Volume 6 · Number 2 · Pages 168–171

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Remembering Ernst von Glasersfeld

Hugh Gash

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Context: This article describes the educational and personal context in which the author met Ernst von Glasersfeld at the University of Georgia in 1975. Problem: The aim is to situate von Glasersfeld’s work from 1975 in its context and show how some of the well-known strands of this work emerged and their implications in many fields. Method: The social context of the educational scene in the 1960s and 1970s is described together with a variety of incidents and plans and seminars in which the author was involved. Results: Von Glasersfeld’s work as a philosopher of constructivism with an empirical method for analysing concepts came at a time when psychologists and educationalists were ready to see how best to work with Piaget’s theory. Ernst’s insights into his radical constructivism, and his historical understanding of Vico’s epistemology nourished a generation of scholars beginning at the University of Georgia. These insights quickly permeated into the field of psychotherapy. On a personal note, the insights influenced the author’s own life’s research and professional work. Implications: By examining the origins of some of Ernst von Glasersfeld’s key ideas in their diversity, the aim is to show how broadly his ideas have been used in fields from child centred learning to psychotherapy.

Key words: constructivism, Giambattista Vico, Jean Piaget, education, psychotherapy


Gash H. (2011) Remembering ernst von glasersfeld. Constructivist Foundations 6(2): 168–171. http://constructivist.info/6/2/168

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