From the Testimonies of the Senses to the Paradoxes of World View

Reply to Commentators
  • Herman Tennessen
Part of the Annals of Theoretical Psychology book series (AOTP, volume 4)


This is a paper of rather modest ambitions. It attempts merely to give an account of the embarrassing situation in which some of us may find ourselves when we (a) have lost our pristine, ingenuous confidence in socalled direct sense experiences; (b) feel compelled to recognize the dependency of such experiences on theoretical frameworks, conceptual schemes, world views, or whatever; and (c) . have come to realize that those very schemes either are unsatisfactory because of incompleteness and inconsistency or are totally useless and insupportable (or worse) exactly because they are—or claim to be—absolutely consistent and, literally speaking, global. No hint, however, is dropped as to a possible escape from this dazzling conundrum. I am, at least in this paper, rather inclined to chime in with Henrik Ibsen: “I ask questions only; my calling is not to answer.” This may indeed sound somewhat puckish to Tom Nelson. And so it is, I suppose. The only extenuating circumstance being the fact that my paper seems, after all, to have generated four substantial, provocative, and insightful commentaries which not only elucidate and attempt to unriddle the dilemma of global and consistent conceptual schemes but also essay solutions of sorts to many a problem left unanswered in my paper.


World View Conceptual Scheme Sacred Text Coffee Ground Scientific Rationalist 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herman Tennessen
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical PsychologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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