[Martin Taylor 2015.11.15.17.42]
[From Rick Marken (2015.11.15.1430)]
Not at all. I was talking about "objectivity". Your response is that
the subjective perception of agreement can be achieved, and so it
I agree, because the objective agreement is irrelevant to perceptual
control, and I claim unknowable. However, just as perception in
general can be affected by context to create what we call an
illusion, and the illusion can be perceived by changing the context,
so also an apparent agreement may be found to nor be an agreement if
it is used in controlling some other perception – Someone lying on
the ground beside a fallen ladder: “I thought we agreed you were
going to hold the ladder steady for me” “I never agreed to that. We
agreed I would get it ready for you, nothing more” “I never said
‘ready’. I said ‘steady’” “No way. Anyway you can see I’m not strong
enough to hold it steady.”
I don't think intersubjective agreement can get any closer to
“objective” than being perceived to have been attained.
MT: Here you get into an infinite recursion.
Objectively (!) how can anyone determine that there
exists agreement between one observer and another?
RM: I do it by asking if they agree with me. But I
presume you mean how can you be sure that when we both
agree that,say, the book cover is “red” that we are both
having the same experience of color.
RM: Actually it's intersubjective
agreement between the observer and another
And you can't know you are agreeing on that. But I
don’t really care about that. It doesn’t really matter if
you see what I would call “blue” when I see “red” as long
as we consistently agree that we are seeing the same
Or any other
intersubjective agreement? All that anyone involved in
the agreement can determine is that so far as they can
see, the other person appears to agree with them.
There’s no way to determine (in a finite time) that they
are correct. The situation is even worse for a
third-party. It’s the old problem of “real reality”. The
best one can do is determine that when one controls a
perception successfully, the world is acting as though
it were as it is perceived to be.
When the perception is not of a complex property of an
inanimate world, but of the inside of another
complicated control structure, the problem is MUCH
worse. “Intersubjective agreement” is just one of those
nice words that apply to idyllic logical structures that
only approximate what the world of perception seems to
be, not something that can be observed or experienced,
except as a crude and possibly completely misleading
The TCV may, but collective control does not.
BN: The TCV is
related to collective control. The TCV
depends upon a slight degree of conflict
as the investigator disturbs a variable
that the subject is controlling.
RM: Good point! That's why an important
(though rarely mentioned) aspect of The Test
is to use disturbances that are not
overwhelming. That is, don’t “win” the
conflict. When you do, the subject loses
control so there is no controlled variable
Richard S. Marken
Author of [Doing Research on Purpose](https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.amazon.com_Doing-2DResearch-2DPurpose-2DExperimental-2DPsychology_dp_0944337554_ref-3Dsr-5F1-5F1-3Fie-3DUTF8-26qid-3D1407342866-26sr-3D8-2D1-26keywords-3Ddoing-2Bresearch-2Bon-2Bpurpose&d=BQMFaQ&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=-dJBNItYEMOLt6aj_KjGi2LMO_Q8QB-ZzxIZIF8DGyQ&m=JtNnYLVJE12dv3XfRcc2aRcgIvHPll4-NJP8DwYaY1s&s=Z5VT7GDrXuuuqPrZhJfB7lA8bljMc3ddnyDz454rxck&e=). Now available from Amazon or Barnes &