Between Theory and Practice
Edited By Silvia Hansen-Schirra and Karin Maksymski
Alice Müller-Leonhardt: “…Words Were Originally Magic…”Constructiv(ist) Thinking about Language with Regard to Incident Investigation
76 Civil Aviation Authority. http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP737.PDF [11.8.2011]. Hollnagel, Erik (2001): “Anticipating Failures: What Should Predictions Be About?”, in: The Human Factor in System Reliability – Is Human Performance Predictable? RTO Meeting Proceedings 32, RTO-MP-32, January, Cedex, France, RTO, NATO. http://ftp.rta.nato.int/public// PubFulltext/RTO/MP/RTO-MP-032///MP-032-$KN.pdf [11.8.2011]. Hollnagel, Erik/David D. Woods/Nancy Leveson (ed.) (2006): Resilience Engineering. Concepts and Precepts. Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Yerkes, Robert M./John D. Dodson (1908): “The Relation of Strength of Stimulus to Rapidity of Habit-Formation”, in: Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology, 18 (5), 459-482. 77 Alice Müller-Leonhardt “…Words Were Originally Magic…” Constructiv(ist) Thinking about Language with Regard to Incident Investigation 1 Introduction Based on the constructivist Steve de Shazer, who developed the Solution Fo- cused Brief Therapy, this contribution addresses the solution-focused effect of words and language. The title of this article is borrowed from de Shazer’s book on the constructivist use of language, which in turn is based on the conclusion of Sigmund Freud, who, in 1915, re-discovered the magic of words: “[…] Words were originally magic, and to this day words have retained much of their ancient magical power. By words one person can make another blissfully happy or drive him to despair. […] Words provoke affects and are in general the means of mutual influence among men.” (Freud 1915-1917, in: de Shazer 1994: 3) De Shazer adds that words, and also silences, gestures, facial expressions, etc., are a part of language. Further, he assumes that “To look at the magic of words, we need to look at...
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