re: Isness
Tue, 7 Feb 1995 22:48:54 +0000

In response to Bob Green's _fundamental_ question on "who's right?",
Jim Mancuso writes

>Who offers the RIGHT construction of his self role??? Wow.... not me,
>not you, not him. Now we have a real dilemma! How about not worrying about
>>who can offer the RIGHT definition? Why hestitate to regard it as a matter
>working from a construction which will fit the context? And why not set up a
>rule something like this -- "If you can't get six people to validate your self
>definition, in actual social interactions, we must keep you under supervision.
>When we come down to it, do we act on a rule something like this???

Why, yes; in practice, paradigms are "legitimised", and publicly shared
"knowledge" progressed, by consensus among a particular power-group of
scientists, "offical" or lay. (True of the positivists though they're shy
of admitting it, and true of us constructivists too.) Of itself, that's
unremarkable and not a problem.

The problem is always: who are the "six people" and what are their personal
motives and political stances in validating another's self-definitions;
whose interests are they serving? And remember, the clinician has no
privileged position as the person able to keep the other "under
supervision" (though, due deference to clinical experience, I guess you
guys have expertise regarding caring, that past experience suggests might
assist in the supervision); but that apart, you're just a _seventh person_
with, often, a bit more power, right?

That's why I'm happy to put up with the ontological inconsistency present
in pcp, of a theory whose existence as an alternative to other theories
immediately raises issues of "which is true?", while itself proclaiming
constructive _alternativism_. The alternativist property keeps me alert in
questioning my own motives when I'm "one of the six people"; and I
privately resolve the inconsistency by changing the "which is true?"
question to "which is most useful to a given purpose?": much what Jim said
when he stated:
>Why hestitate to regard it as a matter of working from a construction which
>>will fit the context?

But here I'm repeating stuff I posted earlier under the Grand Universal
Theory thread, and so enuff, goodnight!

Kindest regards,

Devi Jankowicz