Re: PCP and Analytical Psychology

(no name) ((no email))
Thu, 23 Feb 1995 10:13:52 -0500 (EST)

Dusan and other PCP networkers:

Welcome, Dusan. You wrote:

< Renos and late Don Bannister were supposed to write down an article examinin
< similarities of Jungian and Kelly's approach, but Don's death put an end to it.
< There is also an interesting book titled "Yung as constructivist" by Polly
< Eisendrath and somebody else, which is presenting Yung's ideas in the light of
< contemporary constructivists, such as Maturana, von Glaserfeld and von
< Foersters, among the others. If you can not make a proper conntact or trace the
< refference, do conntact me, David.
Dusan Stojnov
Psyc. Department,
University of Belgrade

If I may say so (with no intent to tarnish Don Bannister's highly
deserving reputation -- consider these comments to be relevant to those of us
who are still working at PCP), I am somewhat baffled by these efforts (1) to
claim that Jung was "one of us," and (2) to take the trouble to discuss
cross-over of these theoretical positions.
I imagine that some of my reaction might be explained by reference to
my history both as a PCP afficianado since 1958, when I first read Kelly's
PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONAL CONSTRUCTS, and (2) my experiences as a strong opponent
to the USA follies in Vietnam. These experiences are related through my
observations of a social phenomenon -- which might be explained by
an interested PCP worker.
During the early years of my involvement with PCP I found myself quite
impatient with the strong move to stimulus response associationism which
occurred during the 60s. Whenever I would try to study that material I would
find myself picking gaping holes in the theorizing, and wondering why the
writers of the material could not have seen those same holes. I knew that
constructivism was around, and figured that they also should know it. I recall
one speaker who came to University at Albany campus to speak of "memory;"
strictly in terms of those awful "learning lists." In the question and answer
period I asked him something about the relationship of his work to that of
Frederick Bartlett's. Without one bit of shame, he responded that he didn't
know Bartlett's work!
Similarly, during the Vietnam escapade, I found myself quite unable to
understand how anyone who would analyze the situation, particularly in terms of
the overtly professed ideologies which the USA claimed that it would defend,
could endorse the activity of the USA government.

The social phenomena to which I refer is that of giving extra special
honor to those who make a conversion. After the protests against the Vietnam
folly began to succeed in exposing that folly, a rash of converts appeared --
and they were given more honor among the protesters than were those who had
protested from the very start.
Similarly, we now see the converts to constructivism given a special
I know that this phenomena is as old as the new testament story of the
prodigal son. There have been social psych studies of the phenomena. If I
remember the results of those studies, they showed that people believed that a
convert had thought through his/her position, and having arrived at his current
position, he is regarded as having greater grounds for the strength of his/her
current postion. {Quite insulting to those who held the position in the first
place.} How would we discuss this in PCP terms -- commonality corollary,
sociality corollary???

I note James Jenkins' fascinating article, REMEMBER THAT OLD THEORY
OF REMEMBERING, WELL, FORGET IT. In the article he said something like, "I
wrote something like 117 articles in support of a stimulus association theory
of memory -- and they all were misguided." Thereafter, he worked over a more
constructionist theory of memory processes. I was impressed by his ability to
offer his apologies.

Perhaps if Jung had lived long enough he might have written a similar
article. But, he chose the biological realism of his era over the social
constructionism of Pirandello [who knew something about constructionism].
Thus, I see little reason to devote any effort to save him from the
oblivion he might merit as the history of thought evolves; and I doubt if
showing his work's relationships to constructionism will do more for
constructionism than to make the rather weak claim, "See, he REALLY was one of

Jim Mancuso.