The Death of Behaviorism

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The Death of Behaviorism Aristotle, 384 BC -- 322 BC, dead. "Man is by nature, a political animal." Of the two great philosophers of Greece, Plato and Aristotle, the latter was the one who relied on observation. In Raphael's The School of Athens the two great philosophers in the center of the painting, surrounded by the other great Greeks, with Plato holding his hand upright as if to indicate, "Look to the perfecti on of the heavens for truth," while Aristotle holds his arm straight out, implying "look around you at what is if you would know the truth." Aristotle was born in Stagira (in northern Greece), 384 BC He died in Chalcis (on the Aegean island of Euboea, now Ewoia), 322 B.C. Inland from Stagira was the semi-Greek kingdom of Macedon, with which Aristotle's family was closely connected. Aristotle's father, for instance, had been court physician to the Macedonian king Amyntas II. Aristotle lost both parents while a child and was brought up by a friend of the family. He is supposed to have spoken with a lisp and to have been something of a dandy. Aristotle is known for his, "open your eyes and look" philosophy. He was absolute, relying on lectures, as opposed to leading others to discover their own truths. He established a 200-year Lyceum and is known as the founder of Empiricism. Aristotle also contrived the three Laws of Association; Similarity/Contrast, Contiguity, and Frequency. Further, he believed that everything holds four causes, which are; the Material Cause- what an object is made of, the Formal Cause- the form of an object, the Efficient Cause- the force that transforms the matter, and the Final Cause- the purpose for which an object exists. He goes on to classify the type of soul an object may posses in the... ... middle of paper ... ... observable behavior of individuals interacting with their environment. Skinner, however, disagrees with Watson's position that inner processes, such as feelings, should be excluded from study. He maintains that these inner processes should be studied by the usual scientific methods, with particular emphasis on controlled experiments using individual animals and humans. His research with animals, focusing on the kind of learning—known as operant conditioning—that occurs as a consequence of stimuli, demonstrates that complex behavior such as language and problem solving can be studied scientifically. Skinner also postulated the concept of reinforcement. Bibliography: Encarta Fred Wilson, Rochester Institute of Technology Fred, again. School of Mathematics and Statistics, St. Andrews, Scotland Schultz and Schultz 1987, p. 241

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