Behaviorists, or more precisely Skinnerians, commonly consider Skinner's work to have been misrepresented, misunderstood, and to some extent defamed. In this book, the author clarifies the work of B F Skinner, and puts it into historical and philosophical context. Though not a biography, the book discusses Skinner himself, in brief. But the bulk of the book illuminats Skinner's contributions to psychology, his philosophy of science, his experimental research program (logical positivism) and the behavioral principles that emerged from it, and applied aspects of his work. It also rebuts criticism of Skinner's work, including radical behaviorism, and discusses key developments by others that have derived from it.

B. F. Skinner—the Man

B. F. Skinner—the man

In this chapter we will provide a brief biographical sketch of B. F. Skinner. We will do this for two major reasons: (a) Most of us are curious about the personal lives of the great scholars whose works we read. We want to understand something of the person behind the ideas. We can be interested in the question of whether there is something in their personal lives that explains why they held certain views. What follows will give the reader a general idea of the life of Fred Skinner. (b) Unfortunately, not only have Skinner's writings been attacked through misinterpretations, but also he himself has been personally attacked. There have been numerous false reports that he hurt his ...

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