re: Children construing: observing
Sat, 12 Nov 1994 23:27:06 +0000

Hi all,

In message id no. <01HJBFNYXYKY90O98P@albnyvms.BITNET>, Jim Mancuso writes

>Devi, and other PCP networkers:
> You cite Kelly's claim that the world "does exist out there,"
>as many commentators do, in an effort to suggest that he was a "closet

Of course, Jim's trying to wind me up. The point is the second bit of my
quote from Kelly, which asserts that the "world of experience is _equally_
real", viz., no less _and no more_.

It's the exercise in which we map experience onto the phenomenal flow which
is important, and forms the basis for Kelly's fundamental postulate and
first corollary in particular- from which all else that is Kellian follows.
In other words, as Jim says,

> Reading farther down the page, we see that Kelly lays out an
>interesting argument, something to the effect that "even if we did find
>a way to 'discover' truth, and we did convince ourselves that we had found
>it, how could we assure that wily truth didn't go and change itself the
>very moment after we have discovered it????"

Yup. "The truth" is just another word for what I call the "mapping", as
agreed by a sufficient consensus of other people who share a particular
explanatory purpose. And so, _of course_ "truth" is constantly changing,
because the mapping is changing, and for one of two reasons: either
phenomena change, or our understanding of them changes.

Final point. Notice that I talk about "the phenomenal flow", not about
"events" or "events out there". An "event" represents a decision by an
observer to recognise a meaningful start and finish to a segment of the
phenomenal field; it doesn't exist independently of us,(even in traditional
positivist explanations, as everyone who has studied classical perception
from Wundt onwards will, when they think about it, have to concede).

We take out our perceptual scissors and snip out a start and a finish, a
meaningful segment from the phenomenal flow, which we then choose to call
"an event". Bennet J. _Events and their Names_ Oxford: Clarendon Press 1989
is good on this, though not necessarily agreeing with all the Kellian
implications which I educe.


Devi Jankowicz