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About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 7

“The thirsty man does not reach for the fantasied glass of water, but the dreamer does not know that what he is seeing is “not really there,” and he responds as fully as a person who is asleep can. (Introspective knowledge of dreaming is weak or lacking because the conditions needed for self-observation are […]

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By |April 24th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 7|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 6

“There are many ways of getting a person to see when there is nothing to be seen, and they can all be analyzed as the arrangement of contingencies which strengthen perceptual behavior.” (p. 94)
 

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By |April 21st, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 6|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 5

“A person is changed by the contingencies of reinforcement under which he behaves; he does not store the contingencies . . . he has no “cognitive map” of the world in which he has lived. He has simply been changed in such a way that stimuli now control particular kinds of perceptual behavior.” (pp. […]

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By |April 20th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 5|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 4

“After hearing a piece of music several times, a person may hear it when it is not being played, though probably not as richly or as clearly. So far as we know, he is simply doing in the absence of the music some of the things he did in its presence.” (p. 91)
 

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By |April 19th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 4|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 3

“. . . as a modern authority has pointed out, it is as difficult to explain how we see a picture in the occipital cortex of the brain as to explain how we see the outside world, which it is said to represent.” (p. 90)
 

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By |April 18th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 3|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 2

“The brain is said to use data, make hypotheses, make choices, and so on, as the mind was once said to have done. In a behavioristic account it is the person who does these things.” (p. 86)
 

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By |April 17th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 2|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 1

“In the traditional view, a person responds to the world around him in the sense of acting upon it . . . The opposing view—common, I believe to all versions of behaviorism—is that the initiating action is taken by the environment rather than by the perceiver.” (pp. 80-81)
 

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By |April 14th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 1|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 16

“Happiness is a feeling, a by-product of operant reinforcement. The things which make us happy are the things which reinforce us, but it is the things, not the feelings, which must be identified and used in prediction, control, and interpretation.” (p. 78)
 

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By |April 13th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 16|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 15

“All gambling systems are based on variable-ratio schedules of reinforcement, although their effects are usually attributed to feelings . . . The same variable-ratio schedule affects those who explore, prospect, invent, conduct scientific research, and compose works of art, music, or literature, and in these fields a high level of activity is usually attributed […]

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By |April 12th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 15|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 14

“When the ratio of responses to reinforcements is favorable, the behavior is commonly attributed to (1) diligence, industry, or ambition, (2) determination, stubbornness, staying power, or perseverance (continuing to respond over long periods of time without results), (3) excitement or enthusiasm, or (4) dedication or compulsion.” (pp. 65-66)
 

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By |April 11th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 14|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 13

“The behavior of the homesick, forlorn, lovelorn, or lonely is commonly attributed to the feelings experienced rather than to the absence of a familiar environment.” (p. 65)
 

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By |April 10th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 13|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 12

“. . . a person is said to be unable to go to work because he is discouraged or depressed, although his not going, together with what he feels, is due to a lack of reinforcement—either in his work or in some other part of his life.” (p. 64)
 

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By |April 7th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 12|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 11

“People can usually say what they are looking for and why they are looking in a given place, but like other species they also may not be able to do so.” (p. 63)
 

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By |April 6th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 11|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 10

“Seeking or looking for something seems to have a particularly strong orientation toward the future. We learn to look for an object when we acquire behavior which commonly has the consequence of discovering it.” (p. 63)
 

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By |April 5th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 10|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 9

“​Purpose” was once commonly used as a verb, as we now use “propose.”  ” I propose to go” is similar to “I intend to go.” If instead we speak of our purpose or intention in going, it is easy to suppose that the nouns refer to things.” (p. 61)
 

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By |April 4th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 9|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 8

“​Possibly no charge is more often leveled against behaviorism or a science of behavior than that it cannot deal with purpose or intention. A stimulus—response formula has no answer, but operant behavior is the very field of purpose and intention.” (p. 61)
 

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By |April 3rd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 8|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 7

“​The critical condition for the apparent exercise of free will is positive reinforcement as the result of which a person feels free and calls himself free and says he does as he likes or what he wants or is pleased to do.” (p. 60)
 

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By |March 31st, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 7|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 6

“​The conspicuousness of the causes is at issue when reflex behavior is called involuntary—one is not free to sneeze or not to sneeze; the initiating cause is the pepper. Operant behavior is called voluntary, but it is not really uncaused; the cause is simply harder to spot.” (p. 60)
 

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By |March 30th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 6|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 5

“​Freedom” usually means the absence of restraint or coercion, but more comprehensively it means a lack of any prior determination: “All things that come to be, except acts of will, have causes.” (p. 59)
 

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By |March 29th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 5|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 4

“​The spontaneous generation of behavior has reached the same stage as the spontaneous generation of maggots and micro organisms in Pasteur’s day. ” (p. 59)
 

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By |March 28th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 4|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 3

“The apparent lack of immediate cause in operant behavior has led to the invention of an initiating event. Behavior is said to be put into play when a person wills to act. The term has a confusing history.” (p. 59)

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By |March 27th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 3|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 2

“To distinguish an operant from an elicited reflex, we say that the operant response is “emitted.” (It might be better to say simply that it appears, since emission may imply that behavior exists inside the organism and then comes out. But the word need not mean ejection; light is not in the hot filament […]

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By |March 24th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 2|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 1

“The process of operant conditioning . . . is simple enough. When a bit of behavior has the kind of consequence called reinforcing, it is more likely to occur again . . . The process supplements natural selection. Important consequences of behavior which could not play a role in evolution because they were not […]

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By |March 23rd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 1|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 10

“Contingencies of reinforcement have the edge with respect to prediction and control. The conditions under which a person acquires behavior are relatively accessible and can often be manipulated; the conditions under which a species acquires behavior are very nearly out of reach.” (p. 49)

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By |March 22nd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 10|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 9

“The question is not whether the human species has a genetic endowment but how it is to be analyzed. It begins and remains a biological system, and the behavioristic position is that it is nothing more than that.” (p. 49)

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By |March 21st, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 9|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 8

“In an important sense all behavior is inherited, since the organism that behaves is the product of natural selection. Operant conditioning is as much a part of the genetic endowment as digestion or gestation.” (pp. 48-49)

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By |March 20th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 8|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 7

“Universal features of language do not imply a universal innate endowment, because the contingencies of reinforcement arranged by verbal communities have universal features.” (p. 48)

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By |March 17th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 7|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 6

“When we have reviewed the contingencies which generate new forms of behavior in the individual, we shall be in a better position to evaluate those which generate innate behavior in the species. Meanwhile we may note the importance of insisting upon the distinction.” (p. 45)

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By |March 16th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 6|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 5

“There are certain remarkable similarities between contingencies of survival and contingencies of reinforcement. Both exemplify, as I have noted, a kind of causality which was discovered very late in the history of human thought. Both account for purpose by moving it after the fact, and both are relevant to the question of a creative […]

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By |March 15th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 5|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 4

“. . . verbal behavior could arise only when the necessary ingredients had already evolved for other reasons.” (p. 42)

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By |March 14th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 4|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 3

“. . . plausible conditions of selection are hard to find in support of such an assertion as that “principles of grammar are present in the mind at birth,” since grammatical behavior can hardly have been sufficiently important to survival for a long enough time, to explain its selection.” (p. 42)

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By |March 13th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 3|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 2

“Darwin simply discovered the role of selection, a kind of causality very different from the push-pull mechanisms of science up to that time. The origin of a fantastic variety of living things could be explained by the contribution which novel features, possibly of random provenance, made to survival.” (pp. 40-41)

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By |March 10th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 2|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 1

“. . . to say that a bird builds a nest because it possesses a nest-building instinct, or because certain conditions release nest building, is merely to describe the fact, not to explain it.” (p. 38)

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By |March 9th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 1|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 15

“Profiting from recent advances in the experimental analysis of behavior, [behaviorism] has looked more closely at the conditions under which people respond to the world within their skin, and it can now analyze, one by one, the key terms in the mentalistic armamentarium.” (p. 36)

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By |March 8th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 15|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 14

“Even those who insist upon the reality of mental life will usually agree that little or no progress has been made since Plato’s day.” (p. 36)

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By |March 7th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 14|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 13

“Plato is said to have discovered the mind, but it would be more accurate to say that he invented one version of it.” (p. 35)

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By |March 6th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 13|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 12

“A person who has been “made aware of himself” by the questions he has been asked is in a better position to predict and control his own behavior.” (p. 35)

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By |March 3rd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 12|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 11

“Self-knowledge is of social origin. It is only when a person’s private world becomes important to others that it is made important to him.” (p. 35)

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By |March 2nd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 11|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 10

“Explanations of behavior vary with the kinds of answers accepted by the verbal community. If a simple “I feel like it” suffices, nothing else will appear. Freud was influential in changing the kinds of answers often given to “Why are you doing that?” He emphasized feelings but allowed for references to personal history. The […]

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By |March 1st, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 10|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 9

“The words used to describe covert behavior are the words acquired when behaving publicly.” (p. 31)

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By |February 28th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 9|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 8

“Verbal behavior can easily become covert because it does not require environmental support. “I said to myself . . . “ used synonymously with “I thought . . . ,” but we do not say, “I swam to myself.” (p. 31)

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By |February 27th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 8|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 7

“We often ask about feelings by asking “What does it feel like?” and the answer usually refers to a public condition which often produces a similar private effect.” (p. 27)

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By |February 24th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 7|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 6

“Fortunately, . . . the verbal community can to some extent solve the problem of privacy. For example, it can teach responses descriptive of internal conditions by using associated public conditions. Something of the same sort happens when a blind person is taught to name the objects he feels by a teacher who merely […]

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By |February 23rd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 6|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 5

“The community can teach a child to name colors in various ways. For example, it can show him colored objects, ask him to respond with color words, and commend or correct him when his responses correspond or fail to correspond with the colors of the objects . . . The community cannot, however, follow […]

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By |February 22nd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 5|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 4

“We might expect that because a person is in such intimate contact with his own body he should be able to describe its conditions and processes particularly well, but the very privacy which seems to confer a special privilege on the individual makes it difficult for the community to teach him to make distinctions.” […]

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By |February 21st, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 4|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 3

“We respond to our own body with three nervous systems, two of which are particularly concerned with internal features. The so-called interoceptive system . . . The so-called proprioceptive . . . A third nervous system, the exteroceptive, is primarily concerned with seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling things in the world around us, […]

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By |February 20th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 3|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 2

“We feel [the world within our skins] and in some sense observe it, and it would be foolish to neglect this source of information just because no more than one person can make contact with one inner world. Nevertheless, our behavior in making that contact needs to be examined.” (p. 24)

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By |February 17th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 2|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 1

“A small part of the universe is contained within the skin of each of us. There is no reason why it should have any special physical status because it lies within this boundary, and eventually we should have a complete account of it from anatomy and physiology.” (p. 24)

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By |February 16th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 2: The World Within the Skin, Quote 1|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 20

“When it is important to be clear about an issue, nothing but a technical vocabulary will suffice. It will often seem forced or roundabout. Old ways of speaking are abandoned with regret, and new ones are awkward and uncomfortable, but the change must be made.” (p. 22)

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By |February 15th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 20|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 19

“For purposes of casual discourse, I see no reason to avoid such an expression as “I have chosen to discuss . . .” (though I question the possibility of free choice), or “I have in mind . . .” (though I question the existence of a mind), or “I am aware of this fact […]

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By |February 14th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 19|