A Second Look at B.F. Skinner

Volume 1
Summer 1973
A Second Look at B.F. Skinner

When Skinner advocates what goals behavioral science should serve and when he puts his ideas of human nature against the ideas contained in the literature on freedom and dignity, he should be viewed as a social philosopher and not as a scientist. Beyond Freedom and Dignity is Skinner's philosophy based on the technology of behavioral science. Skinner errs when he calls his philosophy science and then asks for belief in the findings of science. The findings of science are facts, but the way one looks at facts is interpretation. What Skinner asks of us is that we change our interpretation or way of looking at the facts. Such an appeal comes from Skinner the philosopher. Skinner is at odds with Christian doctrine at many serious points, although a point of agreement is reached in that both claim behavior is important. Skinner's technology of operant conditioning is highly useful but his philosophy is stifling.

Dr. R.C. Llewellyn
3 - 7
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