A Quick Question about Behaviorism...

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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zefan13
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A Quick Question about Behaviorism...

Post by zefan13 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:33 am

Is it correct to say that behaviorists (more specifically, Skinnerians) outright denied the existence of a mind of any sort, or rather that they identified the mind strictly with behavior?

Ginkgo
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Re: A Quick Question about Behaviorism...

Post by Ginkgo » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:21 am

zefan13 wrote:Is it correct to say that behaviorists (more specifically, Skinnerians) outright denied the existence of a mind of any sort, or rather that they identified the mind strictly with behavior?
Depends on the type of behaviorism. The most likely answer is the all behaviorists would deny the existence of the mind, but some might identify the brain (not the mind) as contributing to behavior. Because behaviorism has it roots in logical positivism they would reject the idea of mind body dualism. In other words, they would say we have a physical brain, but no disassociated mind.That's possibly the brief answer to the question.

Skip
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Re: A Quick Question about Behaviorism...

Post by Skip » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:54 am

They maintained that the workings of the mind cannot be observed, identified, described or discussed, except as manifested by behaviour. Mental process is a function of the brain that can only be inferred from what the individual does, and whatever influence external agencies have on an individual's mental processes can be only detected and documented through a change in that individual's activity. Blame Pavlov, the dog-torturing bastard.

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