The Life & Mind Seminar Network

Ernst von Glasersfeld has passed away

Posted in General by Tom Froese on November 16, 2010

Ernst von Glasersfeld, founder of the radical constructivism movement, has died 3 days ago on the 12th of November.

His homepage has been transformed into a repository of his research, and the latest issue of the journal Constructivist Foundations is dedicated to his memory and his work. Coincidentally, the latest issue, which came out today, is a special issue entitled “Can Radical Constructivism Become a Mainstream Endeavor?”

There are many affinities between radical constructivism and the interests of the Life and Mind group (some going back to the original work of Maturana and Varela), though there are also some significant differences (see, e.g., the contribution by Maggie Boden or a previous commentary by Ezequiel Di Paolo).

Ernst von Glasersfeld will surely be missed, especially now that a variety of constructivist-like approaches are making themselves heard in the cognitive sciences. It is now up to us to determine how his radical constructivism can contribute to these modern variants, and whether they can be reconciled into a shared framework or if they will remain parallel endeavors with sympathetic yet distinct communities of researchers.

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