Such a view was championed by bertrand Russell (1921, 1927; see kitchener 2004). But what particularly distinguishes twentieth-century philosophical behaviorism is its commitment to semantic behaviorism, the view that philosophy is concerned with the analysis of the meaning of mentalistic terms, concepts, and representations. This linguistic turn in philosophy (Rorty 1967) means that instead of talking about the nature of the mind as an object in the world, philosophers should be concerned with our linguistic representations of the mind. This type of philosophical behaviorism is called logical (analytic, conceptual) behaviorism. Philosophical behaviorism, therefore, is different from psychological behaviorism. Ludwig Wittgenstein is sometimes called a behaviorist, largely because he was critical of the cartesian model of the mind, especially its assumption that the meaning of a mentalistic term must be given in terms of ones private sensations or states of consciousness.
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Skinnerian behaviorism was the dominant version narrative of behaviorism in the 1970s, and skinner extended his approach to consider more and more complex behavior, including thought processes and language. His 1957 book verbal Behavior, an example of this extrapolation, was reviewed by the linguist noam Chomsky, who subjected it to devastating criticism (Chomsky 1959). Skinner declined to respond to Chomsky, and many individuals took this as a sign of the demise of behaviorism. This was not completely true, as can be seen in the current era of behaviorism, which features teleological behaviorism, interbehaviorism, empirical behaviorism, and so on (see odonohue and Kitchener 1999). Although behaviorism does not have the hegemony it once did, it continues to exist, but is restricted to pockets of research. Indeed, there are several scientific journals devoted to behaviorism, including the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and Behavior and Philosophy. Philosophical Behaviorism Although psychological behaviorism can be described relatively clearly, philosophical behaviorism cannot. Fundamentally, a philosophical behaviorist is one who has a particular theory of the philosophical nature of the mind. All philosophical behaviorists are opposed to the cartesian theory of mind: that the mind is a special kind of nonphysical substance that is essentially private, and introspection is the only or primary way of knowing about the contents of the mind, such that the individual. One or more of these tenets is denied by the philosophical behaviorist, who believes that there is nothing necessarily hidden about the mind: It is not essentially private, not made of a special substance, not known by any special method, and there is no privileged. In effect, the philosophical behaviorist claims that the mind is essentially something public, exemplified in ones actions in the world, and that mentalistic properties are those displayed in certain kinds of public behavior.
Skinners version of behaviorism—operant behaviorism—is markedly different from most of the other neobehaviorists, and yet he is perhaps the best-known behaviorist. Indeed, after the demise of Hullian learning theory in the 1960s, the main thrust of the movement switched to skinners distinctive version of behaviorism. Denying he was an s-r psychologist, skinner championed an operant account of learning, in which a response that occurs is reinforced and its frequency is increased (1938). The response—for example, a bar press or a key peck—is not elicited by any known stimulus, but once it has occurred, its rate of response can be changed by various kinds of reinforcement schedules. The response can also be brought under experimental control when it occurs in the presence of a discriminative stimulus (e.g., light). Such a relationship—discriminative stimulus, response, reinforcement—is sometimes called a contingency of reinforcement, and it holds a central place in skinners brand of behaviorism. Skinner himself characterized his behaviorism as a radical behaviorism because rather than ignoring what is going on inside the organism, it insists that such events are revelation still behavior (1974). However, such behavior still is caused by environmental variables.
The second period (19301950) was the era of neobehaviorism, so called because its philosophical underpinnings were somewhat different from its predecessors. Neobehaviorism was wedded to classical learning theory (see koch 1959 and neobehaviorists were concerned with what form an adequate theory of learning should take. The main figures were Edwin Guthrie, edward Tolman, Clark hull,. Skinner, and Kenneth Spence. All of these individuals spent a great deal of time laying out the philosophical bases of their respective kinds of behaviorism, and in doing so, they borrowed heavily from the school of logical positivism, which was influential at the time (but see smith 1986). This resulted in an emphasis on the importance of operational definitions, a preference for a hypothetico-deductive model of theory construction, and a focus on issues about intervening variables versus hypothetical constructs, reviews and the admissibility of neurological speculation. This move toward postulating internal mediating responses continued with later Hullian neobehaviorists such as Charles london Osgood, neal Miller,. Mowrer, Frank logan, and others. The last two phases of behaviorism are more difficult to characterize.
If the latter, then how can a purely mechanistic science account for it? This perplexing question remained at the center of discussion for decades. Doubts about a mechanistic approach gave impetus to versions of purposive behaviorism found in the writings of William McDougall (1912 Edwin Holt (1915 and. Indeed, McDougall and Holt had been proposing a kind of teleological behaviorism before watson had appeared on the scene. We can divide the history of psychological behaviorism into several periods: (1) classical behaviorism, (2) neobehaviorism, (3) operant behaviorism, and (4) contemporary behaviorism. The first period (19121930) introduced the theory of behaviorism championed by john Watson and several other early advocates of behaviorism, including Max meyer, Albert weiss, walter Hunter, and Karl Lashley. These behavioristic accounts were, by and large, naive, sketchy, and inadequate, but they set forth the general program of psychological behaviorism.
Behaviorism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Classical and instrumental learning promised to explain all of that behavior. None of this seemed to require private internal workings of a special kind of substance. Psychology could take its place among the objective natural sciences. In psychology, behaviorism began with John Watson, who coined the term behaviorism and set forth its initial premises in his seminal article Psychology as the behaviorist views It (1913). Behaviorism, watson suggested, should be considered an objective, natural science, one that studies the public, observable behavior of organisms. Rejecting the method of introspection practiced by his predecessors, watson suggested a different method to be used by psychologists: Study the observable behavior of others, and to explain it, given the stimulus, predict the response; given the response, predict the stimulus.
The aim of psychology, therefore, was the prediction and control of behavior. What then of the mind, that special substance that Descartes claimed was the special province of humans? Watson gave several different answers over the course of his career, including eliminative behaviorism, methodological behaviorism, and, later, the view that the mind exists but is the same as behavior. In short, watsons argument was this: Humans and animals are not radically different from each other, and since the behavior of animals can be explained without appealing to consciousness, the behavior of humans can be explained without appealing to consciousness, too. With the rise of the cognitive sciences in the 1960s, this conclusion was denied, and so was the claim that the behavior of animals can be explained without appealing to consciousness. The key question is, what did Watson mean by behavior? Was it a mechanical physical movement of the body or something more complex—the intentional, purposive action of a rational agent?
Strongly influenced by the darwinian revolution, the pragmatists employed a darwinian model of organisms adapting to their environments to understand action. Such an approach at once stressed the problem-solving nature of human and animal mentality and the assumption that everything that exists must be understood in a functional way—that is, how entities such as ideas are useful in an organisms struggle to survive in its environment. All intelligence was to be explained in this way, as an instrument of action. Although Sigmund Freud was no behaviorist, he did aid the behaviorist cause by challenging the reigning Cartesian model of the mind that maintained that humans had an immediate and privileged access to the inner workings of their minds that employed a first-person rather than. Freud argued that the mind is not transparent to our internal gaze because most of our mental activity is going on below the surface at the level of the unconscious (Freud 1900). If this is correct, then the method of psychology cannot be assumed to be introspective.
This opened the way to alternative methods of psychological investigation. The work of ivan pavlov on the conditioned reflexes of dogs (1927 1960 as well as the work of other Russian physiological scientists, provided behaviorists with scientific accounts of behavior. Behavior occurs, persists, and changes as a result of classical conditioning : An original stimulus elicits some response; another stimulus is subsequently paired with the original stimulus, thereby acquiring the power to elicit the response. This version of s-r psychology is the paradigm for at least early behaviorism, providing an explanation of behavior. The other kind of learning employed by behaviorists was instrumental conditioning (operant conditioning, trial and error learning first introduced in 1898 by Edward Thorndike (18741949). In instrumental conditioning, a response is learned because it is reinforced by a stimulus—the reward—where the response is instrumental in obtaining the reward.
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Do we need to appeal to a special nonmaterial substance to explain the behavior of humans, or paper can all of their behavior be database explained in the same ways we explain animal behavior? Although Descartess answer was widely accepted, there were a few individuals who argued that humans are no different from animals, and hence if animal behavior can be explained along naturalistic lines—by observing their behavior and trying to explain it by deterministic laws of matter. This was the view of some eighteenth-century thinkers who championed a purely naturalistic, materialistic, deterministic, and mechanistic account of humans. They were the forefathers of mainstream psychological behaviorism. The nineteenth century produced philosophers and scientists who, in one form or another, contributed ideas that were fuel for the behaviorists fire. An example are the post-Kantian German idealistic philosophers, many of whom stressed the importance of praxis, or human action. These ideas in turn strongly influenced members of the philosophical/psychological school of pragmatism, including Charles Sanders peirce (18391914 william James (18421910 and John Dewey (18591952). These pragmatists were concerned with understanding and providing an account of humans and animals that focused on their action—something that organisms did, something they tried to accomplish as they interacted in their physical and social environment.
Several seventeenth- and eighteenth-century works inspired behavioristic followers, including. Thomas Hobbes s generally mechanistic account of the business mind, The leviathan (1651 rené descartess 1637 account of animal behavior, discourse on Method, and the writings of several individuals who belonged to the French Encyclopedists tradition of the Enlightenment, such as Julien de la mettries Man. The cartesian Tradition A major philosophical issue emerging in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries concerned the question of the nature of the human mind and the animal mind: Is it possible to provide a mechanistic, materialistic, and deterministic account of the human mind, or must. Descartes argued that the human mind is made of a substance different from any found in the natural world, one that operates by principles at odds with the ordinary causal processes of inorganic matter. Although humans possess this special kind of spiritual being, animals do not; they are, quite simply, machines that operate by ordinary matter in motion (Descartes 1637). Humans are radically different from such animals because the human mind is made of a quite different substance that is not observable by ordinary naturalistic methods; however, humans have a kind of special access to their own minds, found by means of internal reflection. None of this was true of animals, all of whose behavior can be explained mechanistically in terms of simple mechanical principles (see rosenfeld 1941). The question that arose, therefore, was this: If Descartes was correct about his animal psychology, was he also correct about human psychology?
behaviorism (also called analytic behaviorism or semantic behaviorism ) is the view that all mentalistic terms or concepts can be defined or translated into behavioral terms or concepts. Epistemological behaviorism and evidential behaviorism hold roughly the view that the only way to know about a mental state is by observing behavior. It should be noted that in the intellectual history of western culture there have been individuals who held views very similar to theories supported by one or both of these movements, even though they did not use the term behaviorism ; others have championed views. Aristotle (384 bce-322 bce in particular his. De anima, his account of practical rationality in the. Nicomachean Ethics, and his scientific work on animals (. De motu Animal contain ideas that were assimilated by later behaviorists. Likewise, the writings of the Stoics and the skeptics contain several theoretical accounts that are sympathetic to a general behavioristic approach, especially their views about animal cognition.
Philosophical behaviorism, by contrast, is a research program advanced primarily by philosophers of the twentieth century. This school is much more difficult to characterize, but in general, it is concerned with the philosophy of mind, the meaning of mentalistic terms, how we learn this meaning, and how we know when to use these terms. Important philosophical behaviorists include bertrand Russell (18721970 gilbert Ryle (19001976 ludwig Wittgenstein (18891951 rudolf Carnap (18911970 Otto neurath (18821945 carl Hempel (19051997 and. Other philosophers such as guaranteed Daniel Dennett (b. 1942 wilfrid Sellars (19121989 donald davidson (19172003 and. 1931) have behavioristic sympathies to varying degrees. Besides these two generic versions of behaviorism, there are several subvarieties (see kitchener 1999; Zuriff 1985).
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A brief historical overview, psychological behaviorism, objections to behaviorism. Conclusion, bibliography, behaviorism is a twentieth-century term, made popular by the psychologist John Watson (18781958) in 1913. Although Watson introduced psychological behaviorism, there is also a version called philosophical behaviorism. Psychological behaviorism is the view that psychology should study the behavior of individual organisms. Psychology should be defined not as the study of the mind and internal mental processes via introspection, but estate as the science of behavior. The most famous proponents of psychological behaviorism were john Watson and. Other notable behaviorists were Edwin Guthrie (18861959 Edward Tolman (18861959 Clark hull (18841952 and Kenneth Spence (19071967).