Volume 3 · Number 3 · Pages 163–171
So Far – From Now On. Josef Mitterer’s Non-dualistic Critique of Radical Constructivism and Some Consequences

Siegfried J. Schmidt

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Problem: Mitterer’s critique of the central argumentations of radical constructivists has been mostly neglected until today. The paper presents and evaluates his criticism and, in the second part, outlines a format of constructivism that tries to draw appropriate consequences. Solution: In his critique Mitterer explains why the radical constructivism represented above all by Maturana, Varela, von Glasersfeld or Roth still remains in a dualistic format. In his view Neurobiology is used in their writings as the indisputable basis for deriving far-reaching epistemological consequences. Therefore constructivism evades self-application. To overcome this serious critique a different approach to constructivist thinking is sketched that operates without using any biological or psychological theories, tries to avoid dualism, and elaborates Mitterer’s basic argument that the description of an object and the object under description are the same. Benefits: The paper shows what constructivism can learn from a serious critique and how it can be rewritten in a non-dualistic way.

Key words: dualism, epistemology, operative fictions, truth, contingency, construction


Schmidt S. J. (2008) So far – from now on. Josef Mitterer’s non-dualistic critique of radical constructivism and some consequences. Constructivist Foundations 3(3): 163–171. http://constructivist.info/3/3/163

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