I was undecided about what to present in The MacEachran Lectures, on which this slim volume is based, for I had in mind two quite different things. One was a review of my own theoretical and experimental work. (In psychology, unlike in physics, theory and experiments usually reside in a single investigator.) The second possible subject I saw stemmed from my dissatisfaction, not to say unhappiness, with the current state of affairs in the field of learning theory--specifically in learning theory involving animals--that followed the so-called "cognitive revolution" in psychology. I concluded that I would never have a better forum in which, or a better platform from which, I might express my views on this second subject, so I decided to proceed with the latter, more polemical alternative.
I want to make clear at the beginning how I would characterize this essay. Though not a philosopher, I will be venturing into a realm of discourse that is known as philosophy of science; and though not a historian, I will be dabbling in the history of psychology, unabetted by the scholarly sweep of more distant historical perspective. I would, then, characterize the lectures as criticism-- and a one-man's-opinion kind of criticism at that. My credentials for being thus engaged are no more impressive--though no less,