Volume 8 · Number 2 · Pages 190–201
From Descriptions to Prehensions: Mate-R-ealizing Mitterer with Whitehead

Carsten Ochs

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Context: In recent years, the debates surrounding radical constructivism have increasingly paid attention to the problematic dualist logic of radical constructivism as well as that of realism. Mitterer’s non-dualism is an attempt to overcome such approaches. Problem: Although Mitterer succeeds in identifying the flaws of dualism, he takes a reductionist position that does not account for materiality and is therefore not convincing when it comes to describing epistemic processes appropriately. Method: Having identified the conceptual problematic to be found in Mitterer, I introduce Whithead’s basic framework as an alternative non-dualistic approach. I argue that starting from Whitehead’s notion of “prehension” allows for more appropriate accounts of epistemic processes. Results: By following this train of thought, it is possible to develop a position that is non-dualist, realist, and constructivist at the same time. Implications: The article demonstrates the need to develop process theoretical approaches to epistemology and contributes to developing an epistemologically relaxed way of arguing, as was recently called for. This implies the requirement of developing a radical process constructivism that integrates concepts such as performativity and enactment.

Key words: Words-world distinction, description, prehension, constructivism, realism, multiple ontologies


Ochs C. (2013) From descriptions to prehensions: Mate-r-ealizing Mitterer with whitehead. Constructivist Foundations 8(2): 190–201. http://constructivist.info/8/2/190

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