Critical Essays on Language Use and Psychology
Ragnar Rommetveit University of Oslo Let me start this introduction to Professor O'Connell's Critical essays on language use and psychology with some reflections on psychologists and crabs. It so happens that the first professor of psychology in Norway had the middle name Krabbe ("Crab") His full name was Harald Krabbe Schjelderup. Hence, the crab became our symbol for the psychologist. For many years a "crab feast" was held every autumn in Oslo in order to celebrate the material union of crabs and psychologists and ponder (symbolically and metaphorically) their shared fate. A comparison between the predicament of the crab and that of the modern psychologist may indeed be illuminating, once we make certain assumptions about their unique epistemic missions and systematically explore the severe constraints on their heroic search for knowledge. The crab is ordained to unravel the mysteries of the ocean, yet doomed to crawl sidewise on the is most of the time mollusks and bottom. His catch, alas, cadavers of sea creatures, and he cannot help envying the fish swimming freely above him. The psychologist's mission is to unravel the mysteries of His obligation to seek insight into essential the human soul.