Influential Past Teachers

Tag Archives: philosophy

Did B.F. Skinner really put babies into boxes?

by B.F. Skinner: When I was a little kid, I had a weird babysitter. She was very pale and thin, with dark hair and a tentative smile. She wore blouses with big trumpet sleeves, out of which poked her bony white wrists and elbows. She seldom made physical contact. She lived just up the street from us, and I heard people say she’d been “raised in a Skinner Box” by her psychologist father.… More

A Review of B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior

1967

Preface

by Noam Chomsky: Rereading this review after eight years, I find little of substance that I would change if I were to write it today. I am not aware of any theoretical or experimental work that challenges its conclusions; nor, so far as I know, has there been any attempt to meet the criticisms that are raised in the review or to show that they are erroneous or ill-founded.

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The Origins of Cognitive Thought

by B.F. Skinner: What is felt when one has a feeling is a condition of one’s body, and the word used to describe it almost always comes from the word for the cause of the condition felt. The evidence is to be found in the history of the language-in the etymology of the words that refer to feelings (see Chapter 1). Etymology is the archaeology of thought. … More

Superstition in the Pigeon

First published in Journal of Experimental Psychology38, 168-172.

by B.F. Skinner: To say that a reinforcement is contingent upon a response may mean nothing more than that it follows the response. It may follow because of some mechanical connection or because of the mediation of another organism; but conditioning takes place presumably because of the temporal relation only, expressed in terms of the order and proximity of response and reinforcement. … More

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