Books

[From Bill Powers (980223.1337 MST)]

A note to all who have had trouble getting B:CP.

Aldine/DeGruyter has 70 copies of the book available for immediate delivery.

200 Saw Mill River Road
Hawthorne, NY 10532
(914) 747-0110

De Gruyter also has an office in Berlin, which has 50 copies of the book.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Bruce Abbott (950912.1240 EST)]

In reviewing CHOICE cards to select new books to add to our campus library's
holdings, I encountered two titles I thought might be of interest to CSG. I
have not yet seen either.

The first is about self-regulation. It may contain some useful information,
but it is apparent from the abstract that the authors view the problem as
one of controlling behavior rather than perception.

Baumeister, Roy F., Heatherton, Todd F., and Tice, Dianne M. (1994).
_Losing control: how and why people fail at self-regulation_. Academic
Press. ISBN 0-12-083140-6, $59.95

Baumeister, Hetherton, and Tice cover a topic of wide general interest: why
people are often unable to control the behaviors that cause problems for
them. However, they write in a format and language difficult to read for
some one without experience in reading professional psychological research
papers. The authors consolidate a wide range of material, covering problems
with controlling thoughts and feelings as well as behaviors, bringing
together research done from a variety of theoretical perspectives and
providing a unifying theoretical framework for examining self-regulation
failure. However, the very breadth of the range makes the material less
useful for someone woring to control a specific area. In addition, as the
title implies, the focus is on self-regulatory failure, and although the
understanding of failure may help the understanding of how to self-regulate,
the implications for self-regulation are left to the reader to discover.
Useful for students of theory.

···

***********

The next offering is more encouraging as it suggests that human behavior
must be viewed in terms of purpose.

Rychlak, Joseph F. (1994). _Logical learning theory: a human teleology and
its empirical support. Nebraska. ISBN 0-8032-3904-1, $35.00

This well-respected author, recognizing at least four complimentary grounds
on which psychologists base their explanations (Physikos, Bios, Logos,
Socius), builds on Logos and his philosophy of science foundation to propose
his Logical Learning Theory (LLT). For Rychlak, formal/final causation is
the dominant explanation of behavior, not efficient (mechanistic) causation
as has been the position of many other psychological theories. He views
humans in teleologic terms, as those who behave intentionally "for the sake
of some reason or purpose framed precedently rather than respond to some
antecendent compulsion." The first two chapters, difficult to understand,
present basic "spade work" in philosophy of science and LLT concepts.
Rychlak then assesses experimental evidence in areas of mainstream
psychology (e.g., congnitive processing, memory, motivation, perception,
brain functions, self-image) to support his theory. Rychlak challenges his
reader to think in terms very different from the familiar, to shift the
paradigm from the mediational input-output framework to an introspective
"telosponsive" stance focused on purpose and meaning of the human-agent.

**********

Rychlak seems to have rediscovered an important insight already familiar to
PCTers, although I worry about his apparent rejection of Aristotle's
efficient causation as a valid explanatory mode in psychological theory. Is
he throwing out the circular-causation baby with the linear causation bathwater?

Regards,

Bruce

[From Tom Bourbon (950912.1321)]

[From Bruce Abbott (950912.1240 EST)]

In reviewing CHOICE cards to select new books to add to our campus
library's holdings, I encountered two titles I thought might be of
interest to CSG. I have not yet seen either.

. . .

The next offering is more encouraging as it suggests that human behavior
must be viewed in terms of purpose.

Rychlak, Joseph F. (1994). _Logical learning theory: a human teleology
and its empirical support. Nebraska. ISBN 0-8032-3904-1, $35.00

. . .

···

**********

Rychlak seems to have rediscovered an important insight already familiar
to PCTers, although I worry about his apparent rejection of Aristotle's
efficient causation as a valid explanatory mode in psychological theory.
Is he throwing out the circular-causation baby with the linear causation
bathwater?

I have read Rychlak and he is no Aristotle. :slight_smile:

Rychlak's ideas are not very PCTish, not after you get past his use of
words like "purpose" and "agency." From what I have read by him, my bet is
that in the new book he accepts efficient causation as necessary, but not
sufficient, for volitional action. I think we would agree with that idea,
but that we would have problems with what follows it. Why don't you look
at the book and give us a review?

Later,

Tom