Whither TRUTH????

(no name) ((no email))
Mon, 08 Apr 1996 22:34:30 -0400 (EDT)

Hello to the PCP Networkers:

In a recent post I raised some questions about the
construct false-true.

This morning I remembered a passage from a recent paper
of mine which was published by _Theory and Psychology_. I
would like to take the opportunity to quote that passage.
[Quote marked off by lines]
In 1955, when the terms construing and construct would
have registered as significantly meaningful to only a small
percentage of behavior scientists, the constructionist G.
Kelly (1991/1955), explained the construction corollary of
his personal construct psychology, by laying out his concept
construing: "By construing we mean 'placing an
interpretation:' a person places an interpretation upon what
is construed. He erects a structure, within the framework
of which the substance takes shape or assumes meaning. The
substance which he construes does not produce the structure;
the person does" (p. 35). Currently, scholars who have
affirmed the usefulness of personal construct psychology
regularly find kindred thinkers who write about narrative
and self-construction in the following manner:
The correspondence theory (of truth) is, however, only
tenable if our prenarrative experience has meaning for
us outside our interpretations or emplotment of it, but,
as I have argued . . ., such is not the case. The truth
of our narratives does not reside in their
correspondence to the prior meaning of prenarrative
experience; rather, the narrative is the meaning of
prenarrative experience. The adequacy of the narrative
cannot, therefore be measured against the meaning of
prenarrative experience but, properly speaking, only
against alternative interpretations of that experience
(Kerby, 1991, p. 84).
If we can arrive at the point at which we can say that
"the truth of our narratives does not reside in their
correspondence to the prior meaning of prenarraive
experience; rather, the narraive is the meaning of
prenarrative expereince," why should we continue to speak of
truth. If we are commited constructionists, can't we simply
say, "Joe's narratives," or "Carlo's narratives," etc? Why
should we continue to speak of TRUTH? If we do continue to
speak of TRUTH, are we not perpetuating a useless,
preconstructionist construction.

Jim Mancuso