Explanation, teleology, and operant behaviorism

Philosophy of Science 43 (June):223-253 (1976)
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Abstract

B. F. Skinner's claim that "operant behavior is essentially the field of purpose" is systematically explored. It is argued that Charles Taylor's illuminating analysis of the explanatory significance of common-sense goal-ascriptions (1) lends some (fairly restricted) support to Skinner's claim, (2) considerably clarifies the conceptual significance of differences between operant and respondent behavior and conditioning, and (3) undercuts influential assertions (e.g., Taylor's) that research programs for behavioristic psychology share a "mechanistic" orientation. A strategy is suggested for assessing the plausibility of Skinner's broader claims about the adequacy of the operant behaviorist program for the analysis of purposive behavior

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References found in this work

The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141:125-126.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Popper - 1959 - Studia Logica 9:262-265.
Psychology as the behaviorist views it.John B. Watson - 1994 - Psychological Review 101 (2):248-253.
Functions.Larry Wright - 1973 - Philosophical Review 82 (2):139-168.

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