Constructivisms from a Genetic Point of View: A Critical Classification of Current Tendencies

  • José Carlos SánchezEmail author
  • José Carlos Loredo


In this paper, we propose a critical classification of contemporary constructivist orientations. Our fundamental theoretical reference is the notion of genesis, understood as the construction of reality in a way that is neither relativist nor positivist-realist. We identify a nucleus of classic, genetic constructivism that revolves around the ideas of Baldwin, Piaget and Vygotsky and discuss two tendencies that distort the spirit of that nucleus: objectivism and subjectivism. Objectivism rules out the psychological, constructive activity of the subject, subordinating (or just reducing) it to objective structures either from nature (like genetic endowment or neural functioning), or from culture (like language or social practices). Subjectivism completely detaches the objectivity of knowledge from its construction on the part of the subject, reducing it to the mere product of individual interest, view, or irrationality. Thus, subjectivism is the non-constructive way to conceive the subject. Then, we attempt to show the dialectics that exists between these two tendencies and the scope of our criteria by analysing a representative (non exhaustive) group of authors who are defined as constructivists or who bring important elements to the debate about constructivism.


Constructivism Co-constructivism Constructionism Objectivism Subjectivism Genetic Psychology 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de PsicologíaUniversidad de OviedoOviedoSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de PsicologíaUNEDMadridSpain

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