[David Goldstein (2015.11.1.12:53)]
[Martin Taylor 2010.10.30.23.42]
I don’t quite understand your terms "controller’s view, analyst view, observers view). I like Bill’s way of relating his theory to biology. On page 94 of BCP, Bill states: “Hence the set of all first-order perceptual signals emitted by the first-order input functions is the only environment that higher systems can respond to; higher systems do not and cannot respond directly to physical stimuli.” This is the reason for my first statement.
"I identify the output functions of second-order control systems with concentrated masses of neural inter
connnections in the brain stem called motor nuclei. These nuclei are similar in location, size, and appearance to the sensory nuclei which I am suggesting embody second-order input functions. they differ, however, in the sources of signals that reach them and the destinatinos of signals that leave them.
…The output signals produced in these motor nuclei follow pathways that terminate in the motor cells of the spinal cord: these output signals, clearly, are the reference signals for the first-order systems. "
This is the reason for my first statement.
I do appreciate your point of view. I am not sure if it is the same or different than that of Bill Powers.
[Martin Taylor 2010.10.30.23.42]
[David Goldstein (2015.10.20.2335)]
I would appreciate comments/corrections of my understanding of these terms:
1. At each level of the hierarchy, its "environment" consists of all of the perceptual signals entering the input functions from the immediately lower level in the hierarchy.
Different viewpoints offer different answers. From the Controller's View, the environment of an ECU is what you say. The Analyst's view is the most comprehensive, and from that view, the environment of an Elementary Control Unit (the complex consisting of Perceptual Input Function, Reference Input Function, Comparator, and Output Function) is everything in the Universe that contributes to or might contribute to the inputs to the Perceptual Input Function as well as everything in the Universe that might be influenced by its output. In a restricted Analyst's view, the ECU's environment consists of everything in the Universe that both is influenced by the output of the ECU and influences any input to its Perceptual Input Function. From an Observer's view, its environment consists of those parts of the Universe perce
ptible by the Observer that are influenced by the output of the ECU.
- At each level of the hierarchy, the “behavior” consists of all of results of the output functions which feed into the reference functions of the immediately lower level. .
That's the bone of contention at the moment, and I had thought I had already said all I planned to say on the subject, not expecting any resolution to occur, but you introduce a third possibility, so I do comment again.
I don't think your definition agrees with either camp, because it includes too little for the Marken-Nevin definition, and too much for me. Maybe it might serve as a comp
The problem for me, if we take Bill's Table on p172 of LCS 1 as a reference, is that for any of the listed "Behaviours" it would include the "Means" column, which I would call the behaviours of supporting control systems, not of the system controlling a perception of the state of (in the first row) the door. To me, when one is controlling a perception of the state of a door, with a reference to perceive it to be open, the behaviour is what an external observer sees as "opening the door". In order to do that, one grasps the handle, but no external observer would see that as the behaviour "opening the door". It's the behaviour "grasping the handle", which one does when "opening the door".
I suspect that Rick and Bruce would have the opposite problem with your definition, because although it includes the "Means" column of the table, it omits the other two columns "Variable" and "Reference State".
When I read Bill's text around this table, my primary impression is that he gets all wound up in the idea of single causes. If many different things influence a variable, any could be called a "cause" if the others are fixed. But Bill seems to say that a behaviour casually (not causally) called "opening the door" cannot be the cause of the door opening because of the other things that influence the door state, and therefore cannot be "a behaviour". I think his argument is illogical, but I also think it is what has led to this unfortunate argument.
Rick says [From Rick Marken (2015.10.30.1645)] "RM: This is what is important -- knowing that PCT explains the reference states of controlled variables (the purpose of behavior) and other theories don't -- more important than g
etting wrapped around the axle trying to find the “correct” definition of a word (behavior) that is an informal term that refers to the “doings” of living and non-living things."
I would like to agree with this, but PCT says that I shouldn't, because what is more important depends on the purpose -- what perception one is trying to control at what reference value. If the purpose is to understand how organisms function, then I agree with Rick, but if the purpose is to communicate PCT to others who might want to learn, then I do not, because "behaviour" is being used as a technical term in a way bound to confuse someone who knows quite well its obvious everyday meaning, a meaning that is important in clarifying the hierarchic nature of perceptual control, and that needs a clear technical term (which is not conveyed by "behavioural output" or "action", both of which s
eem to imply all of the “Means” in Bill’s table). For communication, “opening the door” must be different from “Grasping the handle” or “pulling”, both of which are “actions” in “opening the door”.
You are welcome. I expect this contribution makes muddy waters even muddier.
On page 107, Under the heading of Second-Order Output Functions, Bill says:
On 10/31/15, Martin Taylormmtemail@example.com wrote: