Books

Understanding and Changing the Things You Do

“Wow.  I am impressed with this book!  It is comprehensive, neatly structured, and provides a great scientific context for introducing Perceptual Control Theory to the layperson.  The explanation builds up gradually over the chapters.  Fantastic.” – Warren Mansell, DPhil, DClinPsy, CPsychol […]

Bill Powers

A New Muscle Model

If you are going to reverse engineer and then simulate living organisms and how they move about, it is important to simulate all the physics correctly, such as the ray tracing included in the Little Man. Here is a paper that offers significant improvements regarding simulating the actions of muscles. […]

Bill Powers

Perceptual Control Theory at 40

This intro to PCT is slanted toward those coming into to this subject from the physical sciences. Bill Powers develops an argument that leads from conventional views of behavior to the new view that PCT gives us, emphasizing in the end the odd role that organisms, seen through the eyes of PCT, play in a world otherwise dominated by physical laws. The point will be to show that control theory provides us with the germ of a radically new understanding, a break with all traditional theories of behavior—and many new ones as well […]

Bill Powers

Volition: a Semi-Scientific Essay

Every child wonders, sooner or later, how it is that simply wanting one’s hands, arms, legs, body, head, or eyes to move suffices to create the wanted result…. — So begins this lovely essay and overview of the fundamental issues that cry out for answers. […]

Bill Powers

An Introduction to Perceptual Control Theory— Standing at the Crossroads

Many people have some sense of what control is about, but very few understand clearly how control works and even fewer (including control engineers) understand clearly what a control systems controls: Not “output” or “action” but perception of whatever is being controlled; that which action accomplishes. When you stop to think about it, you realize that a control system knows nothing about output or actions; it “knows” only what it senses. The distinction may seem trivial, but the consequences are profound. Bill Powers puts it all in context. […]