why behaviorism isn’t satanism

Here’s a recent book chapter worth reading: “Why Behaviorism Isn’t Satanism.”


The history of comparative evolutionary psychology can be characterized, broadly speaking, as a series of reactions to Cartesian versus pragmatist views of the mind and behavior. Here, a brief history of these theoretical shifts is presented to illuminate how and why contemporary comparative evolutionary psychology takes the form that it does. This brings to the fore the strongly cognitivist research emphasis of current evolutionary comparative research, and the manner in which alternative accounts based on learning theory and other behaviorist principles generally receive short shrift. I attempt to show why many of these criticisms of alternative accounts are unjustified, that cognitivism does not constitute the radical lurch away from behaviorism that many imagine, and that an alternative “embodied and embedded” view of cognition—itself developing in reaction to the extremes of cognitivism—reaches back to a number of behaviorist philosophical principles, including the rejection of a separation between brain and body, and between the organism and environment.

Key Words: animal, cognition, behavior, cognitivism, behaviorism, evolution, learning, psychology

Written by teppo

June 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm

3 Responses

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  1. […] via why behaviorism isn’t satanism « […]


  2. This reminds me of an article I read in The Atlantic recently, which argued that even though Skinner’s name has been trashed in pscyhology over the last few decades, his work continues to find relevance in practice. Applied behaviorism has become a standard form of therapy for a lot of behavioral issues, especially for addiction and weight control.


    brayden king

    June 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

  3. It is satanism. Get over it.


    Jonathan Bernier

    September 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm

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