Moral philosophy and empirical psychology

English: Behavior Analysis Laboratory Szeged M...

English: Behavior Analysis Laboratory Szeged Magyar: Viselkedéselemző Laboratórium Szeged (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A recent essay in The New York Review of Books :

The Psychologists Take Power by Tamsin Shaw

is well worth reading.






In 1971, the psychologist B.F. Skinner expressed the hope that the vast, humanly created problems defacing our beautiful planet (famines, wars, the threat of a nuclear holocaust) could all be solved by new “technologies of behavior.” The psychological school of behaviorism sought to replace the idea of human beings as autonomous agents with the “scientific” view of them as biological organisms, responding to external stimuli, whose behavior could be modified by altering their environment. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in 1964 Skinner’s claims about potential behavior modification had attracted funding from the CIA via a grant-making body called the Human Ecology Society.

3 thoughts on “Moral philosophy and empirical psychology

  1. Pingback: Scientism and the Is/Ought Gap | Episyllogism

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