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Radical Constructivism = Second-order Cybernetics

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The purpose of this paper is to give evidence to support the idea that second-order cybernetics and radical constructivism are 'opposite sides of the same coin.' Although this has long been asserted, especially by second-order cyberneticians, I am unaware of any attempt to demonstrate this point by rigorous argument, at least in English. The paper is developed by listing each of the seven core concepts of radical constructivism as stated by Ernst von Glasersfeld, and exemplifying these points with evidence taken from second-order cybernetics. Along the way, there is a sub- theme of the development of cybernetics and the difference between first and second-order cybernetics. The paper concludes with a similar list of the core points of second-order cybernetics, and an invitation for researchers to carry out a similar analysis by placing radical constructivist evidence under these headings.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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