Phenomena first

[From Rick Marken (930908.2200)]

Michael Fehling (930908 8:04 PM PDT)--

You say that "[b]efore PCT can get ANYWHERE people must learn and
UNDERSTAND that behavior (what we see other people do) is an irrelevant
side effect of the process of control..." I absolutely disagree. Your
job (_our_ job if you sign me up) is to first present the theory and its
as many of its implications as we can show in a form that is convincing to
those who are not already believers.

Taking a "theory first" approach is the road to self-deception; it's the
fast track to the Carver/Scheier (ie. incorrect) approach to PCT.

I think it's a mistake to read BCP as a theoretical treatise; after all,
Bill didn't invent control theory. What Bill did in BCP was explain
the FACT of control. It is a FACT that organisms produce consistent
results in an inconsistent environment. Bill showed how this fact --
the phenomenon of control -- could be demonstrated, reliably. He
then showed that the fact of control rules out ALL cause-effect
explanations of behavior -- S-R, programmed output, production rules,
etc. That is, the FACT of control rules out ALL conventional
explanations of behavior. That's the BCP revolution -- not the theory;
the phenomenon of control. The ONLY known way to explain the phenomenon
of control is with some version of control theory; Bill showed that
only a control organization does what organisms do -- controls. The
PCT model exists to explain the phenomenon of control. Proper mapping
of the variables in model to the controlling done by living systems
shows that what organisms control is their PERCEPTION.

So identification of a phenomenon (control) combined with proper mapping
of an existing model to the components of living controllers makes
BCP the most important life science book of the century (millenium?).

You can now see that the PCT argument with conventional psychology
starts way BEFORE any modelling begins. It starts with a phenomenon
-- consistency produced in the face of inconsitency -- and says to
conventional psychology "ah,I think you missed something here". What
they missed, of course, was the fact that what looked like emitted
behavior was controlled perception.

PCT is about a phenomenon first -- the phenomenon of control.