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Richard Garrett

In: The Philosophy of Psychology

Chapter 10: Skinner's Case for Radical Behaviorism

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Skinner's Case for Radical Behaviorism
Skinner's case for radical behaviorism
RichardGarrett

Behaviorism comes in a variety offorms, including methodological behaviorism, logical behaviorism, Watsonian (S-R) behaviorism, and W. V. Quine's strange and unique version of behaviorism. But I am inclined to think that the most interesting and most promising case for behaviorism was B. F. Skinner's case on behalf of radical behaviorism. It is Skinner's version of behaviorism with which this chapter will be concerned.

Like behaviorism in all of its forms, Skinner's radical behaviorism reflects a deep aversion to the mentalistic language of folk psychology and other psychologies (e.g., Freudian psychology) that take over that language. The behaviorist's complaint is that such language is obscure; it refers to things that are hidden from public observation and control and ...

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