| Von Glasersfeld's answers - November II  2008  |



Dear Prof. Von Glasersfeld,

i'm interested in Psychology, but in a chaotic way, as i haven't studied it by regular courses. This is not my job. I started casually, exploring some Carl Gustav Jung. In the last three years, i have gone up the river (so it seems to me), from Bandler/Grinder to Watzlawick, then Viktor Frankl and Gregory Bateson... and now i meet You. I'm interested in problems about self, manipulation, self-acceptation, communication, group influences on individuals, and so on; and hope to be aware of limits of my amateur vision.

I thank You if You will pay attention to my personal request of hints, originating from recent personal events.

I work with a friend affected by bipolar cyclotimia and passive-aggressive behaviour. She's on therapy. More than the diagnosis or causes of her disorders, i ask You: what about feelings and possible approaches of persons who compares with this disorders?

I think this may be a more than personal question, as, today, many "healthy" people too, behaviour in a suspicial setting of generic fear, compulsive manipulation, short term attention.

Best regards,

Dear Mr. Michi,

I am not a clinical psychologist or psychotherapist and cannot give you advice about what to do with your friend. Gregory Bateson and Paul Watzlawick are the best sources I know. I would agree with you that there is an epidemic of short term attention in the general public. It has been fostered by TV here in the U.S. and in the next generation it will be a real disaster.
Best wishes,
Ernst von Glasersfeld




Dear Prof von Glasersfeld:
I'm a postgraduate student of the University of Malaya Malaysia. Currently I'm using radical constructivism as my research theoretical framework. 'Understanding' of lower secondary students is main aim of this research. I wonder if you could help me to answer these questions:
1) In radical constructivism, what is the relationship between knowledge and understanding?   
2) Can you please suggest any authors I should read?
Thank you.
Best regards.
Patrick Fan



Dear Mr. Fan,

1) I would say that "knowledge" covers  everything from the capacity to re-present past experiences to oneself all the way to possessing viable "explanatory" models for things, events, and situations.
2) For the  theoretical framework of RC there are two books of mine:
Radical constructivism: A way of knowing and learning. (213 pages). London: Falmer Press/Routledge, 1995

 Key Works in Radical Constructivism (ed. By M.Larochelle) Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. 2008

Best wishes,
Ernst von Glasersfeld



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