Modern Perspectives on B. F. Skinner and Contemporary Behaviorism

By James T. Todd; Edward K. Morris | Go to book overview

Notes

CHAPTER 2
1.
Original copies of the letters cited in this chapter may be found in the Richard M. Elliott Archives, Walter Library, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2.
Skinner other Century Series books are Verbal Behavior ( 1957), Schedules of Reinforcement ( Ferster & Skinner, 1957), Technology of Teaching ( 1967), Contingencies of Reinforcement: A Theoretical Analysis ( 1969), the third edition (but neither the first nor the enlarged) of Cumulative Record ( 1972a), Reflection on Behaviorism and Society ( 1978), and Upon Further Reflection ( 1987).
3.
The first entry appeared in 1940 under "conditioning operant"; beginning in 1973 entries were changed to "operant conditioning."

CHAPTER 4
1.
Strictly speaking, the attribution of positivism to Bacon is an anachronism, given that the term positivism was not coined until nearly two centuries after Bacon's death. However, Bacon's emphasis on basing knowledge only on well-grounded direct observations (what were later called "positive" facts), his advocacy of experimental method, his opposition to speculative metaphysics, and his attention to potentially misleading use of language would otherwise qualify him as a positivist. Indeed, it is by virtue of these characteristics of his thought that he is often cited, along with David Hume, as one of the chief historical sources of positivism. No such chronological reservations surround the attribution of positivism to Mach, whose works were written after positivism had become a full-fledged philosophical movement. For a concise history of positivism, see Abbagnano ( 1967).
2.
Skinner's concept of the reflex reserve has met with an uneven reception in the fifty years since it was introduced. Its exact status has never been clear (for discussions, see Ellson, 1939; Killeen, 1988; Verplanck, 1954; Zuriff, 1985), and Skinner himself abandoned the concept as fruitless and unnecessary not long after proposing it (see Skinner, 1956). Most members of the operant tradition have been content to follow Skinner in rejecting the concept, though one ( Killeen, 1988) has resurrected

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