Specifying Psychology's Observable Units: Toward an Integration of Kantor's "Behavior Segment", Skinner's "Operant", and Lee's "Deed"
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Behavior and Philosophy 31:81 - 110 (2003)
Psychologists sometimes discuss the need to refine clear designations of the observable units comprising their subject matter. This paper links such discussions to (a) Dewey and Bentley's (1949) account of specification as relatively accurate unit-designation, and (b) the logical base of scientific classifications and abstractions in observable particulars. The paper then reviews, clarifies, evaluates, and contrasts the psychological units proposed by Kantor (behavior segment), Skinner (operant), and Lee (deed). Overall, Lee's deed is found to be the sharpest, least ambiguous designation, and the only specification. Deeds, fields of contributors, and contingencies are then used to selectively integrate aspects of all three units. The resulting integration is consistent with field-based approaches to causal relations within and among units, where the noun cause is synonymous with one of many contributors. It is also applicable to the analysis of feedback loops, which are designated as circular networks of dependency among subclasses of deeds.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Jon D. Ringen (1976). Explanation, Teleology, and Operant Behaviorism. Philosophy of Science 43 (June):223-253.
Emilio Ribes-Iñesta (2003). What Is Defined in Operational Definitions? The Case of Operant Psychology. Behavior and Philosophy 31:111 - 126.
Roy A. Moxley (1997). Skinner: From Essentialist to Selectionist Meaning. Behavior and Philosophy 25 (2):95 - 119.
Roy A. Moxley (1996). The Import of Skinner's Three-Term Contingency. Behavior and Philosophy 24 (2):145 - 167.
J. M. Cleaveland (2002). Beyond Trial-and-Error in a Selectionist Psychology. Behavior and Philosophy 30:73 - 99.
William Timberlake (2004). Is the Operant Contingency Enough for a Science of Purposive Behavior? Behavior and Philosophy 32 (1):197 - 229.
Douglas V. Porpora (1980). Operant Conditioning and Teleology. Philosophy of Science 47 (4):568-582.
Bruce E. Hesse & Gary Novak (2001). On the Origins of Complexity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):540-541.
J. Moore (2001). On Psychological Terms That Appeal to the Mental. Behavior and Philosophy 29:167 - 186.
Manish Vaidya (2001). Are Units of Retention Necessary? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):559-559.
Frances K. McSweeney & Kenjiro Aoyama (2001). Evolution and Operant Behavior, Metaphor or Theory? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):545-546.
R. Lee Lyman (2006). Cultural Traits and Cultural Integration. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):357-358.
William Andrew Bradnan (1982). On Behavioristic Versus Neurophysiologic Accounts of Psychotic Behavior. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 7 (3):289-303.
J. Brakel (1990). Units of Measurement and Natural Kinds: Some Kripkean Considerations. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 33 (3):297 - 317.
Added to index2011-05-29
Total downloads20 ( #187,583 of 1,906,980 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #91,929 of 1,906,980 )
How can I increase my downloads?