Sabtu, 31 Maret 2012

The principle of operant conditioning from the laboratory to real life

The principle of operant conditioning
As Skinner argued throughout his work it is essential to any possible adequate explanation of behaviour not to rely on mentalistic terms. Any explanation based on mentalistic terms, in fact, presupposes the rationality of the agent. 
Citing reasons, intentions, beliefs, etc. does not provide an explanation of what makes behaving that organism according with those reason, intention, beliefs, in other world why the behaviour of the agent is rational and what makes his behaviour so adequate to the environment (Palmer, 2009).
Inevitably a scientific account of behaviour will replace with mechanistic explanations the intentional terms usually adopted. “Science seems to be inevitably iconoclastic. It usurps the place of the explanatory fictions which men have invented as pre-scientific devices to account for nature (Skinner, 1957, p. 234). The Copernican system, astronomy, Darwinism, chemistry, anthropology, carry on Skinner, shows that inevitably “as science advances, it strips men of fancied achievements”. “It was inevitable” concludes “that psychology should enter these lists”.(Skinner, 1957).