HAYWARD, Calif., Nov. 16 Just as 400 years ago a correct explanation of the solar system set the stage for major progress in the physical sciences, so today a correct explanation of control is setting the stage for major progress in the life sciences.
Increasing numbers of scientists are saying that Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) may soon revolutionize the psychological and social sciences. Developed by William T. (Bill) Powers, PCT is a quantifiable, testable model based on both psychological observation and engineering principles; it promises to bring our understanding of living systems to the level of accuracy and reliability long expected of the physical sciences.
Bill Powers explains:
Dag Forssell, editor of the Book of Readings, elaborates on some implications: "PCT shows that each person acts for the sole purpose of controlling what matters to that person. When parents, teachers, administrators, managers, sales people, lovers, and friends grasp the simple concepts of PCT, they will be able to reason out for themselves how to handle conflicts and misunderstandings with the respect that all human beings consider their right. PCT shows why, for a peaceful society to exist, each person must recognize that every other person works the same way."
Perceptual Control Theory: Science & Applications - A Book of Readings
Available as a paperback from bookstores, ISBN 097401558X, and free pdf download for personal use at http://www.livingcontrolsystems.com/sampler/readings.html, the recently updated 272-page book includes 21 papers and complete chapters from 12 books - five by Powers, seven by his colleagues. Subjects include: psychotherapy, management, emotions, baby brain development, computer simulations and tutorials, scientific revolutions, dogma in psychology, scientific method, reverse engineering, robots, cybernetics, and more.
Bill Powers is available for interviews. Book reviewers: Please download.
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Control is a process of acting on the world we perceive to make it the way we want it to be, and to keep it that way. Examples of control: standing upright; walking; steering a car; scrambling eggs; scratching an itch; knitting socks; singing a tune. Extruding a pseudopod to absorb a nanospeck of food (all organisms control, not only human beings). The smallest organisms control by biochemical means, bigger ones by means of a nervous system. Whole organisms control; the larger ones have brains that control; most have organs that control; if they are composed of many cells, their cells control; the DNA which directs their forms and functions controls; even some molecules, certain enzymes, control by acting on the DNA to repair it when it's damaged. Control is the most basic principle of life and can be seen at every level of organization once you know what to look for. ... The problem is not that the life sciences got everything wrong; it's just that they got the most important things wrong: what behavior is, how behavior works, and what behavior accomplishes.
SOURCE Living Control Systems Publishing