John1305 on George Kelly's work

Hemant Desai (
Sat, 23 Mar 1996 08:00:39 -0600 (CST)

Hello: In the process of cleaning my mailbox I found the following post
by a list member who eloquently expresses the importance of this forum,
(free expression on which has become a point of dissent more recently). I
thought this might be a good time to re-post this. Cheers. Hemant Desai
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- wrote to

> As someone who has read and been influenced by Kellian information for the
> past twenty years, I think it is wonderful that a high school student from
> New York can access Kelly's work through the Internet. I remember the
> trouble I had as an undergrad finding Kelly's original book due to a
> publishing dispute. Kelly's book had been stolen from several major
> libraries. There was no journal at the time. Virtually no university had a
> Kellian outside the Psychology programs at the Doctoral level. Excluding Don
> Bannister, there was virtually no books on Kelly's work excepting Kelly's.
> His work was rapidly disappearing from the beginning psychology
> textbooks....
> I think it is important to continue to push Kelly's work and ideas into the
> mainstream so that it is accessible and undestandable. I think it is
> important that there are those that take the time to explain and encourage
> further study and free thought.
> I also think it is important not chastise and argue about whom is the most
> "pure" in their Kellian interpretation. Repgrid theorists, artificial
> intelligence theorists, practicing clinicians, idiographic narrativists,
> muckety mucks, discouraged renegades, new and ambitious masters students,
> naive do-gooders, developmental theorists, Australians, Americans, English,
> Africans, Italians, Spaniards, and others have all contributed to the current
> body of work.
> It is wonderful that someone (James Mancuso?) took the time to work and help
> that student learn and foster Kelly's and that students ideas.
> How the above listed group responds to others and between themselves can
> determine if a new student will take the time to learn the nuances of a
> wonderful theory.
> The infighting, turf-battling, and the jeolousies amongst all the various
> groups is almost immediately apparent and not very attractive. Mike Mascolo's
> comments of several weeks ago led to a discussion identical in content to
> many I heard in 1978 and in 1984 at conferences from Kellians throughout the
> world. It is my belief that it has also destroyed much original thought and
> discussion in increasing the "range of conveniance" of Kelly's ideas.
> Kelly himself branched into international diplomacy. Please allow free
> thought and ideas to expand the use of Kelly's ideas. The internet should
> encourage greater integration accross disciplines by diseminating
> information.
> Kelly had a spirit of fun infused into his writing along with experimentation
> and humor. I feel this appeal is largely missing in the way in which his
> work is presently being explored. It presently contains many "right ways"
> and "wrong ways" to go about things for a "scientist" to go about learning
> how "an ordinary human being" might think about things and decide what they
> would do next.
> Kelly himself might have made fun of the tightness to which many Kellians
> adhere to his original constuction in determining the behavior of an
> individual. His writing suggests that he may have allowed himself a much
> greater freedom to explore other methods and activities based upon his ideas.
> The fun can be returned by involving and not excluding other disciplines
> within and outside of psychology.