| Von Glasersfeld's answers - July 2008  |

 
 
 


QUESTION:
 
Dear Mr. von Glasersfeld,
 
Why did you choose to refer to Radical Constructivism as a Theory of Knowing as opposed to a Philosophy of Knowing?  To me, a theory requires the ability to test, and I am unsure how you would test Radical Constructivism.
 
Sincerely,
Brian

 

ANSWER:

Dear Brian,

I have always tried to keep RC away from philosophy. Traditional
philosophy is pervaded by the fatal error of duplicating the world of
experience into one inside the experiencer and the other as an
independent structure outside. The Pre-Socratics were dimly aware of
this, Berkeley made it explicit, and Ceccato weathered against it all
his life.

You clearly are still enmeshed in this illusion. What do you expect
as the result of a test? It can only show whether something works or
not;  and if it works, that in no way entails the "discovery" of an
external world. The "flat earth" theory worked for millennia (and
still works if you never leave the plain); Newton's theory was
believed to work for the universe and still works for the majority of
our physical problems; and if you seriously apply RC to your own
living, you may find that it works rather well.

Best wishes,

Ernst von Glasersfeld

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