Re: Fwd: Re: cognitive awareness

J. Maxwell Legg (
Mon, 14 Sep 1998 22:41:22 +1200

Josh Soffer wrote:

> I sense that Tim Connor's position concerning a Kellian
> 'unconscious' is consonant with neo-Freudian notions of a dynamic
> unconscious, or perhaps a social constructionism ala Gergen and Efran.
> My preference is for more radically self-dierectional interpretation
> of Kellyian constructivism , like that of Mascolo and Neimeyer. A key
> difference between these camps centers around the question of how much
> incompatibility between succssive constructs a person can allow. Kelly
> argued that the Fragmentation corollary was in part a derivative of the
> Modulation corollary. The amount of inferrential incompatibility
> allowable within a system of constructs is limited by the requirements
> of superordinate consistency, that is, overall coherence at the more
> global levels of ones outlook.
> Tim argues "If an event does fall in the range of convenience of two
> incompatible subsystems, intrapsychic conflict and active repression
> would be required to maintain coherence." First of all, the event would
> be construed under one or the other of the subsystems but not both
> unless they were identical, which would be impossible given that the
> flow of experience does not dupicate itself. But let's say that the
> subsystem wihich frames the event is itself incompatible with another
> subsystem. But this is no unique situation. We construe ALL events in
> ways which are to at least a minimal extent inferentially incompatible
> with other subordinate constructions. This does not mean that our psyche
> is in an interminable state of crisis. This fragmentation is allowable
> because at a higher level of construction consistency is the rule (not
> of course a linear or classical logical consistency). For Kelly, it
> seems to me, there is no meaning to be located in the encounter of that
> which is profoundly incompatible with our superordinate construing.
> Incompatiblilty is not a substantive trait of an event but an absense, a
> meaningless, a void, an interruption of construing. An event
> incompatible with our functioning is that event which is either entirely
> inisible to us or else only vaguely glimpsed and not assimlated in the
> first place. It thus cannot wield some sort of power to cause conflict
> in the system.
> Thus it is not a matter of repressing that which has already been
> incorporated as a 'meaning' at some level but of failing to incorporate
> adequately that for which one had no structure. For Kelly a system is
> not driven to reduce dissonance among Festinger-like contents, any more
> than a relation betweentwo people is a jostling of Geregenesque powers.
> It is less than this.
> The imlications for sychotherapy are important. The therapist who
> sees intrapsychic conflict in his patients takes a more directivist
> approach, believing in the power of incorporated meanings to subvert,
> distort, dominate or condition aperson's way of thinking.The goal of
> this approach to therapy is limited in comparison with Kelly's notion of
> optimal therapeutic outcome, by giving too much authority to an inhernet
> content of meanings we assimilate.
> Kelly's way, as I interpret it, does not give events the power to
> condition, distort, conflict, but instead emphasizes the critical
> dimension of the process of organization. The meaningfulness of meaning
> lies not in its 'content' but in its gentle integration within a system
> of understanding. We dont suffer because we incorporate a rogue content
> in conflict with another aspect of our psychological functioning. We
> suffer when we FAIL to adequately incorporate new events due to a
> dynamic limitation of our superordinate axes of understanding. It is not
> a matter of being torn between two clearly understood directions but of
> not being able to move in any coherently meaningful direction until we
> enrich our assimilative capacities.

I like a proposition that says there are 'gate' constructs that separates to
a minimal extent both a rational set and an irrational set of constructs
within a single superordinate statespace but that when these constructs are
either removed or reinforced then two spaces bifurcate and only one remains
active within the stream of awareness. When I say 'either removed or
reinforced', I'm saying their (the gate constructs) positions as independent
components are raised or lowered in significance. In a system which uses
dendritic pruning to eradicate from memory those failed or irrational spaces
there would be a meaninglessness to the loss of this information in that it
couldn't be resurrected on future occasions and come back into play if and
when the 'gate' constructs rose again in significance. I prefer an
independent component analysis definition that gently paralyzes the
irrational set.

I have used the above split/combination method to study conspiracy theory
and have good examples showing the effect of these 'gate' constructs.
Incidentally, when the gate constructs are used to bind both rational and
irrational spaces together it is interesting to see, in a plot over time, of
cause and effect, that they (cause and effect) are usually orthogonal (90
degrees) to each other, whereas when the 'gate' constructs are removed and
there is a bifurcation into two state spaces, then cause and effect are more
often antagonistic (180 degrees) to each other. I feel it is therefore
possible to maintain a imperfect world view that contains the rational and
irrational and still remain stable. However it is at a subordinate level
that the core or 'gate' construct kicks in to mediate behavior.

Is my understanding of a core construct correct, or does my definition of a
'gate' construct refer to something else?