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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.
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.
This 1988 book is a revealing historical record of the work of B. F. Skinner and its impact on psychology.
In 1934, at the age of 30, B. F. Skinner found himself at a dinner sitting next to Professor Alfred North Whitehead. Never one to lose an opportunity to promote behaviorism, Skinner expounded its main tenets to the distinguished philosopher. Whitehead acknowledged that science might account for most of human behavior but he would not include verbal behavior. He ended the discussion with a challenge: "Let me see you," he said, "account for my behavior as I sit here saying, 'No black scorpion is falling upon this table.'" The next morning Skinner began this book. It took him over twenty years to complete. This book extends the laboratory-based principles of selection by consequences to account for what people say, write, gesture, and think. Skinner argues that verbal behavior requires a separate analysis because it does not operate on the environment directly, but rather through the behavior of other people in a verbal community. He illustrates his thesis with examples from literature, the arts, and sciences, as well as from his own verbal behavior and that of his colleagues and children. Perhaps it is because this theoretical work provides a way to approach that most human of human behavior that Skinner ofter called Verbal Behavior his most important work.
A detailed study of scientific theories of human nature and the possible ways in which human behavior can be predicted and controlled
This fictional outline of a modern utopia has been a center of controversy ever since its publication in 1948. Set in the United States, it pictures a society in which human problems are solved by a scientific technology of human conduct.
This introduction to Skinner's work is first of all a guide to a correct reading of his writings. It frames Skinner's contributions with reference to major European traditions in psychological sciences, namely Pavlov, Freud, Lorenz and Piaget. Crucial aspects of Skinner's theory and methodological stands are discussed in the context of contemporary debates: special attention is devoted to the relationship of psychology with biology and the neurosciences, to the cognitivist movement, to the status of language and to the explanation of novelty and creativity in human behaviour. Finally, Skinner's social and political philosophy is presented with an emphasis on the provocative aspects of an analysis of current social practices which fail to solve most of the urgent problems humankind is confronted with today. --From publisher's description.

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