Graduate studies at Western
Journal for General Philosophy of Science 24 (2):275 - 292 (1993)
|Abstract||Behaviourist Learning Theory and Utility Theory. Comparisons between theories are rare, especially in social theory which is believed to be a "multi-paradigmatic" science. Against this prevailing impression it is shown that there are logically reconstructable inter-theory-relations at least between different basic theories of individual action. Following Wladyslaw Krajewski a formal model of theory-approximation is developed and applied to behaviourist learning theory and utility theory. Comparing both theories leads to the result that the latter has to be preferred to Behaviourism. That utility theory has a richer content than learning theory helps to explain why George Caspar Homans explanatory programme which leans on a Skinnerian version of learning theory finally did not succeed in becoming the leading approach in social science|
|Keywords||utility theory learning theory inter-theoretical-relation theory-comparison theoretical idealization theory approximation|
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