[From Rick Marken (980807.1812)]
Bruce Gregory (980807.1941 EDT)--
Then it seems to me that "voluntary" and "coerced" like "decide"
and "choose" is terminology carried over from an out-moded view
of behavior. They have no place in PCT.
I think they have no place in PCT as _explanatory_ concepts; but
they certainly have a place in PCT discussions since (for me
anyway) these words refer to phenomena that everyone understands.
Bill Powers (980807.0538 MDT) tried to describe the phenomenon
of _voluntary_ (as opposed to coerced) selection of a goal.
There is obviously a phenomenon we refer to as _coercion_, though
people seem to disagree, far more than I would have imagined,
about what it is (rape at knife point is not coercion if the
rapee stops resisting?!?!). I have had the experience of having
to _choose_ between alternatives; afterwords I have felt that I
have made a good or a bad _decision_.
I think we should be able to use ordinary language when we talk
about PCT. This even applies when we talk about the model -- though
when we get into actually testing the model we have to be rigorous
For me, it's rather easy to tell, from ordinary language, whether
someone grasps the model or not. When reviewers say that a paper
of mine was "an attempt to demonstrate how behavior is controlled
by perception" it's clear that there is a problem here that is
a lot deeper than a misunderstanding of the term "behavior".
When someone on the net says "the responses of a control system
are selected by its consequences" I think we've clearly got a
conceptual problem here that is deeper than the fact that actions
are not "responses" in PCT
I have not received my copy of "Making Sense of Behavior" yet,
but I seem to recall that in early versions of the book Bill was
able to use ordinary English to explain the perceptual control
model and the phenomena it explains.
As Marc Abrams (980806.1533) explained so well, the problem
with understanding PCT is not in our words, but in our wills.