Dimensions of embodiment : towards a conversational science of human action
George Kelly's Personal Construct Theory, especially as subsumed within the “conversational science" paradigm developed by Thomas and Harri-Augstein, is fundamentally a framework for a geometry of personal meaning in which all of the dimensions of distinction within a person’s experience are like the dimensions of geometric space. A person's system of constructs is not just a framework for predicting the attributes of future events; it is a coordinate system for navigating the dimensionality of experience. The work of F. M. Alexander is primarily concerned with the "psycho-physical unity of the individual," and thus with the continuity of experience. The present work has two aims. The first, drawing on the work of Merleau-Ponty and John Dewey, and culminating in the concept of "Conductive Reasoning", is to lay a theoretical foundation for a synthesis of the practical work of Kelly and Alexander. The primary premise is that the act of comprehending is an embodied act, and as such is as subject to the conditions of the coordination of the whole person as is any other act. The second, practical, aim has been to develop a conversational methodology for dealing with learning in a more fully embodied way. This method of "conductive conversation," formally derived from the "Learning Conversation," evolved from the author's teaching experience with the Alexander Technique. Appendix 1, "A Conversational Introduction to Conductive Reasoning," is an interactive conversational structure which incorporates a development of these concepts in the context of personal experiments for generating the kinds of experiences from which the reader may draw something of the intended meaning, and some skill in using the conductive conversational tools for exploring embodied dimensions in their own meaning. It is intended as a piece that will stand on its own as a conversational research instrument for personal scientists.