Volume 10 · Number 1 · Pages 1–6

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A New Course of Action

Karl H. Müller & Alexander Riegler

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Context: The journal Constructivist Foundations celebrates ten years of publishing articles on constructivist approaches, in particular radical constructivism. Problem: In order to preserve the sustainability of radical constructivism and regain its appeal to new generations of researchers, we set up a new course of action for and with the radical constructivist community to study its innovative potential. This new avenue is “second-order science.” Method: We specify two motivations of second-order science, i.e., the inclusion of the observer, and self-reflexivity that allows second-order science to operate on the products of normal or first-order science. Also, we present a short overview of the contributions that we have collected for this inaugural issue on second-order science. Results: These six initial contributions demonstrate the potential of the new set of approaches to second-order science across several disciplines. Implications: Second-order science is believed to be a cogent concept in the evolution of science, leading to a new wave of innovations, novel experiments and a much closer relationship with current research in the cognitive neurosciences in particular, and with evolutionary and complexity theories in general.

Key words: Radical constructivism, second-order science, observer, self-reflexivity


Müller K. H. & Riegler A. (2014) A New Course of Action. Constructivist Foundations 10(1): 1–6. Available at http://constructivist.info/10/1/001.editorial

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Comment by Bruce Kodish · 15 Nov 2014
Is the world finally catching up with Korzybski who wrote in 1922: "“… all that man can know is a joint phenomenon of the observer and the observed.”…for science and life, logic is as vital a factor as “facts” because, for human knowledge, there are no “facts” free from the share of the observer’s mind… if there is such a thing as general knowledge, its foundation must be found outside of gross empiricism. Most probably such a thing does exist and its origin may be traced to the constitution of the human mind itself – to sound modern logic (mathematics).” http://korzybskifiles.blogspot.com/2014/10/chapter-25-brotherhood-of-doctrines_24.html

Comment by Richard Stafford · 15 Nov 2014
I would hope that anyone interested in “A New Course of Action” would take the trouble to at least look at my publication “The Foundations of Physical Reality”. A free PDF copy may be found on Anssi Hyytiainen’s blog site, http://foundationsofphysics.blogspot.com