Recent discussions

F. Reid Creech (
Wed, 28 Feb 1996 20:06:04 -0800 (PST)

Dear pcp-ers:

I want to thank all of you who have assisted me in my requests for ideas,
comments, suggestions, and criticism over the past three months. They
have been most useful, and have enabled my research to move forward.

Let me first proffer my own ignorance: I know almost nothing of
constructivism as I am a methodologist/technician, rather than a
theorist. However, my lurking (which is more extensive than my postings)
has raised two concerns.

First, I note that much bandwidth is being used to debate ideas with
undefined terms, shifting concepts going under similar labels. For
example, I understand "truth" to be an attribute of _statements_, not of
objects and events in a world we cannot prove to even exist (cogito ergo
sum cannot demonstrate that _you_ exist, only that _I_ exist, and many do
not even believe this to be a sound argument). If you accept my premise,
then the issue of my "true self" is an invalid idea apart from the
consideration of whether a statement, such as, "This is my true self" is
itself accurate. It is possible, of course, to specifically define the
term, "true self" in more mechanistic, specific, and operational ways,
but I have not been observing such phenomena in the email on the pcp
network. The result is that the term "real" has been used with many
different definitions/interpretations so that arguments are among apples,
oranges and pears.

Related are the recent discussions on "lies." My working definition of a
"lie" involves the _deliberate and conscious intention_ to decieve
another. This has recently been expressed in similar terms by others on
the pcp net. But I emphasize the three components: deliberate,
conscious, intentional, followed by the overarching notion of intending
to deceive. You may or may not accept this form of operationalizing the
definition of a lie. But if you accept it, then when I tell you an
untruth, but am unaware of telling you an untruth, I am not lying; I am
misinforming. When I play a role, in an attempt to reproduce what might
be a complex of interactions of behaviors and experiences, I do not expect
to be able to do it perfectly -- I am not the person whose role(s) I am
playing (and even that person might not be able to play himself
accurately). In this role play I am not deliberately, consciously,
intending to deceive anyone; it is not a lie. But it is inaccurate. Of
course, I could do a role play with the deliberate and conscious attempt to
deceive observers to the role play. That would be a lie. If you wish, you may
broaden the aspect of "conscious" to include the processing of the
"unconscious." I have not included this in my thoughts to date, and
would welcome your considerations.

Second, I deplore the frequency with which arguments are directed against
individuals, rather than ideas. My belief, and not necessarily yours, is
that personal insults, slights, and attacks against the individual
inhibit the free expression of ideas and thereby inhibit the fruitful
(and often argumentative) debates of the notions we seek to elucidate.
The personal attacks turn debate into a political forum designed to
silence the diversity of thought which I see as our primary avenue for

Feel free to flame me, personally. First, I said that I'm ignorant, and
I believe that. Second, attack me and thereby prove my point.

F. Reid Creech, Ph.D.
30504 Lilac Road
Valley Center, CA 92082 USA

FAX to above number, but call me first so I can setup my faxmodem
email to: