Opposition to Skinner’s Views

This supports merely for rationalizing the class of behaviors, which are considered as operant behaviors. This class of behavior Skinner held as the most interesting study matter. Meanwhile, several textbooks, in noting the importance Skinner puts on the environment, contend that Skinner believed that the organism is a blank slate or also called a tabula rasa. Skinner wrote comprehensively regarding the possibilities and limits nature puts on conditioning. Conditioning is applied in the body as a physiological process and is dependent on the learning history, current state, and history of the species.

Detractors have brought up numerous protests to the Skinnerian social picture. One of the most influential and convincing, and definitely one of the most common, adverts to Skinner’s idea of the ideal human society. It is a query being asked of the fictional creator of Walden Two, Frazier, by the theorist or philosopher Castle. It is the query of what is the best social means of survival for a human being. Frazier’s, and also Skinner’s, reaction to this query is both too incomplete and general. Frazier/Skinner talks about the values of friendship, relaxation, health, rest, and others. Nevertheless, these values are barely the thorough basis of a social system.

There is an infamous complexity in social theory of identifying the proper level of detail at which a design for a new and ideal society should be presented. Skinner distinguishes the behavioristic principles and learning motivations that he hopes will lessen the so-called systematic injustices in social systems. Moreover, Skinner likewise identifies a few practices (about child rearing and the like) that are aimed to play a part to human happiness. Nonetheless Skinner provides only the haziest images of the every day lives of Walden Two citizens and no proposals for how best to resolve arguments concerning alternative ways of life that are prima facie in agreement with behaviorist principles. In addition, Skinner offers little or no serious consideration to the vital general problem of inter-personal disagreement resolution and to the part of institutional arrangements in resolving disputes.

In an article, which was published in The Behavior Analyst, almost forty years following the publication of Walden Two, Skinner, in the disguise of Frazier, attempted to elucidate his description of ideal human conditions. Skinner believed that in the ideal human society individuals simply as expected carry out the things they have to do to uphold themselves … and treat each other in a good way, and they just unsurprisingly perform a hundred other things they enjoy doing for the reason that they do not have to do them. Nevertheless, certainly, doing a hundred things humans take pleasure in doing merely denotes that Walden Two is indistinctly described, not that its culturally established habits and the nature of its institutions deserve emulation.


In conclusion, it can be said that Skinner dismissed the belief that individual freedom existed. Skinner believed that man’s actions were nothing more than a set of behaviors that were formed by his environment, over which he had no power or control. Thus, Skinner’s beliefs eliminated well-liked or admired attributes from man — conscious thought, dignity, and free will — and changed them with behaviors that were formed by an environment over which individual man had little or no control or power.


Baum, W. M. (2005) Understanding behaviorism: Behavior, Culture and Evolution. Blackwell. Bjork, Daniel W. (1993). B. F. Skinner: A Life. New York: BasicBooks, a Division of Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. Carpenter, F. (1974). The Skinner Primer: Behind Freedom and Dignity. New York: The Free Press, a Division of Macmillan Publishing Company, Inc. Ferster, C. B., and Skinner, B. F. (1957). Schedules of reinforcement. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Holland, J.G., Skinner, B.F. (1961). Analysis of behavior, McGraw-Hill.

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