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Constructictivist Foudautions 3

Constructictivist Foudautions 3

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An interdisciplinary journal
Date of publication: July 2006

Humberto Maturana Self-consciousness: How? When? Where?
Ranulph Glanville Construction and Design
Markus Peschl Modes of Knowing and Modes of Coming to Know:

Knowledge Creation and Co-Construction as
Socio-Epistemological Engineering in Educational Processes
Wai-lap Wong, David Watkins & Ngai-ying Wong Cognitive and
Affective Outcomes of Person\u2013Environment Fit to a Critical
Constructivist Learning Environment: A Hong Kong Investigation
Book reviews
Konstruktivismus und P\u00e4dagogik by Holger Lindemann
Non-dualistische Medientheorie by Stefan Weber
Advisory Board
William Clancey
NASA Ames Research Center, USA
Ranulph Glanville
CybernEthics Research, UK
Ernst von Glasersfeld
University of Massachusetts, USA
Vincent Kenny
Inst. of Constructivist Psychology, Italy
Klaus Krippendorff
University of Pennsylvania, USA
Humberto Maturana
Institute Matr\u00edztica, Chile
Josef Mitterer
University of Klagenfurt, Austria
Karl M\u00fcller
Wisdom, Austria
Bernhard P\u00f6rksen
University of Hamburg, Germany
Gebhard Rusch
University of Siegen, Germany
Siegfried J. Schmidt
University of M\u00fcnster, Germany
Bernard Scott
Cranfield University, UK
Sverre Sj\u00f6lander
Link\u00f6ping University, Sweden
Stuart Umpleby
George Washington University, USA
Terry Winograd
Stanford University, USA
Alexander Riegler
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Editorial Board
Pille Bunnell
Royal Roads University, Canada
Olaf Diettrich
Center Leo Apostel, Belgium
Dewey Dykstra
Boise State University, USA
Stefano Franchi
University of Auckland, New Zealand
Timo Honkela
Helsinki Univ. of Technology, Finland
Theo Hug
University of Innsbruck, Austria
Urban Kordes
Institut Jozef Stefan, Slovenia
Albert M\u00fcller
University of Vienna, Austria
Herbert F. J. M\u00fcller
McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Markus Peschl
University of Vienna, Austria
Bernd Porr
University of Glasgow, UK
John Stewart
Univ. de Technologie de Compi\u00e8gne, France
Wolfgang Winter
Univ. of Cooperative Education, Germany
Tom Ziemke
University of Sk\u00f6vde, Sweden
Constructivist Foundations (CF) is an independent academic peer-reviewed e-journal without

commercial interests. Its aim is to promote scientific foundations and applications of
constructivist sciences, to weed out pseudoscientific claims and to base constructivist sciences
on sound scientific foundations, which do not equal the scientific method with objectivist

claims. The journal is concerned with the interdisciplinary study of all forms of constructivist sciences, especially radical constructivism, cybersemiotics, enactive cognitive science, epistemic structuring of experience, non-dualism, second order cybernetics, the theory of autopoietic systems, etc.

The basic motivation behind the journal is to make peer-reviewed constructivist papers
available to the academic audience free of charge. The\u201cconstructive\u201d character of the

journal refers to the fact that the journal publishes actual work in constructivist sciences
rather than work that argues for the importance or need for constructivism. The journal is
open to (provocative) new ideas that fall within the scope of constructivist approaches and
encourages critical academic submissions to help sharpen the position of constructivist

The common denominator of constructivist approaches can be summarized as follows.
\u2022 Constructivist approaches question the Cartesian separation between objective world
and subjective experience;
\u2022 Consequently, they demand the inclusion of the observer in scientific explanations;
\u2022 Representationalism is rejected; knowledge is a system-related cognitive process rather
than a mapping of an objective world onto subjective cognitive structures;
\u2022 According to constructivist approaches, it is futile to claim that knowledge approaches
reality; reality is brought forth by the subject rather than passively received;
\u2022 Constructivist approaches entertain an agnostic relationship with reality, which is
considered beyond our cognitive horizon; any reference to it should be refrained from;
\u2022 Therefore, the focus of research moves from the world that consists of matter to the
world that consists of what matters;
\u2022 Constructivist approaches focus on self-referential and organizationally closed systems;
such systems strive for control over their inputs rather than their outputs;

\u2022 With regard to scientific explanations, constructivist approaches favor a process-oriented
approach rather than a substance-based perspective, e.g. living systems are defined by
processes whereby they constitute and maintain their own organization;

\u2022 Constructivist approaches emphasize the \u201cindividual as personal scientist\u201d approach;
sociality is defined as accommodating within the framework of social interaction;
\u2022 Finally, constructivist approaches ask for an open and less dogmatic approach to science
in order to generate the flexibility that is needed to cope with today\u2019s scientific frontier.
Language: Papers must be written in English. If English is a foreign language for you please let
the text be proofread by an English native speaker.
Copyright: With the exception of reprints of \u201cclassical\u201d articles, all papers are \u201coriginal work,\u201d
i.e., they must not have been published elsewhere before nor must they be the revised

version (changes amount to less than 25% of the original) of a published work. However,
the copyright remains with the author and is licensed under a Creative Commons

Author\u2019s guidelines at http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/guideline.pdf
Send all material to Alexander Riegler ariegler@vub.ac.be.
Important: Use \u201cConstructivist Foundations\u201d in the \u201cSubject:\u201d field.
For more information please visit the journal\u2019s website at

The quality of a journal can only be maintained by thoughtful, careful, and constructive
reviewing of both board members and external reviewers. We thank the followingexternal
reviewers for taking the time to review manuscripts submitted to Constructivist Foundations

Volume 1: Giancarlo Corsi, Stephen Gage, Peter G\u00e4rdenfors, Louis Kauffman, Klaus
Kornwachs, Alvaro Moreno, Paul Pangaro, David A. Reid, and Jean Paul Van Bendegem.
Moose Surprised in Thicket by Stafford Beer. Oil on stretched canvas (24"/18"), 1982.
With kind permission of Allenna Leonard. Copyright: Cwarel Isaf Institute.
Constructivist Foundations 2006, vol. 1, no. 3
How? When? Where?

We human beings \ufb01nd ourselves doing what- ever we may be doing (like asking this ques- tion) when we ask ourselves about what we do. The form of the question that we ask determines the operational and relational domains in which we want an answer. The form of the question that a listener hears determines the operational and relational domains in which he or she wants to hear an answer. The operational and relational domains in which our living occurs at any instant changes in the \ufb02ow of our living as our living changes, and as our living changes our listening changes according to what is hap- pening in our living. Thus, we may begin ask- ing a question in a particular relational domain, but as, in the \ufb02ow of our living, our listening changes, we may end by accepting an answer in a different relational domain, with- out even becoming aware of the change. It is to avoid this sort of confusion that I take spe- cial care in showing explicitly the relational domain in which I think the experiences which are lived or are connoted when we speak ofknow ing and ofs elf-cons c iousness occur. Indeed, it is to avoid this sort of confu- sion that I am always careful to make explicit what kind of answers I shall propose or I shall accept in relation to questions that deal with what is connoted when we speak ofcog nit ion ,

consciousnessand self-consciousness.
We human beings
in the present

We human beings operate as self-conscious beings when we re\ufb02ect on our living and on the kind of living that we live. Self-consciousness is a fundamental aspect of our operation as human beings because it is self-consciousness that constitutes our operation in awareness of what we do and of our possibility to choose both what kind of world we want to live, and of what we want do with ourselves and with oth- ers as we live the world we chose. We modern human beings do all that we do, even if we are not aware of this, as self-conscious beings. We use the words or notions ofconsc iousness and

self-consciousness in our western culture,

whether in the domains of science, philosophy, art or daily life, under a fundamental episte- mological attitude in which we implicitly or explicitly act as if they referred to some emer- gent property of the operation of the brain, or to some essential feature of the cosmos, or even to some intrinsic property of matter.

Notwithstanding this, with our present way of thinking, the manner or the manners in which the experiences that we wish to connote or evoke with the expressions \u201cconsciousness\u201d and \u201cself-consciousness\u201d emerge, happen or operate in the \ufb02ow of our living seem to elude our understanding. We cannot show them to be features of the operation of the brain, or prop-

erties of the matter or of the different forms of
energy that compose us and/or the cosmos.

As molecular autopoietic systems, human beings are structure-determined entities. That is, we human beings are systems such that any external agent that impinges upon us does not specify what happens in us, it only triggers in us some structural changes totally determined in our structural dynamics. All that happens with, to or in a structure-determined system arises at every moment determined in it by its structural dynamics of that moment. This means that any external agent that may impinge upon a structure-determined system can only operate by triggering in the structur- aldetermined system structural changes that it does not and indeed cannot specify.

A living system as a molecular autopoietic system exists as a dynamic molecular architec- ture operationally closed upon itself that as a closed network of molecular productions exists in a \ufb02ow of continuous changes deter- mined by its own dynamics, or triggered by its encounters with the molecular medium in which it operates as a totality and is thus real- ized as an organism. The part of the medium in which a living system exists as an organism, and in which as an organism it operates at every instant as a totality, is itsniche . The niche acts as it encounters the organism in relation to which it exists, as an operational locality of the dynamic matrix of architectural molecular processes of the extended molecular network in which the organism occurs, and which we generally call the medium. That is, the niche is that part of the medium that moment after moment remains in operational congruence with the living system as this interacts as a totality (as an organism) with the medium. In these circumstances the organism realizes and conserves its living as long as its recursive inter- actions with the medium result in structural changes in the organism and medium which continuously conserve the dynamic architec- tural unity organism\u2013niche that conserves the autopoisis of the living system.

Humberto Maturana Romes\u00ednAInstituto de Formaci\u00f3n Matr\u00edztica, info@matriztica.org
biology of cognition
Purpose: To show how is it that that which we connote with notions of self and conscious-
ness are configurations of sensorialities that arise in the flow of our living in recursive coor-
dinations of doings which eventually they guide, and not entities independent of our doings.
Approach: Following the consequences of our condition of structure determined systems
that do not distinguish in the experience whether what they live is a perception or an illusion.
Findings: That we human beings occur as relational dynamics of recursive coordinations
of feelings in which self and consciousness occur as configurations of sensorialities in the
evanescent continuous present of the the changing flow of our living which they also guide.
Practical Implications: Thinking, acting and reflecting in the awareness that self and con-
sciousness are not physical entities or properties.
Key words: Self, consciousness, self-consciousness, language, human beings.

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