VS: Perceptual Conflict (was Re: WinterSchool_HumanActionControl)

[Eetu Pikkarainen 2017-02-09 2]

Thanks Chad, that was a new one to me. I have read Glaresfeld about radical constructivism, which was a kind of a fad in (Finnish) education. Seems that he has a dispositions to stress important things but run with them too far. :wink: I mean that self is
not equally distributed to all relations, but is rather located to the one end of the loop - but in relations anyway.



L盲hett盲j盲: Chad T. Green Chad.Green@lcps.org
L盲hetetty: 9. helmikuuta 2017 18:12
Vastaanottaja: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Aihe: RE: Perceptual Conflict (was Re: WinterSchool_HumanActionControl)

[Chad Green (2017.02.09.11:11 EST)]

"As a metaphor鈥攁nd I stress that it is intended as a metaphor鈥攖he concept of an invariant that arises out of mutually or cyclically balancing changes may help
us to approach the concept of self. In cybernetics this metaphor is implemented in the 鈥榗losed loop,鈥 the circular arrangement of feedback mechanisms that maintain a given value within certain limits. They work towards an invariant, but the invariant is achieved
not by a steady resistance, the way a rock stands unmoved in the wind, but by compensation over time. Whenever we happen to look in a feedback loop, we find the present act pitted against the immediate past, but already on the way to being compensated itself
by the immediate future. The invariant the system achieves can, therefore, never be found or frozen in a single element because, by its very nature, it consists in one or more relationships鈥攁nd relationships are not in things but between them.

If the self, as I suggest, is a relational entity, it cannot have a locus in the world of experiential objects. It does not reside in the heart, as Aristotle
thought, nor in the brain, as we tend to think today. It resides in no place at all, but merely manifests itself in the continuity of our acts of differentiating and relating and in the intuitive certainty we have that our experience is truly ours." - Ernst
von Glasersfeld (Cybernetics, Experience and the Concept of Self)



From: Eetu Pikkarainen [mailto:eetu.pikkarainen@oulu.fi]
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2017 7:07 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: RE: Perceptual Conflict (was Re: WinterSchool_HumanActionControl)

[Eetu Pikkarainen 2017-02-09]

Dear all,

I hope you allow a short speculation from a newcomer. I believe this is quite basic / standard stuff of philosophy/ theory of science.

We can differentiate three interconnected spheres: 1) reality (鈥渙ut there鈥), 2) perceptions/observations and 3) theories.

The thesis of theory ladenness of observations states that even if perceptions are 鈥渁bout鈥 reality they are still constrained by the 鈥渢heories鈥 (broadly understood) of the observer. PCT makes it nicely understandable how our input functions,
memories and the whole structure of the control hierarchy in addition to our particular relationship (mediated by many kind of links) at the moment with the object of perception constrain our observations.

By theory I understand a structured collection of knowledge. If we include the tacit knowledge then our control hierarchies are theories.

Science is a collective enterprise to develop better explicit theories. There are two schools about the relationships between reality, perceptions and theories in science: 1) Instrumentalism (/empirism) sees that the task of theories is
to explain perceptions. 2) Realism (critical or scientific one) sees that theory should describe the reality behind the perceptions. These two positions are of course a coarse simplification allowing a vast prism of different opinions.

Now it seems that some of Rick鈥檚 statements are nearer instrumentalism. He stresses the importance of observations, and the observations seem to be 鈥渇acts鈥 for him. Theory is not so important because it only tries to explain the gathered
facts (=oservations). Theory is a secondary tool in relation to the tools of gathering facts.

For me it seems that Martin is more defending (scientific) realism while he stresses that the theory accounts for unperceivable realities like control of perception inside the organism.

I am more inclined to realism, so I am not quite neutral here. Chad ([Chad Green (2017.02.08.1622 EST)] ) nicely referred to second-order cybernetics,
which for me means just the demand for self-reflectivity of life and cultural sciences. If the perceptions - and especially outputs - of a controlling organism are not faithful enough to the reality (or rather to its relationship with the reality) then the
reality strikes back. It is the same with science: reality rules. And it is the task of theory to account for those parts of reality which are not yet perceived. That is how I think that science can only proceed: Theory ahead.