Lies, Contradictions and the Compass Grid
Tue, 27 Feb 1996 10:42:06 -0500
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The notion of "personal truth" is of course central to personal construc=
theory but it is also a central concern of relativism and of sophistry. I=
believe that there are many personal views that are truthful and that the=
perspectives of truth converge when the details are made explicit- that i=
long as the person is not simply speaking in error or lyingand lableing t=
"personal truths". It is a form of equivocation to refer to such personal=

truths(lies) as truth. Kelly expressed a similar view when he said that h=
believed the world to be integral (p.6 PPC). The essence of the Socratic
Method (in principle) is that the elaboration of personal constructs lead=
s to
a coherent consensus. Consensus on it own is not enough. As Kelly puts it=
there should be a substantival monis (p.17 PPC). The truth is not a matte=
r of
mob democracy, although the bandwagon may appear to operate on these term=
as a means of fueling the need for tyranny( See Plato's Republic). The
Socratic Method assumes that the parties are sincere and successful in
getting at the fundamental assumptions and facts- as does Kelly's science=
=2E =

Relativism seems to be a modern form of sophistry. I suspect that some or=

perhaps many folks are attracted to PCP out of a personal investment in
relativism. Its a form of extreme loosening in the face of threat. Truth =
what ever they say it is. Of course, as with many clinical psychologists =
collect money for diagnosing clients and fame by undermining the scientif=
endeavor through diagnosing their detractors( p.s. Bob, I know the lies
concerning Finn), the final weight of truth rests with who has got the
license and the pull among the folks who own the journals, etc. One wond=
if relativists consider themselves absolutely relative, relatively relati=
or what? But of course thats only a matter of logic and probably of littl=
interest to people who believe its ok to say "I always lie."- so long as =
is a "personal construction." =

The correspondence theory of truth is widely held among scientists and it=

appears to suggest that theories are true when they are logically consist=
and predict/explain events that are observable in some sense. Now most
educated people know that we can not prove anything with science and that=
is essentially an endeavor of reasonable faith in correspondence with
observation. If one is creative, leaves no stone unturned and respects an=
resolves the threat of inconsistencies, then things start to add up. But=

sometimes when the truth does not add up to the autistic whims or more
sinister machinations of Machiavellians, violence happens. The sophists
killed Socrates (the Gadfly) because of his sensitivity to inconsistencie=
and to the suppression of facts and ideas beneath various stones.
Bob, you and I know bad things have been swept under carpets in the PCP
arena. Real people have been hurt. Real families have suffered. We know =
if it was not for the net that I would be sitting in the isolation I have=

endured for the past ten years. I remember my former attempts to correspo=
with you and Franz and Al and Greg and Mildred and Steve and others, very=

clearly. Do not be foolish enough to believe that I can not manage a
philosophical peeing contest with you, nor that I am weak enough to igno=
the "personal" costs to people who are "personally" forced to either lie =
to drink the bandwagon's hemlock. I am speaking sincerely when I say that=
do not wish to destroy you or anyone else. But the lies are going to stop=
PCP or by God as long as I can afford America Online, there will be eithe=
respect for truth or there will be war. I agree with Plato, tyrrany has
sinned enough against philosophy. I won't go down easy any more.
Now that I, at least, have "defined my terms", let us speak as men of ho=
The major problem with science is that it tends to affirm the consequent.=

Rychlak has discussed this problem at length. Science is a form of reason=
faith. I have wrestled with this problem with regard to its implications =
grid research for a long time. The central problem is sampling. Unless we=

sample from the persons entire domain of elements, we cannot free ourselv=
from the claim - should any inconsistency emerge- that the person simply =
not make something that was always implicit explicit. This ability of peo=
to resort to real or unreal "further explanation" is the reason I ask
people to rank the similarity of constructs directly to one another in te=
of general similarity on the coordinate grid. By asking for direct
comparisons according to GENERAL SIMILARITY, we avoid the problem of an
insufficient sampling of elements. The person is asked to sample everythi=
in his Personal Construction.This avoids the problems encountered with th=
Slade and Sheehan approach to logical consistency via "traditional" grids=
=2E =

Given that we invite the person to make general statements and take them=
their word that they are doing this, then the social game or encounter o=
what ever, supports our right to expect the person to be consistent. If=
is not, then he is either ignorant of his own constructions or is lying o=
both. Inconsistency is a violation of the identity principle.It is violen=
and when it is elaborted socially , people get hurt. If one is honest and=

knowlegeable, and if one makes general statements concerning the similari=
of constructs/figures, then the similarities between these similarities
should add up from many angles. In doing so, implicit constructions will=

support explicit constructions. This is the essence of the coordinate gri=
measure- which has been around since 1980 and totally ignored by the band=

Now, Bob, you asked for my opinion on grids. I have expressed a number =
views over the net and in a few dozen journal articles that have been
completely ignored while methods that amount to little more than statisti=
free association have been used as coattails to fame, at the expense of
science and the poor patients who have had to endure the superstitious gr=
analyses . What do you think of the coordinate grid measure of logical
consistency? Do liars contadict themselves- eventually- as it is assumed=
the Socratic Method? What would Popper say about the relativists tolera=
of contradiction? Did you color the cells in the mandala grid? Did you se=
the nonhierachical nature of integratively complex truth?
Consider the following coordinate grid: =

The Compass Grid
North 1 2.5 4.5 6.5 8 6.5 4.5 2.5
Northeast 2.5 1 2.5 4.5 6.5 8 6.5 4.5
East 4.5 2.5 1 2.5 4.5 6.5 8 6.5
Southeast 6.5 4.5 2.5 1 2.5 4.5 6.5 8
South 8 6.5 4.5 2.5 1 2.5 4.5 6.5
Southwest 6.5 8 6.5 4.5 2.5 1 2.5 4.5
West 4.5 6.5 8 6.5 4.5 2.5 1 2.5
Northwest 2.5 4.5 6.5 8 6.5 4.5 2.5 1
These ranks are logical and integratively complex. Use the multile group=

factor analysis procedure in Circumgrids to make North the first factor a=
East the Second. The compass Rose will appear when you plot the loadings.=

Circumgrids uses the turbo pascal numerical toolbox eigenvector solutions=
does not handle positive-definite matrices well. Factor the above with SP=
and the Compass Rose will emerge.
Now- on the first row of the compass grid, change the rank for NE from 2=
to 8 and make the rank for South 2.5 instead of 8. In doing so we build a=

contradition into the data. The logical consistency of the matrix will
consequently drop. Recall that logical consistency is derived by ranking =
correlations across each row and comparing these implicit ranks with the
orginal grid (explicit) ranks. =

Next. Ask some one to tell lies half of the time when completing a compas=
grid.The logic will drop. That leaves the case of someone who is a comple=
liar. They could tell a consistent lie. A solution- although not a compl=
one- is to get such a person to do a bigger coordinate grid,i.e. to play =
gadfly. If you get a liar to talk enough, the contradictions emerge. We m=
conclude by saying that lies and contradictions make us loss our sense of=

direction. What do you think Bob? What do other folks think? Shall my w=
be dismissed again with a sophomoric diagnosis? Is their room for scienc=
e as
reasonble faith in PCP? =

Bill Chambers