Publication 5464

O’Hara M. (1995) Is it time for clinical psychology to deconstruct constructivism? Journal of Constructivist Psychology 8(4): 293–303.
I revisit the debates over absolutism versus relativism, freedom versus determination, objectivism versus subjectivism, representationalism versus nominalism, determinacy versus indeterminacy, and other manifestations of the realism versus constructivism debate in psychology. I consider the advantages and drawbacks of both extremes and suggest that although as a critique of mainstream scientific psychology the postmodern discourse has been fruitful for clinical theory and practice, at its extreme it undermines its own claims as a basis for healing because it denies the legtimacy of any authority. Referring to recent thinking in cross-cultural psychology and neuroscience, I suggest that there may be certain universal givens that form limiting constraints on how far psychologists can take indeterminacy. I suggest that psychologists hold a double vision, using each end of the realist-constructivist spectrum of positions as a limiting frame for the other.
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