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Additional info for B.F. Skinner: Consensus And Controversy: Controversy & Consensus (Falmer International Master-Minds Challenged, Vol 5)

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THE ARTICLES BY SCRIVEN AND BY JOHNSON The single entry for the 1955–59 year-group was Scriven’s paper on ‘A Study of Radical Behaviorism’ for Volume I of the Minnesota Studies, for which examples of Scriven’s usage of ‘radical behaviorism’ were examined in some detail above. , the inductive description of lawful relations between the environment and behavior, but where Skinner’s objections to the use of psychological ‘theory’ were both inappropriate and unnecessary. The second article to be referenced in Figure 1, namely the single entry for 1960–64, is entitled ‘Discussion: A Commentary on “Radical Behaviorism”’ by Rochelle Johnson (1963).

Here we have a truly remarkable thing! These two articles were each written on a different continent by people who had never heard of each other, each advancing the same, most extraordinary claim that Skinner’s radical behaviorism is intrinsically compatible with phenomenology. Both authors argue this in spite of the general consensus among professional psychologists at that time that behaviorism and phenomenology stood at opposite poles of intellectual perspectives in the field. The papers are: (first in order of publication) ‘Skinner and Sartre’, by Steinar Kvale and Carl Erik Grenness, which appeared in the Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry, Spring, 1967; and (second in order of publication) ‘Radical Behaviorism in Reconciliation with Phenomenology’, by me, which was published in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 1969.

However, in sharp contrast to McCorkle’s approach, Moore seems never to want operationism to move very far away from the behavior of the scientist, or from TEAB, the experimental analysis of behavior. Explicit manipulation of relevant variables, with the ultimate aim of prediction and control, seems always to be in the background of Moore’s analysis. On the other hand, the words can easily be read as entirely consistent with McCorkle: The behaviorist interpretation of operationism may now be understood as a matter of assessing the conditions that lead the scientist to use the term in the way he does.

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