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Behaviorism, or “the science of behavior” as some of its adherents occasionally called it, is a broad movement in psychology that evolved during the early decades of the 20th century—although its roots can be traced back, through British empiricist philosophers such as John Locke and David Hume in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, to the ancient world (several behaviorist principles can be found in Aristotle’s De Anima). Focusing originally on animal and human learning, the modern movement broadened during the 20th century, and behaviorist approaches can be identified in many of the social sciences and even more widely afield—for example, the Oxford philosopher Gilbert Ryle’s The Concept of Mind (1949) is often identified as a major work in the philosophical behaviorist tradition. This ...

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