This paper is a modest attempt to chart something of the broad trends in contemporary philosophy (the philosophy of the last half century)–trends against which personal construct theory might be aligned, evaluated, or simply reflected upon. These trends themselves emerge from a complex scene in philosophical effort. This scene is marked by increasing specialization, the appearance of new, sometimes interdisciplinary approaches (e.g., bioethics), and the emergence of new sociohistorical and technical phenomena that give rise to new problems. The material that follows is in three parts. The first presents some general observations concerning philosophy and the broadest outline of its development. The second considers the nature of personal construct theory in terms of its own constructivist philosophy, and in relation to other historical philosophical systems, particularly phenomenology. The third part relates personal construct theory to the outline in the first part and attempts some conclusions. In general, I will suggest that as concern with process or praxis moves further toward center stage in philosophy, personal construct theory comes more and more into prominence and its philosophical integrity becomes more obvious.
Winter D. A. (2012) Still radical after all these years: George Kelly’s The psychology of personal constructs. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 18(2): 276–283. https://cepa.info/3994
George Kelly’s The psychology of personal constructs put forward a new psychology that viewed people as actively constructing and anticipating their worlds. This paper considers personal construct theory and its philosophy; personal construct assessment techniques; the personal construct view of psychological disorder and its treatment; and the wide range of other applications of personal construct theory. It is concluded that personal construct psychology remains a radical approach over half a century after Kelly published his magnum opus.
Winter D. A. (2015) What does the future hold for personal construct psychology? In: Raskin J. D., Bridge S. K. & Kahn J. S. (eds.) Studies in meaning 5: Perturbing the status quo in constructivist psychology. Pace University Press, New York: 28–63.
George Kelly was way ahead of his time when, in 1955, he published his two-volume magnum opus, The Psychology of Personal Constructs. This work was no less than a presentation of a whole new psychology, radically departing from the mechanistic, reductionist, and deterministic assumptions of the dominant approaches of the day. It clearly anticipated the trends that have occurred in psychology over the following half-century or so, as reflected in the debts that proponents of subsequent approaches have acknowledged that they owe to Kelly. However, nowadays it is a rare psychology student who has even heard of personal construct psychology. Why is this so? Has personal construct psychology outlived its usefulness? What does its future hold? These are the questions that will be explored herein. A brief summary of personal construct theory is presented, followed by a review of developments in, and applications of, the theory. The current status of personal construct psychology is then considered, together with its links with other approaches. Finally, anticipations of the future of personal construct psychology are explored.