Beyond Freedom and Dignity
By (author) B. F. Skinner
Beyond Freedom and Dignity by B. F. Skinner
Book DescriptionIn this profound and profoundly controversial work, a landmark of 20th-century thought originally published in 1971, B. F. Skinner makes his definitive statement about humankind and society. Insisting that the problems of the world today can be solved only by dealing much more effectively with human behavior, Skinner argues that our traditional concepts of freedom and dignity must be sharply revised. They have played an important historical role in our struggle against many kinds of tyranny, he acknowledges, but they are now responsible for the futile defense of a presumed free and autonomous individual; they are perpetuating our use of punishment and blocking the development of more effective cultural practices. Basing his arguments on the massive results of the experimental analysis of behavior he pioneered, Skinner rejects traditional explanations of behavior in terms of states of mind, feelings, and other mental attributes in favor of explanations to be sought in the interaction between genetic endowment and personal history. He argues that instead of promoting freedom and dignity as personal attributes, we should direct our attention to the physical and social environments in which people live. It is the environment rather than humankind itself that must be changed if the traditional goals of the struggle for freedom and dignity are to be reached. Beyond Freedom and Dignity urges us to reexamine the ideals we have taken for granted and to consider the possibility of a radically behaviorist approach to human problems--one that has appeared to some incompatible with those ideals, but which envisions the building of a world in which humankind can attain its greatest possible achievements.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780872206281
(215mm x 9mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Hackett Publishing Co, Inc
Publisher: Hackett Publishing Co, Inc
Publish Date: 15-Mar-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author B. F. Skinner
Walden Two, Paperback (July 2005)
Set in the United States, this title pictures a society in which human problems are solved by a scientific technology of human conduct.
Enjoy Old Age, Paperback (September 1997)
"[A] wealth of practical guidelines to enhance the pleasures of life." -Jane E. Brody, New York Times "With humor and personal anecdotes, [Skinner] suggest ways to shape an older person's environment so that the imperfections of old age present as few intrusions as possible." -New Orleans Times-Picayune
About Behaviorism, Paperback (September 1988)» View all books by B. F. Skinner
The nature and importance of the controversial philosophy of behaviourism are viewed by its leading exponent.
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Author Biography - B. F. Skinner
Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904-1990), regarded by many as the most important and influential psychologist since Freud, earned his doctorate in psychology at Harvard University in 1931. Following appointments at the University of Minnesota and Indiana University, he returned to Harvard in 1948. He remained there for the rest of his career, retiring in 1974 as Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology.
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