| Von Glasersfeld's answers - January  2006  |


Dear Mr. Glasersfeld,
I started studying at the University of Zurich in Summer 2005.
In Dezember 2005 I now picked up the Task to prepare a presentation about
your text "EinfŁhrung in den radikalen Konstruktivismus".
To make the text simpler to understand for my audience I came up with the
idea to compare this text with the movie "The Matrix".
In one certain scene near the end of the movie the viewer can see how Neo
(main character of the movie) finally sees the world around him as a
combination of numbers and letters scrolling down his view, a
computer-language-like code, which (and this is the main idea of the whole
movie) machines created for human beings as a "virtual reality", so nobody
ever finds out about the truth; which is that the machines have taken the
control over the planet earth and use human beings as "batteries" to live
on their selves.
I now wanted to know if this comparison, in which I take this scene from
the "Matrix" to explain the main idea of the radical constructivism
(namely that we donít know if what we see with our eyes and construct with
our knowledge really is the truth), is correct?
Iím really looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Yours sincerely
Andreas Schwarzinger
Dear Mr. Schwarzinger,
Thank you for your summary of "The Matrix". I haven't seen the movie
because my hearing is now so bad that I don't often go to the cinema.
When Neo sees the numbers and letters scrolling down, it would be
necessary to mention that this, too, is his way of seeing and that
neither these symbols nor the machines he believes responsible for them
are any less "virtual" than anything else he perceives or conceives. A
point of radical constructivism, that many interpreters have shied away
from, is that the inaccessibility of an objective reality is total. The
way we live, think, and operate arises within the world of our
exrperience and cannot not represent anything beyond it.
Best wishes and a happy New Year!
Ernst von Glasersfeld
PS: The chapter in Watzlawick's book was written 25 years ago. My views
have not changed, but i may have learned to express them more clearly.
There are some more recent papers that can be downloaded from




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