The Challenge: A More Integrated Approach to Human Nature

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

The 1987 conversation between Skinner and Wilson is a model of mutual intellectual regard and academic civility. It is one that embodies an ambition to achieve scientific progress via cumulative theoretical development. The conversation represents the best thinking of two widely acclaimed scholars as they sought to identify common ground in their theoretical positions at a particular moment in the history of science. Particular note should be made of the wide-ranging capacity of each to draw on their enormous wealth of scholarship and work toward a synthesis in discussing mechanisms of natural selection, operant selection, and cultural evolution. A synthesis was not achieved in the short time they had together, nor was it likely that one conversation could ever result in such an accomplishment – their conversation was never revisited. Thus, where does one go from here? What purpose is served by attending to their conversation at all? Might research findings since their conversation...


Operant Conditioning Mirror Neuron Developmental Plasticity Behavioral Repertoire Emergent Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Naour
    • 1
  1. 1.Central CollegePellaUSA

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