Publication 5552

Stevens C. D. (1998) Realism and Kelly’s pragmatic constructivism. Journal of Constructivist Psychology 11: 283–308. Fulltext at
Philosophical realism need not be incompatible with psychological constructivism. It is here argued that a minimum realist position is compatible with Kelly’s personal construct psychology (PCP) and insulates his theory from charges of relativism. A distinction is drawn between first-order and second-order knowledge. A tendency toward relativism is identified within Kelly’s writing, but is contrasted with his commitment to the search for truth. The role of coherence and workability in PCP is discussed, as is the relativism that must result when such concepts are used as exclusive epistemic criteria. A neopragmatist account is proposed. This non-objectivist, minimum realist reading of Kelly is argued to be supported by selected contemporary theorizing. Finally, some implications for PCP are outlined.

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