Certainty of Uncertainty (häftad)
Häftad (Paperback / softback)
Antal sidor
Imprint Academic
Alison Koeck, Wolfram Koeck
210 x 135 x 15 mm
300 g
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Certainty of Uncertainty

Dialogues Introducing Constructivism

Häftad,  Engelska, 2004-02-01
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Nothing that can be said is independent of us. Whatever can be said is coloured by our dreams and aspirations, by the way our brain works, by human nature and human culture. Whoever claims to know or to observe is - according to the central constructivist assumption - inescapably biased. This book presents the views of the founders of constructivism and modern systems theory, who are still providing stimulating cues for international scientific debate. The conversations of Heinz von Foerster, Ernst von Glasersfeld, Humberto R. Maturana, Francisco J. Varela, Gerhard Roth, Siegfried J. Schmidt, Helm Stierlin, and Paul Watzlawick with Bernhard Poerksen, display a kind of thinking that steers clear of rigid fixation and reveals the ideal of objectivity to be a myth. The conversations turn on the results of brain research, the breaks through of cybernetics, the linguistic determination of thought, and the intrinsic connection between epistemology and ethical practice. Throughout, the central figure of the observer is examined with sophisticated wit and just enough irritating grit to create the pearl in the oyster. Constructivism thus emerges as a philosophy of possibilities that keeps generating new points of view, insists on fundamental scepticism with regard to certainties and dogmas, and provides the foundation for an ethics of perception: Each and every one of us is responsible for their view of things.
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Recensioner i media

"If you are fairly well acquainted with the persons Poerksen has chosen as his cooperators, the book will give you the pleasure of revisiting - seeing the old horses doing their well-known tricks in the ring. And if you are not, these dialogues give a wonderful introduction to the themes and problems of constructivism." -- Ole Thyseen * Cybernetics and Human Knowing * "Fertile with philosophical discussion... The Certainty of Uncertainty introduces us to a breadth of debate and unpacks for us the paradoxes that acknowledging the observer might result." -- Aparna Sharma * Leonardo *

Övrig information

Bernhard Poerksen, *1969, is professor of media studies at the University of Tubingen, Germany. His research projects analyse the styles of impression and image management in politics and the media, he regularly contributes comments on current affairs and debates to newspapers, radio, and television. The book he wrote in 1998 with the physicist Heinz von Foerster about the truth in perception (Truth is the Invention of a Liar) became a bestseller and is now considered a classic of systemic thought. In 2008 Bernhard Poerksen was honoured for the quality of his teaching and chosen "Professor of the Year".


Preface 1 At each and every moment I can decide who I am Heinz von Foerster on the observer, on dialogical living, and on a constructivist philosophy of distinctions 2 We can never know what goes on in somebody else's head Ernst von Glasersfeld on truth and viability, language and knowledge, and the premises of constructivist education 3 The knowledge of knowledge entails responsibility Humberto R. Maturana on truth and oppression, structure determinism and dictatorship, and the autopoiesis of living 4 Truth is what works Francisco J. Varela on cognitive science, Buddhism, the inseparability of subject and object, and the exaggerations of constructivism 5 We are constructs ourselves Gerhard Roth on the creation of reality in the brain, on a reality independent from human consciousness, and on the relationship between neurobiology and philosophy 6 We can never start from scratch Siegfried J. Schmidt on individuals and society, on the reality of the media, and on the constructivist conception of empirical knowledge 7 The freedom to venture into the unknown Helm Stierlin on guilt and responsibility in systemic and constructivist thought, on the dialectical nature of human relations, and on the ethos of the therapist 8 Reality: we can only know what it is not Paul Watzlawick on the axioms of communication, on the hidden realism of psychiatric diagnoses, and on the constructivist vision of human existence