[From Bruce Abbott (980414.1240 EST)]
Bill Powers (980414.0940 MDT) --
Bruce Abbott (980414.0910 EST)
That's what I thought: it [consciousness] isn't accounted for within HPCT.
Your inserted "consciousness" is incorrect; the "it" to which I refer is the
So when you say
"gain a perspective" or "see an acceptable solution," what you really mean
in so far as the theory is concerned is, "then a miracle occurs."
Perhaps I'm mistaken. Can you see anything in HPCT that could conceivably
explain consciousness? I don't think there is, but I could have missed
something. Do you know of anything in any theory of behavior that can
explain for it?
No and no. But then again, I'm not trying to explain consciousness. I'm
trying to explain behavior.
As far as I'm concerned, consciousness is a phenomenon, like gravity, that
can be observed, but for which we lack any explanation.
My view, too.
What's the problem with that?
Nothing, in and of itself.
This isn't the sort of situation where we speak of "miracles" --
that is, steps needed to complete a line of reasoning that are simply
It is when we offer statements like "gain a perspective" or "see an
acceptable solution," as the "PCT explanation" for some behavior. Those
statements may describe in some loose, qualitative way what we do, but they
are not explanations in the sense you usually mean, i.e. in terms of
mechanism. The mechanism by which these things supposedly happen is
missing: the behavior just happens -- a miracle occurs.