re: Introduction

Tim A. Connor (
Mon, 9 Oct 1995 21:50:59 -0700 (PDT)


So the constructivist position would be that we must remain open to the
possibility that positivism may be "functional", but we can never know for
sure--except that if positivism is functional we could know for sure.
The following statement is true: the preceding statement is false?

There is something about this that reminds me vaguely of Godel's theorem
(which I don't claim to understand well enough to say more about).

Tim Connor

On Sat, 7 Oct 1995 wrote:

> In introducing himself to this group, John Salinger asks:
> >I note that most of you have your livelihoods affiliated with
> >Constructivism. Given that the Constructivist perspective is itself a
> >construct, I am curious to find out what advantages and handicaps this
> >worldview provides in your own lives? Of the two, the handicaps interest me
> >more. ie: In what context is the Constructivist position dysfunctional?
> >Anyone care to comment?
> Well, the obvious thing that should bother all constructivists no end
> (except, at times, Dorothy Rowe) is the self-referential incompleteness of
> the constructivist position, which is made explicit particularly in
> personal construct theory rather than any other of the
> constructivist/constructionist variants which I've (briefly and
> inadequately) investigated.
> Namely, George Kelly's notion of _constructive alternativism_, which
> suggests that, by definition, the constructivist should always be open to
> alternative constructions: which must logically include the position that
> positivism is functional and constructivism isn't.
> Oh, and that it may not be legitimate to say, (as it _is_ possible with
> positivism), that in constructivism we have
> >a true metatheory for understanding
> (a reference to a comment made by John Norton)
> The Boeotian paradox in another guise? Irritating, isn't it!
> Kindest regards,
> Devi Jankowicz