More on PCT difference

[From Dag Forssell (930418 14.30)

No sooner do I download my own message, than I realize that slides 1 and
2 should with better clarity be presented as follows:

···

=====================================================================

DESCRIPTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Mechanical Engineering

(Slide 1 of 4)

                          Bridges Plumbing
            Weapons \ / Roads
                     \ _| |_ /
                        \ ______________ /
                         _| | | |_
        Vehicles -----> | ENGINEERING | <--- Buildings
                             > PRACTICE | |
                             >______________| |
                                    > >__(observations)
                                    >
                                    v
                                EXPERIENCE
                                    >
                                    >
               _____________________v___________________
              > >
              > OBSERVED PHENOMENA / EMPIRICAL LAWS |
              > >
              > "Strength" "Performance" "Quality" |
              > "Function" |
              > >
              > Engineering rules (of all kinds) |
              > "(Rules of thumb)" "(Codes)" |
              >_________________________________________|
                                    >
                                    > _ (predictions)
                             _______v______ |
                            > > >
       Vehicles <------- | ENGINEERING | ----> Buildings
                            > PRACTICE |
                           / -------------- \
                         / | | \
             Weapons |_ v v _| Bridges
                            Roads Plumbing

  SCIENCE/THEORY/RULES/PARADIGM/CRAFT/ART (synonyms)

  based on: Experience
                Observed regularities (statistics, intuitive
                Descriptions or formal)

=====================================================================

This change should clarify that the difference between descriptive and
generative theory is in the rule generation, rather than in the rule
application.

As I download, I notice Bill's post on Collecting data about behavioral
regularities: Bill Powers (930418.0900)

It is clear that S-R is a generative theory also. For purposes of my
presentation, I will ignore that, since it has failed, failed, and failed
again. It is NOT a *TESTED* and *VALIDATED* first principle. That is why
all research is still effectively strictly empirical and cannot be
extrapolated.

A comment on Kuhn. Gary Cziko commented on my video that he disagreed
with me on the idea that it will take a generation change for PCT to be
accepted. I was quoting Kuhn, more than anything, but I do think it will
prove true. We are dealing with a transition from a purely descriptive
(and accordingly fuzzy and in a lot of ways useless) set of sciences to
a generative science.

Gary noted that it took much less time for the revolution between the
Phlogiston theory of chemistry and the Oxygen theory of chemistry. Please
note that the Phlogiston theory was a generative theory, a "hard"
science. It was in the process of testing it with careful quantitative
experiments, and as it failed, that Oxygen was defined. For this reason,
the revolution went quickly. Even so, Kuhn says in _The structure of
Scientific Revolutions,_ page 150-151:

      How, then, are scientists brought to make this transposition? Part
      of the answer is that they are very often not. Copernicanism made
      few converts for almost a century after Copernicus' death. Newton's
      work was not generally accepted, particularly on the Continent, for
      more than half a century after the Principia appeared. Priestley
      never accepted the oxygen theory, nor Lord Kelvin the
      electromagnetic theory, and so on. The difficulties of conversion
      have often been noted by scientists themselves. Darwin, in a
      particularly perceptive passage at the end of his Origin of Species,
      wrote: "Although I am fully convinced of the truth of the views
      given in this volume . . ., I by no means expect to convince
      experienced naturalists whose minds are stocked with a multitude of
      facts all viewed, during a long course of years, from a point of
      view directly opposite to mine. . . . [B]ut I look with confidence
      to the future,--to young and rising naturalists, who will be able
      to view both sides of the question with impartiality."' And Max
      Planck, surveying his own career in his Scientific Autobiography,
      sadly remarked that "a new scientific truth does not triumph by
      convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather
      because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up
      that is familiar with it."

When you are dealing with the descriptive life sciences (that we are up
against) and their practicioners are not interested in any testing, it
is not to be expected to have a short and sweet revolution.

Best, Dag

[From Rick Marken (930418.1600)]

Dag Forssell (930418 14.30)--

Your charts and discussions of the value of generative models
over generalizations were excellent.

I also agree with your predictions about the time frame for
general acceptance of PCT -- at least a generation. Your quotes
taken from Kuhn was wonderful. I particularly liked the one by
Darwin:

      "Although I am fully convinced of the truth of the views
      given in this volume . . ., I by no means expect to convince
      experienced naturalists whose minds are stocked with a multitude of
      facts all viewed, during a long course of years, from a point of
      view directly opposite to mine. . . . [B]ut I look with confidence
      to the future,--to young and rising naturalists, who will be able
      to view both sides of the question with impartiality."

Just substitute "behavioral scientists" for "naturalists" and put
it in the frontpiece to "Behavior: The control of perception".

I think PCT is working against three modern trends that will make a
"scientific revolution" particularly difficult for us: 1) the criteria
for determining the success of an explanation in the behavioral sciences
are extremely weak but perfectly acceptable to most participants 2) tech-
nology makes it easy to imitate explanation without actually achieving
it (ie. the eye-catching achievments of trendy science mask their
irrelevance) and 3) there is a huge and lucretive social science
establishment (testing and polling firms, big grants, textbook industry,
etc). These three mundane phenomena may present more of an obstacle to
acceptance of PCT than the divine phenomena that ostensibly were the
obstacle to acceptance of evolution.

I hope that the obstacles to PCT in the "real world" of business are
much smaller than those in the "ivory tower" of academia.

Keep up the good work

Rick