Re: the nature of 'construct'

Alessandra Iantaffi (
Mon, 10 Jun 1996 11:37:56 +0100 (BST)

Dear Gary,

I could not help 'reacting' to many things you said in your post,
probably because you have touched on some points I am sensitive to, due
to my own biases... Does that mean I am not a 'honest scientist'? Please,
don't answer to this remark, it's more of a provocation than a genuine

On Fri, 7 Jun 1996, Gary Blanchard wrote:

> What I deduce from this is that the politics of paradigm adoption are
> profoundly strong from many members.

Is that a negative thing? Aren't we all strongly attached to one
paradigm or the other to make our daily living possible?

That is,evidently they are heavily
> pre-committed to a point of view, and all they can do is react, when
> questioned, by ignoring,dismissing, or making the inquirer or the
> inquiry wrong. The casualty, in such an approach, is the truth (of the
> matter----not THE truth).

I think you are a bit unfair here... Of course people react to
remarks, but not necessarily because they want to prove the enquirer
wrong. Your construct of 'honest science' as serious, open consideration
of various points from a non-biased point of view, as opposed to science
that comes from a defined paradigm, seems to me to be part of the
paradigm you are committed too. No offence taken, but do you really think
people can operate completely outside of any paradigm? Or is this belief
a myth promoted by the positivists?

> Also, the inclination of some members to accept as scientifically sound
> some notions, while agreeing that these notions cannot, and have not,
> been shown to exist as claimed, is sad. This is what people do in
> support of a religion, not in advancement of a theory or a paradigm.

Many scientific theories and much knowledge were, and are, created to
support a religion/belief/set of values... That is how many theories and
paradigms have actually advanced in the past!

> I appeal to all of my fellow listmembers to reexamine their views and
> practices in this regard. If we do not, if we allow sociability or
> agreement to be our main concerns, I predict our list will fall into the
> status of a small cult of true believers, eddying off to the side of the
> main currents of science, psychology and progress.

I can see your concern, however I think that although we all have pcp in
common on this list, there are many individual differences among our
field of work and/or general I can't see what you say
happen. Maybe what you see as sociability might be seen as respect of
other's opinion by other people?

> Those of us with advanced degrees, in particular, know that we have a
> professional obligation not to let that happen.

Are those without a PhD less clever then, or less professional, or what?
Do we measure respectability, intelligence, validity of theories against
pieces of paper? (I am not bitter, just amused by such a strange remark :-)


> So, Bill and fellow members, I look forward to hearing your reactions and
> comments, and am open to making any clarifications or corrections, here,
> that I am shown are appropriate.

Appropriate = ? Scientific, rigorous methods? Do you want us to quote
published authors to support our points? If so, where is the evidence
that your comments are appropriate? :-)


> Thanks. Sincerely, Gary (Blanchard,MPA)

Thanks for providing some controversial remarks to comment on, Gary ;-)


Alessandra (Iantaffi, research student)