A science of purposeful behavior

[From Rick Marken (960128.1500)]

Bruce Abbott (960128.1610 EST)

I call 'em as I see 'em

The very point I was making about you to Bill Leach this morning;-)

Sometimes the truth is not what we want to hear. What are
_you_ controlling for?

I am controlling for promulgation of a view of organisms as purposive
systems and for the development of a science of such systems.

The truth is that there is an enormously entrenched resistance to
the notion that purpose is real and that it can be studied by
methods other than those that have been used successfully in the
study of non-purposive systems. The resistance exists because people
(like Chris Cherpas and yourself) are controlling for a cause-effect
view of organisms that, for reasons that made sense before the
development of control theory, treats purpose as a supernatural
concept that violates the "laws of cause and effect".

I am controlling for promulgation of a view of organisms as purposive
systems, not only becuase I have seen overwhelming evidence that
this view is correct but, also, because I believe this view can
lead to far more satisfying approaches to dealing with with others
and with one's self.

Viewing organisms as purposeful systems is good and good for you.

Enjoy your truth.



[Martin Taylor 960129 01:40]

Rick Marken (960128.1500)

I thought that Bruce's objective all along was to consider Killeens's
model on its own terms, and see whether the equations actually predicted
the results of experiments. Why do you keep bringing up what we all know
you believe (as do many others, including, I think, Bruce), that the
mechanistic basis of Killeen's work is built on quicksand. That's
totally irrelevant to the question of whether it actually describes
the results of experiments. If it does, THEN is the time to seek out
new experiments for which it would give a prediction different from PCT.
But there's no point castigating Killeen for not having a PCT theory,
or Bruce for checking to see whether the equations do what is claimed
for them