Advertisement

A Systems Approach to Consciousness

  • William T. Powers

Abstract

The nature of consciousness will still be a mystery by the time this essay ends. We are concerned here with an approach, not an arrival. To some readers it may seem, for the first three quarters of the essay, that the approach begins unnecessarily far out in left field, but I hope that by the end, it will be seen that I have backed off so far in order to come at the subject from a new direction. Bear with me. The systems approach sometimes requires developing a lot of detailed groundwork before one can hazard any generalizations.

Keywords

Control Theory Reference Signal Joint Consequence Neural Signal Downward Causation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Brown G. S. Laws of form. Oxford: Blackwell’s, 1969.Google Scholar
  2. Buckley, W. Modern systems research for the behavioral scientist. Chicago: Aldine, 1968.Google Scholar
  3. Campbell, D. T. “Downward causation” in hierarchically organized biological systems. InT. Dobzhansky li F. J. Ayala (Eds.), The problem of reduction in biology. London: Macmillan, 1973.Google Scholar
  4. Dewey, J. The reflex arc concept in psychology, In W. Dennis (Ed.), Readings in the history of psychology. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1948, pp. 355–365. (Originally published, 1896.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hubel, D. N., li Wiesel, T. N. Receptive fields and functional architecture in two non-striate visual areas of the cat. Journal of Neurophysiology, 1965, 28, 228–289.Google Scholar
  6. James, W. The principles of psychology. New York: Holt, 1890.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kelley, J. R. Manual and automatic control. New York: Wiley, 1968.Google Scholar
  8. Maxwell, J. C. On governors. In The scientific papers of James Clerk Maxwell, Vol. 2. New York: Dover, 1965, pp. 105–120. (Originally published, 1868.)Google Scholar
  9. Pattee, H. H. Hierarchy theory. New York. Braziller, 1973.Google Scholar
  10. Powers, W. T. Behavior: The Control of Perception. Chicago: Aldine, 1973.Google Scholar
  11. Powers, W. T., Clark, R. K., li Mcfarland, R. L. A general feedback theory of human behavior, Parts I and II. L. V. Bertalanffy li A. Rapoport (Eds.), General Systems: Yearbook of the Society for General Systems Research. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Society for General Systems Research, 1960, pp. 63–83.Google Scholar
  12. Stark, L. Neurological Control Systems. New York: Plenum, 1968.Google Scholar
  13. Von Foerster, H., and students. Cybernetics of Cybernetics. Urbana: University of Illinois Biological Computer Laboratory, 1974.Google Scholar
  14. Wiener, N. Cybernetics. New York: Wiley, 1948.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • William T. Powers
    • 1
  1. 1.NorthbrookUSA

Personalised recommendations