Behavior and Philosophy (Online)

Articles

Vol. 45, 2017

Methodological Behaviorism, Causal Chains, and Causal Forks
(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)My point of departure is a passage from B.F. Skinner's Science and Human Behavior:(1) The objection to inner states is not that they do not exist, but that they are not relevant in a functional analysis. (2) We...
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Just Responsibility
It is a great and necessary proof of wisdom and sagacity to know what questions might reasonably be asked. Immanuel KantPrefaceMost readers of this essay will know that one of the standing arguments for free will is that without it there can be no justification...
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Editorial
This is the first volume of Behavior and Philosophy published during my tenure as editor. The volume includes one voluntary submission (Lazzeri's paper) and five special invited papers (the rest of the papers). In a way, then, this is almost a special...
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Theoretical Behaviorism
(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)"Isms" are rarely a "plus" for science. The suffix sounds political. It implies a coherence and consistency that is rarely matched by reality. But labels are effective rhetorically. J. B. Watson's 1913 behaviorist...
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Extended Functionalism from a Behavioral Perspective
Traditional and contemporary ontologies and epistemologies of mental (or psychological) phenomena, regardless of all their differences, very often share the internalistic assumption (IA) that these phenomena are overall internal to the body (cf., e.g.,...
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Ontology for Behavior Analysis: Not Realism, Classes, or Objects, but Individuals and Processes
It is indeed an opinion strangely prevailing amongst men, that houses, mountains, rivers, and in a word all sensible objects, have an existence, natural or real, distinct from their being perceived by the understanding... yet whoever shall find in his...
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Scientific Progress in Clinical Psychology and Epistemically Virtuous Research
Scientific Progress in Clinical Psychology and Epistemically Virtuous ResearchScience is usually progressive: it often makes significant progress on the problems it addresses (Popper, 1963). In fact, success at problem solving has been one of the major...
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Vol. 43, 2016

Antidualism and Antimentalism in Radical Behaviorism *
This paper is a criticism of an aspect of Skinnerian or radical behaviorism (RB). I will use elements from academic philosophy of mind, but constructively: If correct, my criticism will suggest ways to strengthen that aspect. More precisely, the aspect...
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Poverty of Stimulus Arguments and Behaviourism
CHOMSKY AND QUINE ON LANGUAGE LEARNINGWhen it comes to the details of how children learn their first language there is a substantive difference between Chomsky and Quine. The primary difference between them centers on the role that they think reinforcement...
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Mentalistic Explanations for Autistic Behavior: A Behavioral Phenomenological Analysis
Effective intervention on challenging behavior begins with accurately identifying the contingencies of reinforcement maintaining such behavior. Once the function(s) of a problem behavior have been identified, individualized treatments can then be developed...
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Vol. 44, 2016

Finding Our Mind in Behavior Analysis – a Review of Rachlin's the Escape of the Mind
Few behavioral psychologists tackle difficult conceptual issues, and perhaps even fewer attempt to address them in new ways. At the same time scientific philosophy must not involve absolutes or universals as no such absolutes or universals exist in the...
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Mentalism versus Dualism: Replies to Commentaries
Mentalism versus Dualism: Replies to CommentariesThe commentaries to the target paper (Burgos, 2016) are insightful and stimulating. Some call for corrections to, others for further clarification of some specific claims, but none invalidates the target...
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Comments on Burgos' Antidualism and Antimentalism in Radical Behaviorism/reply to Burgos
In this article Burgos draws a distinction between mentalism and dualism, and criticizes radical behaviorism (RB) for its conflation of the two. He points out that a theory of behavior may be mentalistic in the sense that it employs mental terms, yet...
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On the Impossibility of Mental Causation: Comments on Burgos' "Antidualism and Antimentalism in Radical Behaviorism"
I agree completely with Burgos' (2016) argument. I just think he drew the wrong conclusion. I grant that dualism can be treated independently of mental causes-that is, someone could support dualism and not any interaction between the physical and the...
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José E. Burgos Antidualism and Antimentalism in Radical Behaviorism: A Critical Discussion
As the title makes clear, José Burgos' is an ambitious paper, attempting to tackle a number of positions spanning three centuries or so in the philosophy of mind, and over a century in non-philosophical areas such as behaviourism, cognitive psychology,...
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The Escape of Metaphysics: Commentary on Burgos (2016)
As the Walrus entreated, Burgos (2016) talks of many things, and quite brilliantly, but essentially he has presented a clear, careful, and scholarly argument that radical behaviorism has typically conflated "mentalism" and "dualism." If this be the case-and...
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Comments on Burgos' (2016) Antidualism and Antimentalism in Radical Behaviorism
An interesting paper by Burgos (2016) argued that when radical behaviorists present criticisms of mentalism, such as the type typically practiced by cognitivists, the arguments commonly entail criticisms of dualism as well. Burgos made the case that...
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Vol. 42, 2014

The Scientific Naturalist Case against Moral Responsibility: A Response to Rottschaefer
Having long admired William Rottschaefer's incisive and insightful work- particularly his recent work on moral agency and "second philosophy" (1998, 1999, 2009)-I anticipated a thorough, rigorous, and scrupulously fair review of Against Moral Responsibility:...
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Can We Responsibly Reject Moral Responsibility?: A Critical Assessment of Bruce Waller's against Moral Responsibility
I suspect that few people would quarrel with the proposal that the practices of slavery and sexism ought to be eliminated. But should the practice of assigning moral responsibility (MR)? Come on! Yes, indeed. Bruce Waller in his very challenging and...
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Are Neuroreductionist Explanations of Cognition Possible?
In the last three decades, cognitive neuroscience has undergone a revolution in substance and available technology. With the invention of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) by Ogawa, Lee, Kay, and Tank (1990), brain images using Blood Oxygen...
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On Defining Behavior: Some Notes
There are many definitions of behavior in the scientific and philosophical literature, and scant consensus (apparently even among the practitioners within particular behavior research programs) as to how to define it (see, e.g., Bergner, 2011; Levitis,...
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Propositional Logic and Formal Codification of Behavioral Operations
Propositional Logic and Formal Codification of Behavioral OperationsA few notation or codification systems have been proposed in behavior analysis. The most elaborated is that of Mechner (1959, 2008, 2011). Mechner's (1959) purpose was to describe the...
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Vol. 39/40, 2011

A Plea for Methodological Dualism and a Multi-Explanation Framework in Psychology
IntroductionWhatever our mental functioning may be, there seems to be no serious reason to believe that it is explainable by our physics and chemistry. (Putnam, 1975, p. 297)We have been trying for a long time to solve the mind-body problem. It has stubbornly...
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The Broad Perception Model and the Transparency of Qualia
When I have a throbbing headache, feel inexplicably elated, or savor a bowl of chocolate ice cream, my mental states have a certain quality that is uniquely phenomenal; there is something that it is like to be in these states. What has been dubbed as...
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A Behaviorist Account of Emotions and Feelings: Making Sense of James D. Laird's Feelings: The Perception of Self
Laird's Feelings: The Perception of the Self is an important book for readers of Behavior and Philosophy. It presents the results of experiments on many phenomena that humanists often claim are beyond the reach of science: self-awareness, emotion, motivation,...
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An Enactive Account of the Perception of Facts
I. Starting Points in the Study of Perception1. Central to Alva Noë's presentation of the sensorimotor account of perception in his Action in Perception (Noë, 2004) and elsewhere1 is the thought that much of the confusion about perception comes from...
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Methodological Questions Begged
Rakover's phrase "methodological dualism" echoes, intentionally or otherwise, Fodor's earlier call to "methodological solipsism"-a research strategy Fodor once urged upon psychologists as the only practical hope for a science of the mind (Fodor, 1980)....
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Comments on "A Plea for Methodological Dualism and a Multi-Explanation Framework in Psychology" by Sam Rakover
Rakover's paper begins by dealing with the as-yet intractable mind-body problem. The author's apparent response to the problem is that it is unsolvable and therefore we need to have parallel explanations, one physical and one mental. An alternative view...
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The Intentional and the Extensional: A Response to Rakover
Any approach to the explanation of behavior that encourages debate among proponents of alternative perspectives is to be welcomed as a stimulus to the growth of knowledge and intellectual development. I am therefore delighted by the methodological pluralism...
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Mind, Consciousness, Will, and Belief: Rakover's Multi-Explanation Framework
How can anyone spend even a second puzzling over the Mind/Body Problem? The Mind/Body Problem! That topic could only be important to a writer who is unmindful of the history of serious thought and who is guided largely by introductory texts, folk psychology,...
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Methodological Dualism and Multi-Explanation Framework: Replies to Criticisms and Further Developments
I am indebted to the commentators for their thought-provoking reviews. For different reasons, they do not accept my plea for including mentalistic explanations under the umbrella of the scientific methodology (except perhaps Foxall, 2011/2012, who welcomes...
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Expelling the Meme-Ghost from the Machine: An Evolutionary Explanation for the Spread of Cultural Practices
Some attempts to define memes in concrete terms have regarded neurological synapse activation patterns as the units of transmission. Due to the lack of structural similarities, neuronal patterns in different people can only be said to correspond to one...
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Editor's Note and Introduction
Dear Readers:We apologize for the delay in distributing volume 39 of Behavior and Philosophy, here combined with volume 40. As time neared to put volume 39 together, we at the journal and the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (CCBS) decided to...
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Methodological Behaviorism as a Radical Behaviorist Views It
Methodological Behaviorism as a Radical Behaviorist Views ItSkinner (1964) opened one of his canonical articles with the following paragraph:Behaviorism, with an accent on the last syllable, is not the scientific study of behavior but a philosophy of...
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Commentary on Cyberrat
Roger Ray (2011/2012) deserves considerable credit for developing CyberRat, which provides an excellent demonstration of basic principles of operant conditioning in a close-to-real video and data format. Operant behavior (lever pressing) can be shaped...
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How Close to Real Can a Non-Real Cyberrat Behave?
Any comments on Ray's monograph "CyberRat, Interbehavioral Systems Analysis, and a Turing Test Trilogy" inevitably lead to comments on Kantor's interbehaviorism which, for an academic raised on "pure Skinner" such as myself, forced me to re-examine my...
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Descriptive versus Functional Accounts of Psychological Events: Cyberrat as a Case in Point
Simulations are generally considered to have value in two broad areas: (1) education and scientific validation and (2) prediction (Axelrod, 2007). With regard to the former, CyberRat (Ray, 2011/2012) provides an array of features designed to provide...
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The Hope of a Radically Embodied Science
Chemero, Anthony. (2009). Radical embodied cognitive science. Cambridge, MA: A Bradford Book, MIT Press.Students of psychology are taught to regard the Representational Theory of Mind as a relatively new invention, attached to the rise of modern computer...
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Metaphor and Truth: A Review of Representation Reconsidered by W. M. Ramsey
If one thing is to stand for or to represent another we must have direct knowledge both of the thing represented and of the symbol. (Nunn, 1909-1910, p. 198)In Representation Reconsidered, William Ramsey (2007) examines different notions of representation...
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Reply to Professor Costall
Because Professor Costall's review focuses largely on what is not in my book, I will briefly describe what the book is about, and why I wrote it. The purpose of the book is to introduce philosophers (of mind, of science, of cognitive science) to an ongoing...
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Challenges in Concluding a Research Program: Some Reflections on Reviewer Comments regarding "Cyberrat, Ibsa, and a 'Turing Test' Trilogy"
I am very grateful to the present reviewers (Iversen, 2011/2012; Lewon, Munoz Blanco, & Hayes, 2011/2012; Phelps, 2011/2012) who accepted the challenge of commenting in print on my CyberRat/Turing-Test monograph. Of the dozen reviewer invitations...
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Cyberrat, Interbehavioral Systems Analysis, and a "Turing Test" Trilogy
I have multiple and overlapping goals guiding this monograph. My ultimate goal is to articulate the conceptual and methodological validation value of a computer-based simulation called CyberRat (Ray, 1996a, 2003a, 2012a, http://www.cyberrat.net), which...
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