SV: control

[From Rick Marken (990314.1850)]

Mary Powers (9903.12) --

>The position of the organizers of this net is that control of
behavior is a failed concept. Certainly people behave, and some
of their behavior is aimed at controlling other people - but one
does not control other people by controlling one's own behavior.
...Behavior is a means for achieving desired perceptions.

Bjoern Simonsen (990314) --

Is it more clear if we use a.o. Norbert Wieners broad definition
of behavior.

_Behavior is any modification of an object, detectable externally_

The problem with this definition of behavior (from my point of
view, of course;-)) is that it fails to distinguish intentional
from unintentional "modifications of an object". PCT is mainly
interested in explaining _intentional_ behavior, where externally
detectable modifications of an object are done _on purpose_
(intentionally). You can't tell which modifications of an
object are intentional and which are not by just looking at
the modifications. This fact is made dramatiaally clear (I
think) in the "Test for the Controlled Variable" demo at

I suggest that you try this demo and then read the accompanying
text which explains how PCT allows us to tell the diffence between
intended (controlled) and unintended "modifications of an object".




Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: