Re: intersubjectivity (was crazy people)

Robert Parks (
Wed, 16 Apr 1997 19:51:44 -0500


I follow and agree with your comparison of Maturana/Varela and PCP. I'm not
so familiar with Maturana and Varela,though I've come across treatments in
other works. But I was interested in your statement:

>In Pepper's typology, I see SD as organismic with a
>strong mechanistic slant (as might have been expected from a
>biologically-based theory); PCP as contextualist (with a twist of
>dialecticalism, which is not one of Pepper's root metaphors, but should
>have been, IMHO).

I'm particulary interested in your desire to add a "twist of
dialecticalism". Could you elaborate? In a post to this list 5 minutes
ago, I was working in that direction also. I think the construction of self
and the construction of society that provides the context of self must be
taken together. This is what I have come to call "Political Construct
Theory", because it identifies the nexus of self and social construction as
its primary task, and identifies the dimensions of power and solidarity as
crucial to the determination of trajectories of self and social

>I do think that PCP needs to develop a clearer focus on issues of how
>language and culture structure construing--especially in linking the
>sociality and commonality corollaries to each other (and to the other 11),
>something that I've never seen done in a really satisfactory way. I don't
>think GAK meant to deemphasize them (far from it), but by putting them
>last he may have had that effect, leading to PCP having a more
>individualistic spin than it need have. Commonality in particular seems
>left out in the cold, since we don't seem to have any very good account of
>how people would come to construe things similarly.

I would propose power and solidarity as two crucial moments in this
dialectical process. Power identifying the factors that give us an ability
to act on our constructs, and solidarity identifying the factors that
undergird the process of self and social construction (e.g., those family
and work processes that sustain and give a coherence to this self
construction process).

I'm interested in hearing more of your attempts to identify this
self/social construction process. I'm particularly interested in your views
of the role of language.