| Von Glasersfeld's answers - March 2010 |



Professor von Glasersfeld,

I am an education doctoral student at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.  I have been researching your work and would like to ask you two questions. 

1. At the point in your development when you realized the subjectivity of knowledge, were you overwhelmed with confusion and conflicting rationalizations?  My reason for asking this question is the many mind-boggling moments I had while reading about the idea of reality and, more specifically, the opposing notions of how it "exists" in regards to knowledge.

2. If you could spend one hour debating your stance on the constructs of radical constructivism with any philosopher (or individual), whom would you select? 

I appreciate any feedback or response you can provide.  I am an admirer of your work and appreciate the contribution of knowledge you have provided the field of psychology and education.

Thank you in advance.


Ben Kirby


Dear Mr. Kirby,
Thank you for asking concise questions! Here are my  answers.
1. For me the point when I began to realize the subjectivity of people's worlds and knowledge came before my teens. It was due to the fact that from the very beginning I had lived in several languages (German with my mother, English with my father, Italian when I went to elementary school); and perhaps to the additional fact that in my parents house speakers of those languages and sometimes also French came to tea or dinner and the differences of their views of current events were very noticeable. There was no shock - perhaps also because neither of my parents was authoritarian and wanted to impose his/her views of everything. When I came to boarding school at the age of 10, that was an advantage because it was no shock that other boys thought differently.

2. No hesitation: George Berkeley.

Best wishes,
Ernst von Glasersfeld



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