[Martin Taylor 931210 14:45]
(Rick Marken 931210.0930)
Tom described work by some of the "preeminent" appliers of "dynamic
attractor" type models to behavioral phenomena.
Is there ANY published article
that you could tell us about that uses the "dynamic" approach to
behavior that you endorse? Just one article would do. I would
really like to know who (besides those mentioned by Tom) is applying
what YOU mean by "dynamics" to behavior.
Your question reinforces my thanks to Tom. I knew you were dealing
with a set of papers to which you had referred from time to time, but
they didn't concern me because I wasn't interested in what sounded like
an ineffective approach to behaviour. So I don't remember reading any,
and Tom's reviews were probably the first time that a description of
their content hit me at a time when the issue of dynamics was in my
I haven't been dealing with what you have been reading into my postings:
an existing framework of applying dynamics to human behaviour. Before
joining CSG-L, I and some others here had been developing our own dynamical
approach to cognition, but it wasn't at all like what Tom quoted. We
were dealing with interacting physical systems, using as a text a set
of introductory books in what is called The Visual Mathematics Library.
They are called, misleadingly, "Dynamics: The Geometry of Behavior" by
Abraham and Shaw, Aerial Press 1984. I say misleadingly because the
behaviour in question has nothing to do with biological behaviour. It
is the behaviour of equations, and relates to all physical systems.
As I say, we had been developing a framework for thought and cognition
within the dynamic framework, taking very much into account the ongoing
interactions people have with the world, but not incorporating the idea
of perceptual control. But even after learning about perceptual control,
one does not give up the notion that one is dealing with physically
realizable systems, and that the dynamical mathematics still therefore
applies. There's a lot there that can be (and is, to me) useful in PCT.
So when you ask for a published paper about what I have been talking
about, all I can say is we didn't publish one, and I don't know whether
anyone else was thinking along the same lines. The "dynamicists" I
referred to in my postings were people like Abraham and Shaw, probably
Prigogine and Nicolis, and people like that. Not people who look at the
various approaches to a human goal as defining an attractor dynamic (which
they do, in a loose sort of way) and treating that fact as an explanation
(which it isn't).
I hope that my postings can be reconsidered, and treated as standing on
their own, not as supports for the kind of thing Tom was quoting.
Sorry for not recognizing the possibility for misunderstandings, and for
not recognizing whence came the misunderstandings that did arise.