Grand Unified Theory/Devi Jankowicz's reply

Don Munro (
Mon, 31 Oct 1994 16:21:28 +1100

Devi (and the whole PCP world)

Thanks for that long and considered (but with a sense of humour) reply, and
I'M SORRY I shouted (it was just a way in text to get replies to stand

In fact, I got into all this because I responded to someone who wanted to
talk about GUTs in Psychology. Generally, I agree that attempting to
provide a GUT is probably pie in the sky, but the kind of theory I had
developed in the paper I mentioned (really a meta-scientific theory) sort
of fits into that rubric. So I'm not taking the GUT idea very seriously,
but I do take seriously the notion that one can provide a framework on
which other theories can be hung, so that the relationships between
different specific local theories can be seen. I think my approach goes
some way to that. I think it can accommodate most of the things
psychologists talk about, from neuroscience to constructivist ideas such as
PCP, and is explicitly non-reductionist (I attack the Churchlands for their
amazingly arrogant reductionist ideas, for example). It uses the notion of
multiple levels of reality (not my idea, of course), which are seen as
incommensurable but all equally real; i.e., constructs are just as real as
neurones. However, the basis for all this is that we should not be
emphasising either neurones or constructs (or intelligence or any of the
other things which psychologists have reified), but _what is going on_;
i.e., it a theroy of processes.

If this whets your appetite, read on in Munro, D. (1992). Process vs
structure and levels of analysis in psychology: towards and integration
rather than reduction of theories. Theory & Psychology, 2, 109-127.

By the way, perhaps a better acronym would be GRUNTH?


Don Munro, Ph.D. |Telephone (Office Secretary)

Senior Lecturer and Head of Department |(049) 215935 Home (049) 264607
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"Full optimism is a lack of information. Full pessimism is a lack of
imagination". Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Melbourne, October 1994.