Re: The scientific status of PCP

James Mancuso (
Sat, 15 Jun 1996 20:31:36 -0400 (EDT)

At 03:22 PM 6/15/96 -0700, you wrote:
>Constructivism is not a homogeneous and perfectly integrated philosophy.
>It's a "fuzzy set" of ideas that blurs into other positions such as
>phenomenology, dialectics, and existentialism. I offer what I see as the
>minimal constructivist position:
>1. There is no single, fixed, fully knowable reality. (not all
>constructivists would insist on all three adjectives).
>2. Human beings are not passive recipients of their experience but
>active constructors of it.
>3. There is _in principle_, no possiblity of knowledge that is not
>dependent on the position (physical and conceptual) of the observer/knower.
>Among the implications of these for science is that theory precedes data:
>data are not data until a theory (however rudimentary) defines them as
>such. As the physicist Wolfgang Pauli put it, "the state of a system is
>defined only through indication of an experimental set-up." In other
>words, before you can find out anything, you have to decide what you're
>looking for (the decision is implied in whatever experimental setup you
>use, whether you realize it or not). This is in contrast to the more
>traditional, positivist assumption that one accumulates "facts" until one
>can put them together into a theory.

>Tim Connor, M.S. "Psychotherapy is not
>Pacific University an applied science, it
>School of Professional Psychology is a basic science in
>2004 Pacific Avenue which the scientists
>Forest Grove, OR 97116 USA are the client and his
><> therapist"
> --George Kelly
Nicely presented --

In a world in which one can say, "I'm just trying to get to the
TRUTH of the matter," one who has not followed out the implications of
constructivism will need some special motivation to take these points

Jim Mancuso