Constructivist epistemology

Constructivism call several currents in the philosophy of the 20th century. Due to the common name, they are often mistaken to be in conformity. Most variants of constructivism assume that a detected object from the viewer itself through the process of cognition is constructed. Expressed in the technical language of philosophy, thus taking it a nominalist position for universals.

While in Radical Constructivism human ability to recognize objective reality, is contested on the grounds that every individual is his reality " constructed " in your head, supporters of Erlanger constructivism believe in a common manner of construction: be it with the help of a special voice and scientific methodology would be possible to overcome " the naive coming upon the world" and replace it with " methodological knowledge and scientific construction ". Whether this together Constructed also exists independently of its construction or merely occupies a consensus, however, is a different problem. The Erlanger constructivism is much encouraged by the constructive mathematics, which represents the radical constructivism as a nominalist view.

Central Figures of Thought

Despite the variety of disciplinary origin of individual approaches share the following can be stated:

  • The focus is not ontological WAS questions, but HOW epistemological issues, ie it is not in the core to the essence of things, but about the process and the development of their knowledge.
  • Decisive is the orientation of the observer or of the recognized entity and not to the observer independent "reality."
  • Saying goodbye to the idea of an absolute truth and an empirical objectivity, because the observer can not be regarded as independent of the knowledge.
  • Interested in the difference and plurality of possible or effective world-view.
  • Autonomy of the observer due to the self-regulation, control and organization of cognitive instance.
  • Cognitive value of circular and paradoxical figures of thought in connection with the phenomenon of recursion.

It can therefore be said in summary that constructivism deals with the creation of their own realities, dimensions, or even abilities that arise from one's own identification or faith in these realities, dimensions or skills only. Thus, each person perceives the world differently because the human subconscious highlighting things or even new fits into the field of view, which seem to him to be important. Thus man his own perception can not be trusted in theory, because it is always distorted to a small extent, since each person is perceived by different people differently.

Radical Constructivism

→ Main article: Radical Constructivism

Erlanger Constructivism

The Erlanger constructivism includes the projects of a free of misunderstanding language of science, dialogical logic, constructive mathematics, protophysics and a more advanced theory of society and technology. Core of Erlanger constructivism is the compass- free and the concrete use nachvollziehende construction or reconstruction of terms. Representatives are included Wilhelm Kamlah, Paul Lorenzen, Christian Thiel. The following schools have evolved from the Erlanger Constructivism:

  • Constance School: Jürgen Mittelstraß, Friedrich Kambartel and many other reasons in Konstanz in the 1970s, a historical and encyclopedic oriented philosophy and philosophy of science;
  • Dialogical Constructivism: Kuno Lorenz, Dietfried Gerhardus, Wilhelm Kamlah, Philosophical Anthropology
  • Methodical culturalism: Peter Janich made ​​a renaming of Erlanger School in Methodical Constructivism and works a methodical culturalism from (also called Marburg School ).
  • Argumentation Theory: From Carl Friedrich Gethmann, Harald well Rapp and Holm Tetens developed a theory of argumentation following the Erlanger school.

Interactionist constructivism

The bear interactive constructivism is the Erlanger constructivism similar than the radical constructivism. However he understands the culturalist turn of constructivism not primarily linguistic, but life-world based and linked to the basic assumptions of particular post-structuralism, cultural studies, deconstruction and pragmatism. Its representatives are among other Kersten Reich and Stefan Neubert.


Radical constructivism is primarily criticism of naive realism. He sits against a relativism that explains the objectivity of an impossibility. Especially subjective observer positions appear to him much. Tendencies to solipsism are present, yet the radical constructivism delineates clear of this. Circular thinking processes are not considered as logically flawed, but as inevitable. Radical constructivism is a critical science program that critically reflected inadequate ideas. His thesis that everything is "just" constructed, is sometimes seen as a devaluation of construction.

The Erlanger constructivism evaluates constructing on the other hand and put it to clarify the scientific foundations, especially the concepts of scientific theories a. The Erlanger constructivism makes the reconstruction of terms comprehensible to the program and strives to recognize conceptual ambiguities in science to develop reasonable alternatives and to reduce in this way misunderstanding possibilities in scientific exchange. He is aligned with the consensus of the scientific community, while the radical constructivism represents a superficial consensus in question.

The bear interactive constructivism refers acts in a life-world, social, and cultural contexts. He tries to reflect the subjective observer positions against the background of cultural participation and players' roles. In addition to the theoretical justification for the approach mainly emphasis on educational applications.