^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^* FROM CHUCK TUCKER 931223 *^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^

      A few comments about "social contingencies" as noted by Bill
      Powers (931210.1145) and Kent McClelland (931212)

      Sometime ago (I don't remember the date) I put on the net a
      list of statements with the title: STATEMENTS FROM A SOCIO-
      classes to present some of what I consider the "basic" ideas
      of PCT as they can be used to explain what human beings do, to
      with, for and against one another (a phrase that I have taken
      from McPhail). These statements are modifications of statements
      used by Bob Stewart in his teaching to tell students what was
      different about his approach from most of social psychology which
      is based on either S-R or S-O-R formulations. THESE STATEMENTS
      BEHAVIORALISM" [a term we use to designate the ideas of G. H Mead
      and John Dewey which Morris used to distinguish Mead's ideas
      from Watson's "behaviorism"]. We see Power's CT (which we now
      call PCT after McClelland's first paper on the subject) to derive
      from the same assumptions and thus find no inconsistencies (yet!).
      But it was not until Bill stated the ideas of social contingencies
      did I see the similarity between the ideas he stated and those
      which I summarized with my "sociocybernetic" list (BTW I use the
      word "sociocybernetic" to avoid the word 'control' because of the
      confusion the the word 'control' seems to have for most of my
      students UNTIL I have explain what is meant by 'control' within
      PCT [of course, the word 'control' has consensual meaning by all
      who appear on this net :-> ]).

      I use these statements to state the notion that "it is all
      perception" or "perception = reality" or "perception = CEV"

        Scientific facts and theories do <<not>> describe reality.

        No scientist in any discipline, including physics, has
        discovered, or can discover, any law or principle of
        nature, or has or can gain knowledge of reality.

        Scientists in all disciplines provide ways of solving
        problems people are having.

        Discovering the laws of social life is <<not>> possible,
        or even sensible.

      All of the above statements are based on the notion that human
      beings can NOT find, discover, unearth, reveal or experience
      REALITY apart from their experience; that is all there is. As
      Mead stated: THE WORLD IS JUST THERE. The third statement in
      the list above is a rather subtle way of stating the idea that
      since scientists can't reveal reality they are left with the
      task of solving problems; this is a statement of a pragmatic
      (a la Mead and Dewey) view of both science and truth [see Mead's
      "Scientific Method and the Individual Thinker" (p. 171 ff) and
      "A Pragmatic Theory of Truth" (p. 320ff) in A. Reck. 1964.
      Merrill Company] Of course we all know of instances where
      scientists have stated that they have revealed reality but I
      consider such statements as rhetoric used to convince others to
      consider their work as important and in most instances continue
      to support it both social and financially (No, the Hubbell
      Telescope even fixed to work will not reveal the "secrets of
      the universe" but that work may be useful to solve some
      problems like repairing machinery in a "outer space" setting).

      Next, there are some statements which refer to "social
      contingencies" the sociologists are fond of mentioning and
      pointing out that they, like the environment, cause people
      to do what they do. Of course, my view is that they do nothing
      of the sort, in fact:

        Society, social structure, social class, culture, or
        group pressure [notice this one, Rick] do <<not>> make
        people do anything.

        Social norms, rules, values, beliefs, customs, traditions,
        laws, or social sanctions do <<not>> make people do
        anything. (Rather, these are devices people use to
        facilitate living and acting together.)

        Personality, socialization, and social background do
        <<not>> make people do anything. (Rather, these provide
        resources for action, but determine none of it.)

        Biological agents such as germs or viruses, or chemical
        agents such as alcohol or cocaine or steriods do <<not>>
        make people do anything. (Rather these can affect
        performance levels and the coordination and control of

        Genetic inheritance or any other biological factors do
        <<not>> make people do anything. (Rather, these permit
        people to do what they do, and, undoubtly permit them
        to do much that so far they have not done.)

        Technology does <<not>> make people do anything. (Rather,
        technology provides resources for action.)

      Those statements are consistent with this one below which notes
      the "self-regulation" [cybernetic] basis of purposive action:

        People can <<not>> be made to do anything, unless they
        are literally and directly and physically forced to.


        People are responsible for their action, but <<not>> for
        everything that happens to them.


        Social life, by which is meant living and acting together,
        depends on arrangements people make.

      and as life scientists

        We can study arrangements and how they are made, and we
        can improve upon them, and create new and more useful ones.

      and understand that

        Problems people have in social life are results of missing,
        inadequate, or poorly implemented arrangements.

      and comprehend that

        Without making arrangements people are socially incompetent.

      Now, having typed this I will make arrangements to put it on my
      file on the mainframe and send it to the CSG-L.

      Of course I would appreciate any discussion of these statements
      and others I might make from time to time in the spirit of
      advancing and developing our notions and knowledge of purposive
      collective action.

      A happy and delightful holiday season is my wish for all on this
      net and elsewhere in this universe. I look forward to a pleasant
      and peaceful new year for everyone,

      Best regards, Chuck