The Dream of Reality: Heinz von Foerster's Constructivism by Lynn SegalThe Dream of Reality: Heinz von Foerster's Constructivism by Lynn Segal

The Dream of Reality: Heinz von Foerster's Constructivism

byLynn Segal

Paperback | May 1, 2001

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What if there were no objective facts, no objective truth, no objectivity at all, only our belief in them? What if our consciousness itself is an unconscious invention, constructed out of logic and language? In this thought-provoking volume, Lynn Segal describes how the ideas of Heinz von Foerster compel us to explore the question, "Do we discover the world or do we invent it?" and suggests that we must first know how we think before we can claim knowledge of the world. The resulting philosophy, Constructivism, examines the limits of what we can know and argues that understanding these limits can lead us to be more responsible for our personal and collective behavior. After tracing the historical transition from religious belief to a belief in science, Segal examines objectivity from semantic, philosophical, and neurological perspectives. Segal shows that we can never achieve objectivity and that the scientific method ensures only a consensus among observers. Next, he details how language and logic unwittingly predetermine the very conclusions we derive when we try to know the world. Finally, he describes a computational model of cognition that does not depend on first positing the world to account for cognition and consciousness. While Constructivism may seem relevant only to those in the cognitive sciences, it is, in fact, highly relevant to everyone. Paradoxically, grasping the limits of our own under-standing can free us to live more creative and meaningful personal and professional lives.SOME PRAISE FOR THE PREVIOUS EDITION:¿Segal¿amicably succeed(s) in making rather profound insights seductively easy to read and in maintaining von Foerster¿s oratory flair¿¿¿JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION¿(a) richly provocative book¿¿¿JOURNAL OF MARITAL AND FAMILY THERAPY
Title:The Dream of Reality: Heinz von Foerster's ConstructivismFormat:PaperbackDimensions:184 pagesPublished:May 1, 2001Publisher:Springer New YorkLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:038795130X

ISBN - 13:9780387951300

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Heinz von Foester; Foreword by Paul Watzlawick; Preface; Introduction; 1. The Myth of Objectivity; 2. The Difficulties of Language; 3. Maturana and the Observer; 4. The Nervous System; 5. Computation; 6. Biocomputation; 7. Closure; Appendix: An Interview with Heinz von Foerster; Notes; Index.

Editorial Reviews

SOME PRAISE FOR THE PREVIOUS EDITION:"Segal.amicably succeed(s) in making rather profound insights seductively easy to read and in maintaining von Foerster's oratory flair."-JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION"(a) richly provocative book."-JOURNAL OF MARITAL AND FAMILY THERAPYFrom the reviews of the second edition:"Segal, a psychotherapist, initiated this work as a transcription of von Foerster's lecture material; but it evolved instead into interpretation of von Foerster's ideas in accessible language. . The appendix contains an interview with von Foerster himself. This second edition is essentially a reissue of the first . but it incorporates corrections and clarifications that von Foerster added to the German edition . ." (Reference & Research Book News, November, 2001)