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Conversation Between B.F. Skinner and E.O. Wilson

  • Paul Naour
Chapter
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR)

(Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 19, 1987)

E.O. Wilson: This is going to be a conversation that I will have with B.F. Skinner. This is Ed Wilson. He invited me by to talk about sociobiology. Our relations have always been very friendly and I look forward to it. This should be an interesting talk this Thursday morning.

B.F. Skinner: We will start with a basic statement. I assume that you are what I call a behaviorist. You would accept that an organism is a biophysical and biochemical system, a product of evolution.

E.O. Wilson: I am.1

B.F. Skinner: (You would identify yourself as a behaviorist) … and nothing else?

E.O. Wilson: Yes – so far, so good.

B.F. Skinner: That would include not only genetic behavior, but also the kinds of behavior that can be learned because of genetic processes. Of course it (behavior) always goes back to genetics.

I would want to identify culture as something that has evolved in the human species. I think human cultures are quite...

Keywords

Discriminative Stimulus Operant Conditioning Operant Shaping Behavioral Repertoire Primary Reinforcer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Naour
    • 1
  1. 1.Central CollegePellaUSA

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