Q methodology as a constructivist methodology

Stenner, Paul (2009). Q methodology as a constructivist methodology. Operant subjectivity: the international journal of Q methodology, 32(1-3) pp. 46–69.

URL: http://operantsubjectivity.org/os/osabstracts#32-1...


Following a brief discussion of the meanings of constructivism an argument is made to the effect that Q methodology is a constructivist methodology in a sense that is compatible with the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. A brief comparison of the ideas of Stephenson and Whitehead is followed by a section outlining Whitehead’s notion of the ‘actual occasion’ as the core of a constructivist approach to nature. It is argued that a comparable conception of the event is at play in Stephenson’s thinking about Q methodology, and that this is key to understanding the quantum theoretical aspects of Q. Some of the procedures of Q methodology are then interpreted in the light of this conception. The conclusion uses the distinction between experience and expression to integregate the ideas of Stephenson, Whitehead and William James into a novel synthesis of potential use to Q methodologists.

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