The writing of this paper was supported in part by grants from N.S.F. (SOC 75-08464, 79-07600). I acknowledge the helpful comments and constructive criticisms of Barry Schwartz, Geoffrey Joseph, Martin Seligman, reviewers of this Journal and especially Richard Schuldenfrei.
Psychological Conflict and Human Nature: The Case of Behaviourism and Cognition*
Version of Record online: 1 JUL 2007
Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
Volume 10, Issue 3, pages 131–156, October 1980
How to Cite
LACEY, H. M. (1980), Psychological Conflict and Human Nature: The Case of Behaviourism and Cognition. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 10: 131–156. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5914.1980.tb00012.x
- Issue online: 1 JUL 2007
- Version of Record online: 1 JUL 2007
A reasonable choice between Skinner's and Chomsky's theories requires reference to a conception of human nature. It is explained in detail why this is so, in the context of an analysis of what it is to ‘choose’ a theory. This account helps to explain the unity and coherence of the science, methodology, conception of science, object of scientific inquiry and views towards control of each of Skinner and Chomsky, and thereby explains the chasm which separates the parties to their respective programs. The analysis given implies that, in a precise sense, the theory-choice is implicated in value-judgments.