re: Introduction

W Ramsay (
Mon, 16 Oct 1995 08:34:40 +0100

>>> There are almost certainly some truths whose statements are so=
>>>that no human being could grasp them in full detail, and the Godel
>>>sentences would probably fall into that category.=20
>>>Jack Adams-Webber Tel: 905 (688) 5544 [x=
>>Given the length, vigour and lack of conclusions (yet) from this=
>>where does that leave the Fundamental Postulate?
>>(Serious question. Honest!)
>I cannot think of a short answer; however, for a long one, try the=
>Mancuso, J.C. & Adams-Webber, J. (1982). Anticipation as a constructive
>process: The fundamnetal postulate. In J.C. Mancuso & J. Adams-Webber
>(Eds.), The construing person (pp. 8-32). New York: Praeger.
>Jack Adams-Webber Tel: 905 (688) 5544 [x=

Come on, Jack, you can't kid me! You wrote that before you knew the=

Seriously, the Fundamental Postulate may qualify in your terms. First, it's=
complicated in the sense that, at the risk of annoying the keepers of the=20
flame (pun originally unintentional, but reconstrued as deliberate) it's one=
of the most obscure utterances in psychology. It's also regarded as one of=
the great truths and has, in some domains, acquired the status of a mantra=

Some of the obscurity is due in part to its being so elliptical, and the=20
consequence is a set of underpinning propositions which either form a=20
self-consistent system (regarded as one of PCP's great strengths, and=20
subject to continuing attempts to extend it) or they don't. If they don't,=
then nothing more to say - mantra rules! If they do, then, taking a=20
G=F6delian stance, it may be that it is effectively impossible to make any=
profound statement about human psychology that isn't simply an article of=20
faith. This is as true of positivism as of PCP, so that making any=20
comparison between them begins to look more and more questionable as a=20
search for illumination.

In this respect I'm intrigued that in another posting received this a.m.=20
Suzanne Huffman uses "coherence" as a criterion for judgment between=20
narratives. The construing of coherence may be vital in sorting out those=
aspects of science, psychology in particular, that are already in the G=F6de=
Trap from those that sre still wandering around unaware of its existence so=
to speak, and settling the question outlined above - if it can be settled,=
of course.



Bill ramsay,
Dept. of Educational Studies,
University of Strathclyde,
Jordanhill Campus,
G13 1PP,

'phone: +44 (0)141 950 3364
'fax: +44 (0)141 950 3367=20