Re: Person as scientist

Harry Oxley (
Mon, 23 Mar 1998 14:38:59 +1000

>Hi all,
>could someone shed some light on Kelly's view of the person as a (an
Hi again,
I am also not a linguist, but my dictionary I keep around is
sufficiently broad in its definitions of COMMON usage as to let metaphors
and analogies overlap.
But does what Kelly himself meant really matter much? Dalton of
the 'atomic theory' meant by atoms things that for any particular element
all had the same weight. That they are now known not to have is accounted
no problem either to modern chemists or to the memory of Dalton. I don't
know about Kelly, but if I were him I'd a lot sooner be a seed to be broken
in growth (like Dalton) than a sacred object for eternal protection in its
pristine form.
Which raises another question. Perhaps we also have "man the
academic", a creature differing from the ideal 'scientist' in seeking not
clarity but obfuscation; no doubt so that he can explain it afterwards -
rather like a glazier in an old Charlie Chaplin movie who would send the
kid out to break windows for his dad to repair. Of course died-in-the-wool
Kellians might account the idea of "man the lots-of-other-things-too" as
But I wondered about this last one in context of a coming
conference about "connecting the personal and social". I have seen some
very heavy weather made out of this one! And yet the first thing that
would strike anyone who only had the rudiments of the idea of "man the
scientist" without initiation into the higher Kellian mysteries would be
this: how very few constructs the very best of real professional scientists
invent through their own research in comparison with the vast number they
get from their university courses and ongoing reading and seminars. Will
somebody please tell me what the big problem is.
Preferably without too much "man the pedagogue", who, asked a
question, tends to duck giving his own answer by hiding under references to
a lot of books that the questioner may go off somewhere else and read.

Harry Oxley