Marken "Blind Men" Paper now on WWW

[from Gary Cziko 960226.1506 GMT]

I am proud to announce that Rick Marken's "Blind men" paper is now
available via the CSG World Wide Web site. In this paper Rick shows how
stimulus-response, reinforcement, and cognitive perspectives on behavior
each only see part of the behavioral elephant and how perceptual control
theory provides a more precise perception of the pachyderm.

Rick, in his usual humble and self-effacing manner, has said that the paper
was "rejected by every major journal in the country--so it MUST be

Marken, Richard S. (1993). The blind men and the elephant: Three
perspectives on the phenomenon of control. Closed Loop, 3(1), 37-46.

Rick's paper can be found via the Reference section of the CSGnet homepage at

or via Rick's personal homepage at (including lovely updated photo) at

or can be accessed directly at

I have appended a copy of the abstract below.--Gary



The Blind Men and the Elephant: Three
Perspectives on the Phenomenon of Control

Richard S. Marken


The enthusiasm expressed by Simon (1992) about current explanations of
behavior may be greater than is warranted by prevailing uncertainties
about the nature of the phenomenon to be explained. Behavior has been
described as a response to stimulation, an output controlled by
reinforcement contingencies and an observable result of cognitive
processes. It seems like these are descriptions of three different
phenomena but they are actually descriptions of three different aspects of
the same phenomenon -- control. Control is like the proverbial elephant
studied by the three blind men; what one concludes about it, and how one
tries to explain it, depends on where one stands. It is suggested that the
best place to stand is where one has a view of the whole phenomenon, be it
elephant or control.