| Von Glasersfeld's answers - May 2006  |

 
 
 


QUESTION:
 
Dr. Von Glasersfeld
 
First off, I think it is beautiful that you answer these questions
online. I see it as a wonderful, mutually beneficial process. So, kudos
;)
 
Now to my questions, I have noticed that your responses to many
ontologically-oriented questioners is that they are expecting some
absolute Truth and that this Truth is not available. You don't deny
necessarily that the Truth is there, but that it is not accessible to us.
I think that this phrasing is misleading, as I see it to be a somewhat
absolutist stance on our inaccessibility to Truth, thus being internally
inconsistent. Do you think this inconsistency stems from these questions
being spontaneously answered, or do you disagree with my inference which
leads to the inconsistency? Or, do you see no inconsistency?
 
I am asking mostly because I am interested in the future of Radical
Constructivism. I reached the tenets of RC on my own through intense,
iterative epistemological thought over the past decade or so - molto
lentamente, heh. Awhile back I was fascinated with the fact that German
does not usually differentiate between the present and present
progressive tenses, which contributed to my early realization that people
were speaking through vastly different concepts, not just language.
Anyway, as I said I reached the RC tenets and have subsequently moved
past them and I am interested in speaking with someone who is interested
in evolving the epistemological framework of RC beyond where it is today.
 Would you be interested, or could you point me to someone else?
 
Vielen grazie per il tuo Zeit.
 
Bill Raiford (mybiz@ibgib.com)

 

ANSWER:
Dear Mr. Raiford,
 
What is Truth? In any realist epistemology Truth is the congruence
of an image, statement, or belief with an objective reality. Hence it
would be nonsense to say that Truth "is there" and I cannot remember ever
having denied its "existence" or non-existence. In the constructivist
view, something is true if it is considered adequately to reflect the
original description of an earlier experience; therefore it has nothing
to do with ontology. The only occasion where it might make sense to say
that truth is inaccessible is when memory of a past situation or event is
so patchy that we are unable to repeat the description of it that we may
have produced at the time.
 
I have said often enough that I consider RC one way of thinking -
which implies that there may be others, I am therefore interested to hear
where you got to when, as you say, you "moved past" the tenets of RC.

 

Best wishes,

Ernst von Glasersfeld
 

 

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