ernest von glasersfeld s influence in my research program n.
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Ernest von Glasersfeld’s influence in my research program . Bal Chandra Luitel. March 8, 1917 – November 12, 2010. von Glasersfeld . Ernst von Glasersfeld was born in 1917 with Austrian citizenship in Munich Became Czech citizen in 1918 In 1935 he graduated from Zuoz College

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von glasersfeld
von Glasersfeld
  • Ernst von Glasersfeld was born in 1917 with Austrian citizenship in Munich
  • Became Czech citizen in 1918
  • In 1935 he graduated from Zuoz College
  • Next two years studied mathematics first at Zürich University, then at the University of Vienna
  • the family property was confiscated by the Nazis
  • Could not afford university fees

"the true is precisely what is made"

-- GiambattistaVico


In 1939 he went to Ireland

  • he became a farmer and was granted citizenship in 1945.
  • Privately he continued studying philosophy, logic, and psychology.
  • In 1947 he moved to Italy and began working for Prof. SilvioCeccato and the Italian Operational School

… because for RC  ontological reality is not accessible in any way. EvG (


In 1949 became a consultant on language for the same school .

  • As this work was only partly remunerated he earned his living during the next decade as accredited foreign correspondent of Swiss and German newspapers.
  • Since 1959 to his departure date, he worked in several academic positions in the US universities

I would also add that there is a viable concept of "truth" (never absolute) within the constructivist Model: compatibility of a description with the actual experience. EvG (

radical constructivism
Radical constructivism
  • Three major features
    • Knower as active constructor
    • Knowing is the process of adaptation (constraints …)
    • Truth as viability
philosophy beyond metaphysics
Philosophy beyond metaphysics
  • Can we know without metaphysics?
    • Metaphysics is inaccessible
    • we don’t know it in an absolute sense
two schools
Two schools
  • Excogenic
    • Empirical world is the source of knowledge (in other world they are called as empiricists)
  • Endogenic
    • Mind is the source of knowledge (in other world they are called as rationalist)
duality and dichotomy
Duality and dichotomy
  • The nature of Western history– either this or that, bipolar position
  • Aristotle tried but failed – well because Christianity captured, distorted and altered his ideas
  • Vico tried but failed
  • Dewey tried and succeeded to a some extent



duality and dichotomy1
Duality and dichotomy
  • Constructivism is not the invention of EvG; it was used in sociology, anthropology and culture studies
  • He challenged dualities associated with Western knowledge systems through this question?
    • How do we come to know?
  • Piaget is a good constructivist
  • But he failed to grasp the very nature of duality
  • So he delve into the world of structuralism
  • He developed a myth of stage-based learning model (equilibration, accommodation and assimilation)
viability cf validity
Viability (cf. validity)
  • Multiple frameworks
  • What works in context?
  • Challenge to Absolutism
  • Challenge to positivism
  • Challenge to structuralism
where is reality
Where is reality?
  • Reality is in the experience of the knower
  • Or, reality is not accessible in an absolute sense
  • Or, reality is accessible via the experience of the knower
  • Discourses
  • Languages
  • Interaction
  • Individual mind
  • Constraints
  • Is not a conduit of meanings
  • Can be regarded as sound waves
  • How do you feel when you witness two people interact in Chinese?
how would he respond to you if he was alive
How would he respond to you, if he was alive?
  • Visit this website!
mind in as cognitive action
Mind in/as cognitive action
  • Where is mind?
  • Inaccessible
  • Accessible but in the context of ‘knowing’
  • Probably this is where other forms of constructivism would be useful for a clear explanation of mind…
  • EvG’s position about mind is humility
other forms of constructivism
Other forms of constructivism
  • Social constructivism
    • Social mind (less emphasis on individual mind)… some forms of duality still exists
  • Critical constructivism
    • Empowerment and ethics
  • Social constructionism
    • Nonduality of known and knower
    • Where is mind?
self as metaphor
Self as metaphor
  • “Self (rather a small s self) does not reside in the heart, as Aristotle thought, nor in the brain, as we tend to think today. It resides in no place at all, but merely manifests itself in the continuity of our acts of differentiating and relating and in the intuitive certainty we have that our experience is truly ours." EvG (
poetic and scientific knowledge
Poetic and scientific knowledge
  • EvG tried to address the issue of in/commensurability of these knowledge systems
  • Scientists draw from poetic imagination
  • There is some degree of clarity; mystery is always there (example of black hole)
  • Ecological knowing– this is somewhat unfinished project