The effect of closed-loop causality

Felicity Haynes
Vol 4, Number 1, p.33
Underlying any analysis of classroom behaviour is some notion of causality, usually tacit and unconscious, and, more relevantly to this paper, usually linear, discrete and sequential. But underlying the notion of a linear causal chain there appears to be the assumption that external stimuli control the behaviour of organisms in a way analogous to the way in which internal forces acting on masses control the movements of physical bodies. Thus sensory stimulus and motor responses are believed to have as distinct physical existence as two billiard balls in motion. In this paper I intend to examine the consequences of replacing the stimulus-response model of causal explanations with a closedloop model of causation which can include awareness and purpose.