Sunday, June 05, 2011

I've quoted this before. The last paragraph of Skinner's, last paper, finished the day before he died. Can Psychology be a Science of Mind?
But what about the illustrious philosophers who throughout the centuries have tried to follow the injunction of the Delphic Oracle and to know themselves through introspection? Is there a similar justification or have they been uselessly pursuing a will-o'-the-wisp? To say so would seem little short of arrogance if there were not an illuminating parallel. Equally illustrious men and women have searched much longer and with greater dedication for another Creator, spelled this time with a capital 'C,' whose reported achievements are also being questioned by science. It was Darwin, of course, who made the difference. It holds for the origin of behavior as well as for the origin of species. After almost a century and a half, evolution is still not widely understood. It is vigorously opposed by defenders of a creator. As a result, it is still impossible to teach biology properly in many American schools. A creation science has been proposed to be taught in its place. The role of variation and selection in the behavior of the individual suffers from the same opposition. Cognitive science is the creation science of psychology, as it struggles to maintain the position of a mind or self.

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