David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Behavior and Philosophy 28 (1/2):57 - 62 (2000)
As interpreted here, Garfinkel's "ethnomethodological experiment" (1967) demonstrates the existence of a social convention by flouting it and observing the consternation and aversive consequences for the perpetrator which that provokes. I suggest that the hostility which behaviorism has provoked throughout its history is evidence that it flouts an important social convention, the convention that, whenever possible, human beings are treated as and must always give the appearance of being rational agents. For these purposes, a rational agent is someone whose behavior is controlled by a logically consistent body of means-end beliefs ("rules" in Skinner's terminology) and complementing desires which between them provide a basis for predicting how the individual will behave and for suggesting what arguments will persuade the agent to modify his or her beliefs and the behavior based upon them. The behaviorist flouts this convention by suggesting that its fictional character makes it unsuitable for the purposes of scientific explanation of behavior. The hostility that this suggestion provokes is evidence of the importance attached by the verbal community both to preserving a consistent and rational connection between what is said and what is done and presenting it as part of the natural order of things.
|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
Ullin T. Place (1992). The Role of the Ethnomethodological Experiment in the Empirical Investigation of Social Norms and its Application to Conceptual Analysis. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 22 (4):461-474.
Margaret P. Gilbert (2008). Social Convention Revisited. Topoi (1-2):5-16.
Margaret Gilbert (1983). Agreements, Conventions, and Language. Synthese 54 (3):375 - 407.
Richard Alterman (2008). Activity and Convention. Topoi 27 (1-2):127-138.
Robert Johnson (2009). The Moral Law as Causal Law. In Jens Timmermann (ed.), Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
Adele Mercier (2003). Are Language Conventions Philosophically Explanatory? Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):111-124.
Stephen P. Stich (1985). Could Man Be an Irrational Animal? Synthese 64 (1):115-35.
Carl Pacini, Judyth A. Swingen & Hudson Rogers (2002). The Role of the OECD and EU Conventions in Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials. Journal of Business Ethics 37 (4):385 - 405.
Giacomo Sillari (2008). Common Knowledge and Convention. Topoi 27 (1-2):29-39.
Peter Vanderschraaf (1995). Convention as Correlated Equilibrium. Erkenntnis 42 (1):65 - 87.
Hugh Lacey (2007). Intentional Behaviorism and the Intentional Scheme: Comments on Gordon R. Foxall's "Intentional Behaviorism". Behavior and Philosophy 35:101 - 111.
Mathieu Doucet (2012). Can We Be Self-Deceived About What We Believe? Self-Knowledge, Self-Deception, and Rational Agency. [REVIEW] European Journal of Philosophy 20 (S1):E1-E25.
Lawrence Manley (1980). Convention, 1500-1750. Harvard University Press.
G. Ebbs (2011). Carnap and Quine on Truth by Convention. Mind 120 (478):193-237.
R. Jay Wallace (1999). Three Conceptions of Rational Agency. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (3):217-242.
Added to index2011-05-29
Total downloads6 ( #204,612 of 1,101,679 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #292,019 of 1,101,679 )
How can I increase my downloads?