In our response we focus on five questions that point to important common themes in the commentaries: why start in wicked problems, what kind of system is a scientific perspective, what is the nature of second-order research processes, what does this mean for understanding interdisciplinary work, and how may polyocular research help make real-world decisions.
Alrøe H. F.
Communication, Autopoiesis and Semiosis.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/1023
Open peer commentary on the article “Social Autopoiesis?” by Hugo Urrestarazu.
We agree on the need to explore a concept of social autopoiesis that goes beyond a strictly human-centered concept of social systems as autopoietic communicative systems. But both Hugo Urrestarazu and Niklas Luhmann neglect the importance of semiosis in understanding communication, and this has important implications for the question of a more general approach to social systems.
Alrøe H. F.
Second-Order Science of Interdisciplinary Research: A Polyocular Framework for Wicked Problems.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/1166
The problems that are most in need of interdisciplinary collaboration are “wicked problems,” such as food crises, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development, with many relevant aspects, disagreement on what the problem is, and contradicting solutions. Such complex problems both require and challenge interdisciplinarity.
The conventional methods of interdisciplinary research fall short in the case of wicked problems because they remain first-order science. Our aim is to present workable methods and research designs for doing second-order science in domains where there are many different scientific knowledges on any complex problem.
We synthesize and elaborate a framework for second-order science in interdisciplinary research based on a number of earlier publications, experiences from large interdisciplinary research projects, and a perspectivist theory of science.
The second-order polyocular framework for interdisciplinary research is characterized by five principles. Second-order science of interdisciplinary research must: 1. draw on the observations of first-order perspectives, 2. address a shared dynamical object, 3. establish a shared problem, 4. rely on first-order perspectives to see themselves as perspectives, and 5. be based on other rules than first-order research.
The perspectivist insights of second-order science provide a new way of understanding interdisciplinary research that leads to new polyocular methods and research designs. It also points to more reflexive ways of dealing with scientific expertise in democratic processes. The main challenge is that this is a paradigmatic shift, which demands that the involved disciplines, at least to some degree, subscribe to a perspectivist view.
Our perspectivist approach to science is based on the second-order cybernetics and systems theories of von Foerster, Maruyama, Maturana & Varela, and Luhmann, coupled with embodied theories of cognition and semiotics as a general theory of meaning from von Uexküll and Peirce.
social systems theory
differentiation of science
perspectival knowledge asymmetries.
Butter knives and screwdrivers: An intentionalist defense of radical constructivism.
The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/3849
Robert Stecker has posed a dilemma for the constructivist theory of interpretation: either interpretations consist of statements with truth values or they do not. Stecker argues that either way, they cannot change the meaning of an artwork. In this article, I argue contra Stecker that if interpretations consist of meaning declarations rather than statements, they can change the meanings of the objects toward which they are directed, where whether they so consist is largely a function of the interpreter’s intentions. Hence, the second horn of Stecker’s dilemma is defeated.
Ideas for a phenomenological interpretation and elaboration of personal construct theory. Part 1. Kelly between constructivism and phenomenology.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/1249
Kelly’s personal construct theory, put forward in 1955, is considered the first constructivist theory of personality and the first expression of those contemporary psychotherapeutic perspectives grounded on a constructivist view of knowledge. Notwithstanding the similarities between psychological constructivism and the phenomenological-hermeneutic tradition, Kelly always rejected the parallel of his theory to phenomenology, regarding the latter as unacceptable since idealistic, solipsistic, and particularistic. In this first article of a work subdivided into three parts, the Authors explain such criticism by Kelly with his knowledge of phenomenology deriving from secondary sources, and stress the wide possibilities of a phenomenological interpretation and elaboration of his theory.
The publication highlights the analogy between psychological constructivism and phenomenology.
Authors’ Response: Communicating Second-Order Science.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/1184
For communicating second-order science, von Foerster’s ethical imperative provides a viable starting point. Proceeding from this, we plead in favour of emphasising the common grounds of diverging scientific opinions and of various approaches in second-order science instead of focussing on the differences. This will provide a basis for communication and stimulate scientific self-reflection.
On Climate Change Research, the Crisis of Science and Second-order Science.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/1179
This conceptual paper tries to tackle the advantages and the limitations that might arise from including second-order science into global climate change sciences, a research area that traditionally focuses on first-order approaches and that is currently attracting a lot of media and public attention.
The high profile of climate change research seems to provoke a certain dilemma for scientists: despite the slowly increasing realization within the sciences that our knowledge is temporary, tentative, uncertain, and far from stable, the public expectations towards science and scientific knowledge are still the opposite: that scientific results should prove to be objective, reliable, and authoritative. As a way to handle the uncertainty, scientists tend to produce “varieties of scenarios” instead of clear statements, as well as reports that articulate different scientific opinions about the causes and dynamics of change (e.g., the IPCC. This might leave the impression of vague and indecisive results. As a result, esteem for the sciences seems to be decreasing within public perception.
This paper applies second-order observation to climate change research in particular and the sciences in general.
Within most sciences, it is still quite unusual to disclose and discuss the epistemological foundations of the respective research questions, methods and ways to interpret data, as research proceeds mainly from some version of realistic epistemological positions. A shift towards self-reflexive second-order science might offer possibilities for a return to a “less polarized” scientific and public debate on climate change because it points to knowledge that is in principle tentative, uncertain and fragmented as well as to the theory- and observation-dependence of scientific work.
The paper addresses the differences between first-order and second-order science as well as some challenges of science in general, which second-order science might address and disclose.
Second-order science used as observation praxis (second-order observation) for this specific field of research.
climate change research
production of knowledge.
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