The Spaces Between – Creating Reality and Understanding Through Narratives

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The New Science and Its Meaning for the Discipline of Psychology A Movement Away From the Individual Towards the Individual in Context: A Movement Towards Relativity

It is noteworthy that in synchrony with the pinnacle of Newtonian scientific achievement, an ecology that focused on inquiry in the scientific arena generated the emergence of quantum scientific theory. Various strands of inquiry result in questions that cannot be answered by using traditional methodology. Thus, new methodologies, new questions, and revolutionary explanations are forged. According to Fasser (1989), The unanswered questions, left open in the Newtonian explanation of reality, were to entice physicists like Planck and Einstein into trying to answer them. Their investigations, however, led, not to answers, but to the development of a new science that disobeyed the rules of the old. (p. 9).

The Observing System and Model-Dependent Realism

It has been noted that, aside from the ideas generated by quantum mechanics (including concepts of uncertainty, complementarity, and probability), the inherent notion of the observer being able to disturb the system was also included (Gribbin, 1995). Although these concepts make the most sense at the subatomic or atomic level, it is my contention that the application of these concepts can elucidate psychological and system processes on a macro level. When considering Hawking and Mlodinow’s (2010, p. 6) theory, it appears that the inclusion of an observer-dependent reality has been applied to astrophysics, which is a far more vast arena than the atomic or subatomic level. Hawking and Mlodinow (2010) apply the apparent violation of common sense that is inherent in today’s science when they declare that, according to Feynman (cited in Hawking & Mlodinow, 2010), “a system has not just one history but every possible history” (p. 6).

The Spaces Between – Creating Reality and Understanding Through Narratives

In Ersilia, to establish the relationships that sustain the city’s life, the inhabitants stretch strings from the corners of the houses, white or black or gray or black-and-white according to whether they mark a relationship of blood, of trade, authority, agency. When the strings become so numerous that you can no longer pass among them, the inhabitants leave: the houses are dismantled; only the strings and their supports remain. From a mountainside, camping with their household goods, Ersilia’s refugees look at the labyrinth of taut strings and poles that rise in the plain. That is the city of Ersilia still, and they are nothing. They rebuild Ersilia elsewhere. They weave a similar pattern of strings which they would like to be more complex and at the same time more regular than the other. Then they abandon it and take themselves and their houses still farther away. Thus, when travelling in the territory of Ersilia, you come upon the ruins of the abandoned cities, without the walls which do not last, without the bones of the dead which the wind rolls away: spider-webs of intricate relationships seeking a form.

Reality, Knowledge, and Knowing: Embracing a Subjectivist Position

The question regarding what is real about the world and what is not is fundamental in philosophical thought from the inception of formal philosophy. The nature and understanding of the real world presented and still presents a challenge to philosophers from before Plato through to those following post-modern thought. In these endeavours, philosophers’ intentions have been to understand the world by using their senses and rational thought rather than ubiquitous mythological or superstitious explanations. In this philosophical realm, the starting point in these endeavours has been the human being as a subject. Ultimately, in post-modern thought, the effect of meeting this challenge has, for example, evolved to the point of reducing the subject to near extinction and simultaneously elevating the status of written text.

Meaning and the Death of the Subject

In Calvino’s (1974/1997) text, the threads that fill the spaces represent the interpersonal connections that ultimately form part of the system. These threads represent meanings that inhere in that system. In Calvino’s (1974/1997) text, it cannot be said that the system creates the meaning or that the meanings create the system. Both the system and its meanings are mutually dependent and hence symbiotic. Although Calvino (1974/1997) chooses to represent the connections as threads, the threads represent a material manifestation of language connections, in other words, narratives and discourses. Philosophical thought has mainly attended to this area of language and communication in the last century and specifically “as part of the philosophical movement of post-structuralism” (Snyman, 1998, p. 44). However, the emphasis on discourse was facilitated by a change of focus away from the importance of the subjective to a relegation of the self. Furthermore, this change of focus represented a move away from the importance of the individual to a focus on the individual in context. The shift in focus was also a movement away from establishing whether there is a reality to regarding how we experience, perceive, and construct reality and what meanings exist therein

Table of Contents :

  • Declaration
  • Acknowledgements
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • List of Appendices
  • Summary
  • Chapter 1: Introduction Introduction
  • Chapter Outline
  • Chapter 2: In Propinquity – Both Absolute and Relative? How to Deal With a Changed
    • World-View
    • Introduction
    • The New Science and Its Meaning for the Discipline of Psychology
    • A Movement Away From the Individual Towards the Individual in Context: A
    • Movement Towards Relativity
    • The Observing System and Model-Dependent Realism
    • Post-Modernism and Psychology
    • Neopragmatism and Heuristic Value
    • Language and Narrative
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 3: The Spaces Between – Creating Reality and Understanding Through Narratives
    • Introduction
    • Reality, Knowledge, and Knowing: Embracing a Subjectivist Position
    • Meaning and the Death of the Subject
    • Language and the Ties That Bind Through the Eyes of the Observer
    • The Significance of the Text as Separate From the Writer of the Text
    • Constructing the Fabric: The Observer as Both Weaver and Weave
      • The Weave That is Constructivism
      • The Threads as Language
      • The Importance of the Loom: Context and Community
      • The Role of the Psychologist: Both Thread and Weaver
      • The Nexus of the Fabric: Problem-Determined Systems
    • Unpredictable Evolution in the Construction of the Fabric
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 4: Particle or Wave? Drawing a Distinction Between the Role of a Therapeutic
    • and a Child Custody Forensic Psychologist
    • Introduction
    • Drawing Distinctions Between Therapeutic and Forensic Intentions, Process,
    • Methodology, Outcomes, and Roles
    • Objective and Subjective Processes
    • A Brief Digression on Expert Evidence in South African Law
    • Ethical Considerations
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5: A Journey Away From the Archimedean Point – A Journey Into Contingency
  • Chapter 6: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: A Journey of Wonder, Curiosity, and Hypothesis Generation Through a Professional Problem-Determined System
  • Chapter 7: Collateral Perspectives
  • Chapter 8: What the Psychometric Tests Evidence
  • Chapter 9: The Integration of the Information and the Construction of a Meta-Storey

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Conflicted Custody: The Unfolding of a Professional Problem-Determined System

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