| The basic difference between the mechanism and the organism is that the organism unfolds from the inside out whereas the mechanism is built from the outside in. This unfolding of the intrinsic potential of an organism from the inside out, which can best be described - whether phylogenetic development from animal to human or ontogenetic development from child to adult - as progressive emancipation from the tyranny of the environment, results in a subjective map of the objective world. Behaviour is increasingly determined by this subjective map (experience) rather than by the objective world. We are, as Teilhard de Chardin says, "evolution becoming conscious of itself". |
Miller, Galanter and Pribram described the behaviourists as the optimists in psychology, because they hoped to explain output (response) purely in terms of input (stimulus); and the cognitive theorists as the pessimists, because they argued that one could explain output only in terms of input and stored information [Miller et al, 1960]. They continue to argue that the pessimists are not pessimistic enough, because output can be explained only in terms of input and stored and fedback information. Those types of information must be differentiated because they perform qualitatively different functions in the person. Stored information is the subjective map built by the person from the inside out as a result of input information from the outside in. Fedback information is that input as a result of output which is the foundation of consciousness. If there is no behaviour, then there is no feedback. Enter cybernetics.
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