Alright I’ll take the last few threads and try to reply to each segment:
Gary: “In a field as diverse as “behaviorism” it is easy to get lost in citations, so I propose that we do our best to express our ideas directly, citing sources where useful, but not using them as a substitute for arguments. The reason for this is that if we allow mere citations to substitute for arguments, we will not be able to proceed in this forum, because we will have to pause every time a citation is offered to go read it, make our own judgment as to its relevance to this particular discussion, and then restate it’s argument in order to reply. That’s not going to work.”
Sounds good - so long as we are ok with this being a non-informed discussion around the literature and current state of the field of behaviorism. Any critiques are invalid since we aren’t discussing with the most current information. I understand that it’s not easy to read into the literature one is citing, but that’s how this sort of stuff works IMHO. To each their own This is likely my last post since it’s heading down that route.
Gary: “As to Pepper, I disagree with you that Pepper is the philosophical basis of a critical reformation of behaviorism on which later work can be securely founded. But to explain why, we’d first have to agree that a close look is useful to this discussion, and I think you should justify why you believe this to be the case, if you’d like to take us in that direction.”
The article that I linked above describes the link to Pepper, including the original references of how it was tied to Pepper’s Worldviews in the mid-80s. There’s a pretty prolific research line starts with somewhere around 120 RCTs in the last decade or so. Small in relation to other sciences, but it’s accelerating quite quickly in relation to the research in the 70-80s. If we aren’t reading into any of this and just going off our perception of the field, then again I think I can’t really answer your question directly.
Gary: “I agree that the value of a branch of science should be determined by its fruits, and I accept that there is some value in the world of people who think of themselves as behaviorists; however, not a large amount, and mostly useful in spite of the theoretical overconfidence and misleading intuitions supplied by the behaviorist framework. I’d be glad to go in the direction of examples, or take the lead from you.”
This is a valid critique of the field if you’re coming from anything prior to the 1970s. There’s an immense number of projects demonstrating it’s success (strongest automated reading and reading comprehension curriculum on the market, landmine and TB detection, the only WHO approved process for handling Ebola outbreak, a hands-on approach to working with cultural practices in Sierra Leone to halt the Ebola outbreak, a mandated healthy eating program in every school in Ireland that helps kids like to eat their fruit and veg with a 2 week program that follows up at over 70% at recommended daily amounts, most every assay for identifying the effects of drugs was developed by behavior analysis, the most effective systemic teaching approach identified through Project Follow Through ($1B study from 70-90s), money-back guarantees of teaching kids 2 grade years per year through Precision Teaching, selection process for astronauts… I could go on…) and it’s ironically for the very reasons you reference as it’s weaknesses that these programs succeed. Your reference to machines and behaviorism show that the literature you’ve been in contact with was on the mechanistic side, which was dispelled anywhere from 2-9 decades ago in Behvior Analysis depending on which of the behaviorisms that you look at (remember, Skinner’s was the most famous of over 30).
If you open up to the idea of revisiting the progress that’s been made the last 50-80 years then I’m glad to reciprocate the effort and further discuss these things. I’d appreciate being open to what’s happened and not coming to the approach so stuck in the past and highly misunderstood behaviorism that has been taught the past 50 years.
To all: FBS is interesting - it’s missing a couple key distinctions that have been shown to be quite fruitful in conceptualizations of human performance. Israel Goldiamond and J. R. Kantor’s systems - glad to talk with whomever is interested about the weaknesses of FBS and how the others are stronger. I’ll take that off the forum, since it doesn’t seem that my approach is quite so welcomed here email@example.com or 775.482.4112
Off to build an empire off behavior analysis! Hope everyone has a good time finishing up this thread and in their personal/professional efforts.