Bad day at the library

[From Rick Marken (921231.1400)]

Tom Bourbon (921228 9:23) --

If you want to get an idea of what behavioral ald life science
are like without the realization that living things are in a high-gain
negative feedback interaction with their environment, try these two
recent collections:

  American Psychologist, Vol. 47, No. 11, November 1992.

22 articles, an introduction, and a historical note make this a rich
source for anyone who needs up-to-the-minute evidence that radical
behaviorists say the things we (would-be PCT authors) attribute to them

Forget the radical -- this is conservative, conventional, state of
the art psychology talking here. I looked it over briefly; very few
references to PCT, indeed. I guess they figure they can do just fine
without us.

Interestingly, the author of one of the articles is Charles Catania, with
whom I've started an off-line conversation about purpose in behavior. I
sent him my little quote on the importance of determining purpose in
order to know what an organism is doing (as an alternative to the Skinner
quote I posted a couple days ago). He was interested in how one might
determine an animal's purpose; I referred him to my "Behavior in the
first degree" paper. He suggested that our discussion might move into
PSYCHOLOQUY -- now where have I heard that name before?

All in all, these two thick collections gave me a renewed appreciation
of the degree to which the idea of high-gain negative feedback control
has penetrated the behavioral and life sciences -- not one bit.

Beautifully said; I nearly fell off my chair laughing when I read it.
I think your estimate is accurate to the forth decimal place.

Love and joy




Richard S. Marken USMail: 10459 Holman Ave
The Aerospace Corporation Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 336-6215 (day)
(310) 474-0313 (evening)