The common denominators of constructivist approaches can be summarized as follows.

Constructivist approaches question the Cartesian separation between the objective world and subjective experience; Consequently, they demand the inclusion of the observer in scientific explanations; Representationalism is rejected; knowledge is a system-related cognitive process rather than a mapping of an objective world onto subjective cognitive structures; According to constructivist approaches, it is futile to claim that knowledge approaches reality; reality is brought forth by the subject rather than passively received; Constructivist approaches entertain an agnostic relationship with reality, which is considered beyond our cognitive horizon; any reference to it should be refrained from; Therefore, the focus of research moves from the world that consists of matter to the world that consists of what matters; Constructivist approaches focus on self-referential and organizationally closed systems; such systems strive for control over their inputs rather than their outputs; With regard to scientific explanations, constructivist approaches favor a process-oriented approach rather than a substance-based perspective, e.g. living systems are defined by the processes whereby they constitute and maintain their own organization; Constructivist approaches emphasize the “individual as personal scientist” approach; sociality is defined as accommodation within the framework of social interaction; Finally, constructivist approaches ask for an open and less dogmatic approach to science in order to generate the flexibility that is needed to cope with today’s scientific frontiers.

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A quote saved on April 23, 2015.


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