David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Behaviorism 13 (1):21-36 (1985)
This paper argues that a behavioral or functional analysis of human action is compatible with human freedom. This thesis is quite contrary to what behaviorists such as B. F. Skinner as well as their critics such as D. C. Dennett have assumed to be the case. The essential argument involves three steps. First, the paper proceeds by presenting a novel analysis of intentional or mental states in terms of the principles of reinforcement. It is argued that with the acquisition of language humans are able to think about, plan for, and make rational choices about the future. Second, the paper, while not trying to define freedom, nonetheless argues that freedom is essentially a function of three conditions. These include our power over the environment, our will power, and the ability to rationally determine our value priorities. Third, and finally, it is shown that there is nothing in a behavioral or functional analysis to prevent our satisfying these three basic conditions of which our freedom is a function
|Keywords||Action Ethics Freedom Intentionality Brentano Skinner, B|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Donald Davidson (1973). Freedom to Act. In Ted Honderich (ed.), Essays on Freedom of Action. Routledge
B. F. Skinner (1971). Beyond Freedom and Dignity. Penguin Books.
Samuel J. Hartenberg (1972). Book Review:Beyond Freedom and Dignity. B. F. Skinner. [REVIEW] Ethics 82 (4):353-.
Mary T. Clark (ed.) (1973). The Problem of Freedom. New York,Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Alfred R. Mele (2002). Autonomy and Akrasia. Philosophical Explorations 5 (3):207 – 216.
David A. Washburn (1997). The MacKay-Skinner Debate: A Case for “Nothing Buttery”. Philosophical Psychology 10 (4):473 – 479.
George Bealer (1996). Materialism and the Logical Structure of Intentionality. In Howard Robinson (ed.), Objections to Physicalism. New York: Clarendon Press
E. M. Adams (1973). Skinner on Freedom and Dignity. Southern Journal of Philosophy 11 (1-2):3-5.
Carl Ginet (1990). On Action. Cambridge University Press.
Robert N. Audi (1976). B.F. Skinner on Freedom, Dignity, and the Explanation of Behavior. Behaviorism 4 (2):163-186.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads2 ( #533,576 of 1,725,169 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #349,103 of 1,725,169 )
How can I increase my downloads?