Confronting Epistemic Semi-Determinism: How To Change Knowledge and Perception Structures From a Radical Constructivist Perspective

Publikation: AbschlussarbeitMasterarbeit


Inspired by the concepts of theory-ladenness and Thomas Kuhn's paradigm shift, this thesis addresses the question of how we can deliberately change the way we perceive the world to subsequently create new knowledge. Radical constructivism serves as the theoretical foundation. It is a position in epistemology, claiming that the world itself does not yield objective meaning which is passively mapped to our minds but that we actively construct knowledge to bring forth an experiential reality; a meaningful world only exists inside our heads. Thus, what we know about the world makes us perceive it, and what we perceive is fitted into existing models and conceptions. This relation is labelled as epistemic semi-determinism; the prefix semi implies that this determinism is not deterministic in a strict philosophical sense and that we are furthermore free to alter the conceptions we have about the world. Building on the theoretical foundations of radical constructivism, it will be investigated how we can alter our internal conception of the world and confront epistemic semi-determinism. It will be argued that by changing knowledge and perception structures, we can create a new understanding of the world. Subsequently, appropriate strategies will be derived to then develop a toolkit which provides tools that allow for changing knowledge and perception structures. Three strategies are developed for changing knowledge structures, and three strategies are developed that allow for changing perception structures. A total number of thirty tools are introduced that allow for confronting epistemic semi-determinism and thereby, facilitate the construction of new knowledge about the world. The tools are synthesized from various research fields, such as Design Thinking, creativity research, and from findings in psychology, neuroscience and organizational science.
Gradverleihende Hochschule
  • Universität Wien
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2015

Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)

  • 502014 Innovationsforschung
  • 501026 Wahrnehmungspsychologie
  • 501011 Kognitionspsychologie