Philosophy Class

"The Truth will make you odd."

                      Skinner Contradicts Himself

 

 

B.F. Skinner Determinist. Wrote "Beyond Freedom and  

Dignity". (Neitzche, "Beyond Good and Evil")

 

 

Transposed his philosophical doctrine of no-free will to psychological jargon.

 

 

 

1. Genes and heredity and environment make you do what you do.

 

 

 

2. We posit the "inner man" as one who explains seemingly random behavior.

 

 

3. Inner man posited as a center from whom behavior emanates. (autonomous).

 

 

5. Feelings follow behavior and are byproducts not causes.

 

 

6. He says free behavior would be uncaused.

 

 

7. There is a controlling relation between heredity and environment.

 

 

 

8. New evidence of the predictability of human behavior will emerge and are emerging.

 

 

 

9. Science shifts blame for actions on environment and from individual.

  

 

10. There is a danger? Who is to control? (My notes: especially when their behavior is itself controlled by heredity and environment.)

  

  

11. We can't solve all by physical and biological technology. We need a technology of behavior.

 

 

 

 

12. "Environment does not push or pull but selects and this function is difficult to analyze."

 

 

 

13. A scientific analysis shifts both the responsibility and achievement to environment.

 

 

 

14. An interaction between organism and environment has come to be  understood; however, effects once assigned to states of mind, feeling and traits are beginning to be traced to accessible conditions, and a technology of behavior may therefore be available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRITIQUE (From various sources)

 

 

1. All ideas come from heredity and environment. So this idea

("all ideas come from heredity and environment") comes from

heredity and environment.

  

(As would the idea, "No ideas come from heredity and

environment" or "Some ideas come from heredity and

environment.) or "All beliefs that humans hold come from  

heredity and environment." etc.

 

 

 

2. Skinner's work is a symptom of his autobiography, therefore it

is like a pimple on his nose or, better, a pimple on his mind from

his bad environment. Given Skinner's assumptions, his ideas

may have come from past bad bringing up, etc.

(from a sarcastic critic).

 

 

 

3. Skinner argument is self contradictory. .  

He acts as if by deliberation of ideas he has discovered the Truth 

about human nature, and behavior. He acts as if he freely 

weighed evidence and came to a rational conclusion. about the

source of human ideas and activity.

 

 

He acts as if he relies on evidence to prove there is no such thing

as objective examination of evidence. How rational is this?

 

 

 

 

4. Like Skinner:,

Immanuel Kant: All ideas are from constructs of the mind.

Kant's ideas are part of "all ideas".

Therefore Kant's ideas are from constructs of the mind.

 

 

 

5. If we don't admit that the human intellect can know truth

through the analysis of objective evidence, we are in a bind,

as shown in # 3..

 

  

 

6. We are stuck if we don't posit rationality. If man cannot

freely and rationally deliberate, then human intellectual   

knowledge is void, non-existing.. (So quit school. stop thinking.

You can't learn any facts, truths anyway.)

It is possible to have evidence weighed and answers freely

chosen on evidence, not determined by genes and environment.

 

 

 

7. Kant- All statements about the world: are forced on us  

by the  mind.   This statement (i.e. "All statements about the

world are forced on us by our mind." ) is forced on us

by our minds. The reason is that the former is a statement about

the world.. (Under these premises, the statement :

 

"No statements about the world are forced on us by our mind."

would also be forced upon us by the mind; or the judgment,

"Some statements about the world are forced on us by our mind"

likewise.

 

 

 

8. Environment makes you do what you do.

Environment makes Skinner do what he does.

 

 

 

9. Genes make you do what you do.

Therefore Skinner's genes make him do what he does. 

 

 

 

10. Evolution makes you do what you do. Therefore evolution

makes Skinner do what he does. (and think).

 

 

 

11. There are many ideas among men. which contradict each

other..(All man's ideas are caused by heredity and environment).

Skinner's ideas are part of the contradictory ideas among men.

Therefore, his ideas are caused by heredity and environment.

 

So when Skinner says heredity and environment makes us 

do what we do and think what we think, he cannot know this for

certain.

 

  

IF WE ACCEPT HIS DOCTRINE,, All his doctrine tells us is about

his heredity and environment, not about that which is. Skinner I

implying that the proposition "Man has no freedom of choice" is

imposed upon us by our heredity etc....

 

 

12. If Skinner's ideas are true, how can he know it?

Heredity and environment cause contradictory ideas, so his ideas

cannot be known to be true.

 

 

 

13. Does heredity preclude rationality?

 

 

 

14. Using Skinner: man who believes in free will believes it

because of heredity and /or environment.

 

 

15. Using Skinner: man who believes in determinism believes it

because of heredity and/or environment.

 

 

 

16. Skinner acts as if he is thinking freely and rationally.

If he is, he is the only human in his system who is. And by what

principle does he think he is free when no other human beings

are free ?

 

 

 

17. Rationality: Evidence weighed and answers freely chosen can

be based on evidence, not by influence of environment or genes.

Man must put aside "feelings", "desires" when weighing   

evidence.

 

 

 

18. The logic conclusion of Skinner is: Macannot know anything;

Man can know nothing. Man cannot even know he does not know

anything.. All human knowledge is empty.

There is no such thing as human KNOWLEDGE.

 

Recent Videos

2704 views - 0 comments

Featured Products

No featured products