Foundations of Science

, Volume 6, Issue 1–3, pp 31–43 | Cite as

The Radical Constructivist View of Science

  • Ernst von Glasersfeld


From the constructivist perspective, science cannot transcend thedomain of experience. Scientific theories are seen as models that helpto order and manage that domain. As the experiential field expands,models are replaced by others based on novel conceptual constructs. Thepaper suggests the substitution of ‘viability’ or ‘functional fit’ forthe notions of Truth and objective representation of anexperiencer-independent reality. This by-passes the sceptics'incontrovertible arguments against certain real-world knowledge andproposes the Piagetian conception of cognition as the function thatgenerates ways and means for dealing with the world of experience.

abduction (Peirce) abstractions experiential reality genetic epistemology reflection scientific method scientific models theory of knowledge 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernst von Glasersfeld
    • 1
  1. 1.Scientific Reasoning Research InstituteUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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