nothing to say about awareness or consciousness

[from Tracy Harms (980408.1000)]

  re Bruce Gregory (980407.0945 EDT)

The point for me is that HPCT can describe the mechanism that
allows you to exercise control but it does not empower
people to exercise control in new domains. As Bill says
so clearly, "Neither PCT nor HPCT has anything to say about
either one [awareness or consciousness]; as it stands today, the
model behaves no differently when consciousness is present or
absent." So long as this is true, it means that HPCT has very
little to say to most people that they will find useful in their
lives. Future generations will have to close the gap--if it
can be closed. It may always be there.

The fact that (H)PCT does not deal with consciousness is not in itself a
strength or a flaw. (I don't mean to suggest anyone here has suggested
otherwise.) But it does epitomize why I find these theories more successful
as theories of organismic biology than as theories of psychology. As I've
said before, I attribute some of the neglect of PCT to the fact that it has
been advocated in psychological circles rather than biological ones. How
*much* better it might have fared among biologists I hesitate to guess. But
the absence of applicability to awareness and consciousness must explain
some of the disinterest from psychologists.


T. Harms
Bend, Oregon

             "There is nothing more difficult to take in hand,
              more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its
              success than to take the lead in the introduction
              of a new order of things."