Philosophical Dimensions of Personal Construct Psychology

Philosophical Dimensions of Personal Construct Psychology

Philosophical Dimensions of Personal Construct Psychology

Philosophical Dimensions of Personal Construct Psychology

Synopsis

This text traces the philosophical history of personal construct psychology through the broad and complex tradition of phenomenology and thinkers such as Spinoza, Hegel and Heidegger.

Excerpt

I came to personal construct psychology from a background jointly in social philosophy and a fairly traditional 'psychology is a science' education in psychology. I had been led to existentialism and to anarchist thinking by my preoccupation with the subtleties of individual interpretation in and of life. Personal construct psychology was discovered, by accident, during my education and training in clinical psychology. It appeared to offer a congenial way of thinking about individual lived-experience in a most thoroughgoing way. It appeared also to be consistent with the types of ideas generated in the anarcho-psychological tradition of western thought with which I had become familiar. Thus developed an interest in probing personal construct psychology for its links to the ideas generated in this tradition and in social philosophy generally.

There is now something of homelessness felt by those with an outlook that is fascinated by individual variation, recalcitrance, endurance, resistance, and the like. The intellectual climate is one in which the dominant wisdom accepts a more collective view of human beings; thus, it would take those with such an outlook to be naive and suffering from ideology. Still, there is something in lived-experience that resists the insistence on giving up the sense of difference and individual efficacy, of uniqueness and ultimate aloneness.

Thus, the present volume is an outcome of excavating the philosophical in personal construct psychology, and a construction of it in terms of a construct system the core constructs of which keenly focus the personal. A different construction, both of personal construct psychology and of life, would, obviously, understand matters differently; but the tolerance of difference and of plurality, might be the mark of an optimally functioning person and of a good approach in philosophy.

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