Lois Shawver (
Thu, 9 May 1996 15:04:19 -0700 (PDT)


Thanks for telling us your story as to your relationship with pcp. I
think it would be worthwhile for others to come forth during this quiet
recovery time and tell their story as to their relationship to personal
construct theory.

In that spirit, let me say that when I left my philosophy masters
program to enter graduate school in psychology (in 1968 or so), I was
required to take a background course that I had not had (being a
philosophy major). It was a coure in Personalitiy Theory. The course
was taught in a very simple way. Every student was to pick a personality
theorist and study it as the major project for the semester. Study of
other theorists were secondary. We wrote a course paper, and made a
class presentation. After reviewing the other choices, most of which I
did not know, I easily selected George Kelley, but that was 30 years ago.

Since then I have found most of my inspiration outside of pcp. With a
philosphy background, I am interested in the likes of the later work
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, etc., Jacques Lacan, Paul Ricoeur.
But, I remember enjoying studying pcp 30 years ago, and I thought this
would be a place that I could refresh and update my knowledge of it. My
lattest publication will be a postmodern interpretation of
psychoanalysis. My first paper, 25 years ago was on Wittgenstein.

I remember Kelley's major two books suprisingly well after all this
time, but it feels a little as though I am looking at the current work
talked about here in a time warp. (I felt the same way when I took a
ballet class at age 50 after 30 years of being away.) I am surprised to
see how Kelley's grid has become so central in his theory. Bill Chambers
theory. as he explained it to me here and surely is in your archives, is
particularly based on a psychometric assessment such that the constructs
themselves are seen as something more structured than language. In my
view this is a reification of language game. I think the grid test idea
is brilliant, but to presume a static and ongoing mental structure is
tapped by such a grid ... well, I'm unconvinced. Moreover, from what I
could tell this really was a presumption on Bill Chambers part, and not
something he had thought about very much. That's all in the archives,
too, for your own judgment.

I hope some of the others here will introduce themselves. It would be
easier to get a meaningful conversation started if we knew some of the
people who were still here and a little about them.

..Lois Shawver