Re: [asa] Law, Mind, Free Will

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Thu Oct 16 2008 - 17:49:53 EDT

Hi Louise,
Just curious, what you suspect has become of the legacy of 'behaviorism,' especially for or in light of the number of deparments of behavioral psychology that still exist? Are they dismissive of behaviorism and still accepting of behavior as it can (and should) be studied reductionistically or otherwise? Or is there a trend of emergentism or a seeking for holism or foundationalism or something of the sort that would challenge the type of view expressed by the colleague at David's university?
A knee-jerk reaction against 'behaviorism' may miss some of the vast amounts of quality research still being conducted today about behaviour, both animal and human. And because I'm in Russia, let me add that Ivan Pavlov is reported to have maintained his Orthodox faith, while studying behaviour modification and conditioning (and now just checking up on him, it says he left the Seminary to pursue natural science). While perhaps they don't use the term Pavlovian today, a parallel with how the Soviet's misused his work with how Darwin's work has been 'taken away' from him seems relevant today.
Nevertheless, I sometimes cringe a bit when I hear the term 'behavioral sciences.' Some people also like the term 'life sciences,' which I find to be excessively broad. So, I usually stick with the classic breakdown: natural science, social science and humanities (or human-social sciences that merge the latter two). Psychology should be in the social sciences, then 'behaviour' can be distinguished between humans beings and (other) animals (which are natural too!). But then again where are the 'applied sciences' to be placed? And what about the schools of Education...?

In any case, I was just curious and googled 'department of behavioural psychology.'
A few examples: Murray's neighbourhood, a top-ranked university)
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Received on Thu Oct 16 17:50:35 2008

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