Autopoiesis and PCT - A Historical Note

[From Richard Pfau (2010.04.30.1430 EDT]

This is just a note for those who don’t know about and may be interested in a linkage between PCT and autopoiesis:

I just noticed that Francisco J. Varela in his book *Principles of Biological *Autonomy (1979 pp. 255-6) mentions the similarity of his and Powers (1973) understanding of perception and the nervous system. He also states “Powers calls our attention to the fact that a feedback system provided with a given reference signal will compensate disturbances only relative to the reference point, and not in any way reflect the texture of the disturbance. If we now transpose this homeostat analogy to sensory processes, where the reference signal is given by higher-level signals (such as command interneurons in the case of locomotion), then we immediately get to Power’s conclusion that behavior is the control of perception.”

Varela’s recognition of and concurrence with these ideas of Bill, in this book concerning autopoiesis, seems like a big deal, to me at least – something helpful, perhaps, when publicizing and thinking about PCT.

With Regards,

Richard Pfau

[From Fred Nickols (2010.04.30.1201 MST)]

One word: Wow!

Four more words: This is a keeper!

Thanks for noticing and thanks for sending this along.

Regards,

Fred Nickols

Managing Partner

Distance Consulting LLC

1558 Coshocton Ave - Suite 303

Mount Vernon, OH 43050-5416

www.nickols.us | fred@nickols.us

“Assistance at a Distance”

···

From: Control Systems
Group Network (CSGnet) [mailto:CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU] On Behalf Of Richard
H. Pfau
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2010 11:32 AM
To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.ILLINOIS.EDU
Subject: Autopoiesis and PCT - A Historical Note

[From Richard Pfau (2010.04.30.1430 EDT]

This is just a note for those who don’t know about and may be
interested in a linkage between PCT and autopoiesis:

I just noticed that Francisco J. Varela in his book *Principles of Biological *Autonomy
(1979 pp. 255-6) mentions the similarity of his and Powers (1973)
understanding of perception and the nervous system. He also states
“Powers calls our attention to the fact that a feedback system provided
with a given reference signal will compensate disturbances only relative to the
reference point, and not in any way reflect the texture of the
disturbance. If we now transpose this homeostat analogy to sensory
processes, where the reference signal is given by higher-level signals (such as
command interneurons in the case of locomotion), then we immediately get to
Power’s conclusion that behavior is the control of perception.”

Varela’s recognition of and concurrence with these ideas of
Bill, in this book concerning autopoiesis, seems like a big deal, to
me at least – something helpful, perhaps, when publicizing and thinking about
PCT.

With Regards,

Richard Pfau