Citations

[From Bruce Gregory (980101.0910 EST)]

William James used the word _fach_ to describe an academic discipline. An
academic discipline is defined by the problems its practitioners believe to be
significant and the methods they believe to be legitimate. Control falls
outside this edifice. Control is much too important to be contained within so
artificial a structure. (I recall a philosophy professor telling an
undergraduate class that Hegel was so important for understanding twentieth
century philosophy that no course in the department addressed his work.
Control is like Hegel in this regard.) If you want to know something about
control you must look outside the corridors of academe. Seek out those for
whom control simply cannot be ignored. Seek out artisans, craftsmen, athletes,
and coaches. They do not have a theory of control, but they know a great deal
about its practice. If you have something of value to tell them about control,
they are likley to listen.

Bruce

[From Fred Nickols (971231.0940 EST)]

Bill Powers (971230.0954 MST), in replying to Paul Stokes --

One thing to keep in mind. My first paper was published in 1960, and picked
up to be reprinted in the journal General Systems and in a book on
communication. Somewhere between five and seven thousand copies of B:CP
have been sold in the US since 1973. It was also published in England. I've
published in quite a number of mainstream journals, including Science and
Psych Review. I've also published an article in System Dynamics Review.
There isn't really much excuse for someone to publish a theory about
hierarchical control without at least giving me a parenthetical citation.
Does McCrone cite me? Very few people do when they write on this subject.
Maybe they think I must be dead by now and won't object.

That leads me to ask a question. I'm reading various chapters in Volitional
Action: Conation and Control (1989), edited by Wayne Hershberger, and last
night finished a section by Michael Hyland dealing with the relationship
between control theory and conventional psychology ("bridges"?). Yet, no
mention is made by Hyland of B:CP or Bill Powers. That prompted me to look
further at the citations in this book.

The book has 25 chapters, 11 of which make no note of Bill or B:CP.

A total of 32 citations are listed for Bill or B:CP; counts follow:

        2 - Wayne Hershberger, the book's editor, in Chapter 1
        3 - Ray Pavloski in Chapter 9
        7 - Tom Bourbon in Chapter 10
        1 - Bullock and Grossberg in Chapter 11
        3 - Rick Marken in Chapter 12
        1 - Jordan and Hershberger in Chapter 16
        4 - Bill and Rick Marken in Chatper 18
        3 - Richard Robertson in Chapter 19
        2 - Dennis DelPrato in Chatper 20
        1 - Ed Ford in Chapter 21
        1 - David Goldstein in Chapter 22
        1 - Lord and Kernan in Chapter 23
        1 - James Soldani in Chapter 24
        2 - William Williams in Chapter 25

Bill had the good taste to not cite himself in Chapters 2 or 13 (and I
assume it was Rick who made him cite himself in Chapter 18. :slight_smile:

I have no idea what to make of those numbers, in that context, or anywhere
else. Nor do I have any idea why I'm posting them except to borrow from Sir
Edmund Hillary and say, "Because they were there."

Regards,

Fred Nickols
nickols@worldnet.att.net

[From Bruce Abbott (971231.1305 EST)]

Rick Marken (971231.0830) --

The fact that you see very few references to William T. Powers
in the behavioral science literature -- even in a book that
purports to be all about volitional action -- is no accident;
it is _intentional_. Conventional behavioral scientists don't
cite WTP because they want PCT to disappear or turn into
something else (like an alternative theory of reinforcement;-)).
They have as much interest in dealing with "control of perception"
and its implications for behavioral research as Episcopal ministers
have in spending Sunday morning dealing with evolution and its
implications for the Judeo-Christian creation myth.

Oh, piffle. Far from being threatened by it, most have never even _heard_
of PCT, and fewer still have taken the trouble to actually understand it.

Regards,

Bruce

[From Bruce Gregory (971231.1430 EST)]

Bruce Abbott (971231.1305 EST)]

Oh, piffle.

Strong words from someone who just wished us a happy new year!

Far from being threatened by it, most have never even _heard_
of PCT, and fewer still have taken the trouble to actually understand it.

I fear you are correct. And of those few who tried to understand PCT, even
fewer succeeded. Still if they had, Rick's analysis would obtain. The problem
is that psychology, like most essentially academic disciplines, is a closed
system. The in's do not have to pay attention to the out's until the latter
are armed.

Bruce

[From Bill Powers (971231.1531 MST)]

Fred Nickols (971231.0940 EST)--

That leads me to ask a question. I'm reading various chapters in Volitional
Action: Conation and Control (1989), edited by Wayne Hershberger, and last
night finished a section by Michael Hyland dealing with the relationship
between control theory and conventional psychology ("bridges"?). Yet, no
mention is made by Hyland of B:CP or Bill Powers. That prompted me to look
further at the citations in this book.

Everything Michael Hyland knows about PCT he learned directly from me
through a long correspondence that went on for several years. Essentially
all the (PCT-correct) control-related ideas he presents as his own are
almost direct quotes from things I told him -- for example, his association
of "importance" with "loop gain" or "output sensitivity." Perhaps he
thought that since he was writing in a PCT-oriented book, acknowledgements
would be superfluous.

Hyland told me at one point that he couldn't present "pure" control theory
in his writings because his colleagues wouldn't understand it and he needed
to think of his career.

Thanks for the summary.

Best,

Bill P.