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Constructivist Foundations (CF) is an international peer-reviewed e-journal focusing on the multidisciplinary study of the philosophical and scientific foundations and applications of constructivism and related disciplines. The journal promotes interdisciplinary discussion and cooperation among researchers and theorists working in a great number of diverse fields such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science, biology, neuroscience, psychology, educational research, linguistics, communication science, sociology, mathematics, computer science, and philosophy.

Constructivist approaches covered in the journal include the theory of autopoietic systems, enactivism, radical constructivism, second-order cybernetics, neurophenomenology, constructionism, and non-dualizing philosophy.

Constructivist Foundations appears three times a year and is available free of charge to its subscribers. Papers are published in an appealing format ready to be printed by the reader. Even though the journal is predominantly distributed electronically our policy is to never change the content after publication to allow for reliable citations in terms of volume, number, and page. The URLs of article pages are permanent and short, following the general format

As of 14 March 2017:
{ 843 } published texts { 493 } authors published { 10696 } subscribers


Constructivist Foundations (ISSN: 1782-348X) is listed in

Manuscript submission

Submissions of papers that correspond to the Aims and Scope of the journal are always welcome. In addition to regular issues the journal publishes also special issues focusing on a specific topic. Constructivist Foundations does not ask Author Processing Charges (but we look forward to institutional support).

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Upcoming special issues


Publication date: 15 July 2017

Missing the Woods for the Trees: Neglected Aspects of Francisco Varela’s Work

Submission deadline for open peer commentaries: 1 October 2017

Publication date: 15 November 2017

What Does It Take for an Artificial Agent to Be Constructivist?

Submission deadline for full papers: 15 August 2017

Submission deadline for open peer commentaries: 15 January 2018

Publication date: 15 March 2018

Aims and Scope

> See also the Editorial of the Initial Issue (PDF) and What are constructivist approaches?

Constructivist approaches support the idea that mental structures such as cognition and perception are actively built by one’s mind rather than passively acquired. However, constructivist approaches vary in function of how much influence they attribute to constructions.

Many assume a dualistic relationship between reality and constructed elements. They maintain that constructed mental structures gradually adapt to the structures of the real world (e.g., Piaget). In this view perception is the pickup of information controlled by the mental structure that is constructed from earlier perceptions (e.g., Neisser). This leads to the claim that mental structures are about learning sensorimotor contingencies (e.g., O’Regan).

Others seek to avoid the dualistic position. Either they skeptically reject that the structures of the real world can be compared with mental ones, independently of the senses through which the mental structures were constructed in the first place (e.g., von Glasersfeld), or they embrace a phenomenological perspective that considers perception as the grouping of experiential complexes (e.g., Mach).

All these approaches emphasize the primacy of the cognitive system (e.g., Llinás) and its organizational closure (e.g., von Foerster, Maturana). Hence, perceived patterns and regularities may be regarded as invariants of inborn cognitive operators (e.g., Diettrich).

Constructivist approaches can be said to differ also with respect to whether constructs are considered to populate the rational-linguistic (e.g., von Glasersfeld, Schmidt) or the biological-bodily (“enactivist/embodied” theories, e.g., Varela).