Re: Classical romance

Gwyneth Daniel (
Sat, 17 Feb 1996 18:41:51 +0000 (GMT)

I've watched on the side lines and had a short exchange with Bob Neimeyer
on this discussion having reminded myself of what Kelly wrote in his 1955
book on the psychological space. The chapter was intended for clinicians,
as he so clearly says and includes a mathematical exploration of how to
set about looking at it, but he introduces the concept of 'psychological
space' by describing how it is to do with the 'fabric of society'. Later
in the chapter (I do not have it here so can't give references) he goes
into how our interactions with others differ, constructs along with them,
depending on who we are with.

When I rehearse ideas like these, written down so clearly in the original
text, I find it not hard at all to see both social constructionist
notions and Kellyan ideas as part of a view point which subsumes them
both. Coming to Kelly as I have done after half a century of messing
around with other ideas, it seems abundantly obvious to me that his 1955
was a teaching book, a missionary document, with conversion as its
purpose, intended too as a framework for clinicians. The richness of ideas
which run like threads of gold through the text is quite incredible to a
newcomer. I've often thought that if we took out and held up for public
examination, rather than the fundamentals, the poetic, romantic too
if you like, notions that Kelly slipped in here and there (like 'riding
the darting moment'), we might have a stronger basis from which to argue,
as some of us do, that PCT is not incompatible with or inconsistent with
social constructionism and that Kelly's exposition of it has the power of
psychoanalytic notions which have received a great deal of literary

I wonder too if 'levels of analysis' is what this is about. I've used the
metaphor of the seeing eye in thinking about this myself. Where do you
place the camera?

Gwyneth Daniel
University of Reading