Re: Death Threat & Community of Selves

Lois Shawver (
Fri, 29 Mar 1996 16:39:46 -0800 (PST)


I do have a Ph.D. I even have some of my own theories, which I have
published a bit about and which I think would be interesting to explain in
relationship to construct theory. It would help me see the similarities
and differences between construct theory and a more postmodern literature.
But I think it would distract from you explaining your theories. If
you're interrested, though, here's a sampler of my work that is most
related to what I have written online here.

Shawver, Lois and Dokecki, Paul. "A Wittgensteininan analysis of the role
of self-reports in psychology." Psychological Records, 1970, 20,

Shawver, Lois. "Research variables in psychology and the logic of their
creation." Psychiatry, 1977, 40, 1-16.

Shawver, Lois. Harnessing the power of interpretive language."
Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 1983, 20(1), 3-11.

I also have a paper that will be coming out soon in the American Journal
of psychoanalysis called "What Postmodernism Can Do for Psychoanalysis: A
Guide to the Postmodern Vision", and I have published a book and article on
other topics.

And I'd love someone to relate to me as I am relating to you, trying to
understand my ideas in a good natured way, suspending disbelief enough in
order to follow what I'm sayng and understand me more thoroughly before
they judge me. I think students are doing themselves a disservice when
they argue against someone prematurely. And I want to avoid doing you
that disservice. I don't want you, or anyone, to criticize me before
making a concerted attempt to understand what I'm saying.

It is true that I challenged you a bit, but that is to understand how YOU
would answer my challenge and to grow more comfortable with our dialogue.
I don't want you presuming that I have no questions about what you are
saying. I can easily imagine ways that you could answer my challenges so
as to show a respect for my suspended disbelief, that is respect for the
fact that I can't really commit myself to believing what you say or not at
this point. Given the substance of your response I think I would have
expected a reply from you in a comment like, "Lois, I am not persuaded by
the more physical dimensions of Aristotelean theory. I believe, however,
his theory has inspired me in some way, and I sometimes refer to him in
order to explain my ideas. How physical are the correlates to my theories
is a matter for discussion. How my theories relate to Aristotle is a
matter of discussion. Let me explain what I have to say, and maybe we
could discuss these things." That would have required less devotion and
allegiance from my part during the process of studying what you have to
say. In my opinion, your presentation has a bit of an unfortunate
quality that requires your reader to be a true believer (or a true
disbeliever) before it is clear what is being believed or disbelieved.

But, if you find what I have said satisfactory, then I would like to
continue for now. What I would like to know next from you is, more
precisely, "operationally" might be a better word for it, what the numbers
in the grids you posted represent. I think lots of people here must know
this, but all of us don't, and I don't. Could you explain that to me? I
suppose I have the idea of having, say a list of people, or events, on the
left hand side of the page and asking people to tell me how two of the
items are alike and how they are different and using this technique to
gather a list of the patient's constructs. Is that what you do? If so,
from there I don't have a picture of how you get your numbers that you
enter into your equations. Do you rank these responses somehow? How?

..Lois Shawver