Re: Jung/PCP & preemption

(no name) ((no email))
Sat, 25 Feb 1995 15:49:36 -0500 (EST)

Rue, and other pcp network participants:

I had intended to bow out and let the rest of you carry on -- but I
must respond to some of your incisive comments, Rue and Desai.

I certainly see it as useful to be able to classify the general
foundational aspects of a theory. It gives us a "shorthand" for referring to
those ascpects of a theory. For that reason, I regard Pepper as one of our
great philopshers. He provided a superb category system. Certainly, when we
search out the assumptive groundings of particular theory's structures we will
have some difficulty in fitting them to ONE specific category of Pepper's
system. Pepper was aware of this difficulty when he noted things such as
"Organicism is Contextualism with the dispersiveness removed," or "Organicists
can readily slide into Formism." Our inability to slot a particular theory in
very neat ways is also reflected in my having suggested that I read Jung as a
Formist who slid into Mechanism, where Desai uses the categories contextualist/
Organicist. [Someone might try to figure out how that happened!!!]
Similarly, Botella and Gallifa, in the latest JPCP, note that most
analysts categorize Kelly -- using Pepper's categories -- as a contextualist;
but others -- notably Walter Crockett -- fits Kelly into the organicist
Such category systems help to frame our analysis of theories and their
contents. They help to alert us to places at which our own theory might reject
one or another constuction. Desai has referred, I gather, to Joe Rychlak's
category system -- also very useful for these purposes.

As for the matter of contrasting, and to where one might be led by such
an adventure: I am in TOTAL agreement with you when you indicate that such
contrasting should be conducted in order to shape our own theory -- our own
construction system. Indeed, anyone who wishes to classify himself as a
theorist should engage in contrast -- so that one uses his/her time well in
such exercises. Nothing firms my commitment to constructionism more than
reading the kind of pseudo-formism that underlies much of the trait theory
approaches to personality study (e. g., He/she IS aggressive.)
I think that I was voicing an objection to notions such as
"integrating," or "amalgamating" theories -- suggested by terms such as
"crossover." I have been saying that in my view efforts to "integrate" two
theories which one can class as fundamentally [on the basis of its fundamental
ontological and episteomological assumpitons] incompatible serves little

Again, perhaps this represents a long-time aversion I have had for
"eclecticism," which I identified during my graduate school years as a fancy
term designating a familiar barn-yard accessory. If one adopts a particular
construct from another theory one does so on a set of epistemological values
which he/she can identify. Such borrowing, as you suggest, creates a new

Enough -- I have some theory to create/apply!!!!

Jim Mancuso