QUESTION 2 - Subject: - Empirical methods developed out of /
concerning radical constructivism
Dear Prof. von Glasersfeld!
Since a few years I am working on different types of constructivism. One problem I
have as a student of psychology and sociology is, that i cannot find empirical methods (of course in a wider sense
also) that are developed out of constructivist approach. In scociology there are a few (qualitative)methods like
e.g.ethnomethodology or the social - constructivist - Schütz/Berger/Luckmann - program and followers and others,
but these ideas can´t really get to the point of the construction as an act. In psychology the problem is another:
some researchers (in Vienna, where I am studying) want to "proof" constructivism by showing e.g.
neuropsychological phenomena liek the retina and so on, or there are dealing with cognitive approaches, or even
learning interventions. Also here it is not possible for me to make out a fine view of looking at the construction
process itself. (of corse it is not easy to observe things like conciousness etc..)
So my question is, shortly: what methods can be developed out of your approach of
(radical) constructivism or in which kind of observance can construction-process of knowlegde (in a wider sense)be
And, as an additional question, do You think that my ideas go the "right
direction" when I think, that for example researches in the fields of conciousness and correlates,
psychopathology (as a frontier of the normal world -sensu Jaspers)and maybe social-erperimants could show the
effects of construction or even constructions.
sincerely Martin F. Weckenmann
ANSWER 2 - Radical constructivism is a hypothetical model of rational
knowing and the construction of our experiential reality. As one cannot observe concepts and mental
operations, one has to infer them from actions and verbal expressions. Watching people solving problems and children
building their concepts on the assumption that there is no transfer of information from outside in, is the way to
build and 'confirm' such a model.