Re: scientific status of PCP, & New 'language/action' paradigm

Gary Blanchard (
Wed, 26 Jun 1996 17:35:38 -0700

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Dear Tim-

Thanks for your post.

As I read over your post for the second time, I concluded that there was nothing I
could say or do, in response, which you would find useful. I wish it were
otherwise. But, alas, I feel like a White House witness in front of the House
commitee investigating the FBI files incident.

For the record, I have been trying to determine if PCP construct theory is, in
fact, an empirically-based approach, or if it is just a preferred theory of some
group of people. [I am working through the copy of material you sent me on this,
as well as the generous package sent by another kind member.]

I thought it might make a difference if I knew better what I was dealing with;
there are not, after all, ANY other lists operating that I know of that specify
'constructivism' as part of their focus.

I just assumed that the obviously well-educated, sophisticated professionals on
this list would either know the nature of their methodology, want to find out, or
be interested in working out a clearer view. And, also, as part of their
generally enlightened stance in the world, to learn about a possible new variety
of constuctivism.

Instead, I have evidently been naive, clumsy, and disagreeable. In your opinion.
And, you could be right. Thanks for your candor.

So long. Gary

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Paradigm Shift

A paradigm shift is defined as a major change in the way things are thought
about, especially scientifically.

Once a problem can no longer be solved in the existing paradigm, new laws
and theories emerge and form a new paradigm, overthrowing the old if it is
accepted. Paradigm shifts are the "occasional, discontinuous, revolutionary
changes in tacitly shared points of view and preconceptions."(Daly, 1980,
p.1) To abandon one paradigm for another is to alter the entire intellectual
basis of a community whether it be scientific, political or otherwise. They
represent "a profound change in the thoughts, perceptions, and values that
form a particular vision of reality."(Capra, p.30) Capra also adds that
paradigm shifts are usually brought about by people who are young or new to
a particular discipline since they are relatively free of established


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Compiled by

Keith Cunningham kc3@cec.wustl.eduLast Updated 10/31/94