death of the mind.

Wolf Kirchmeir wwolfkir at sympatico.ca
Sun Jul 18 12:58:43 EST 2004


Glen M. Sizemore wrote:

> Leaster: The problem is that the behavioist position we see is not that the
> environment is an essential feature of any theory of behavior but that the
> environment is the exclusive determinant of behavior, period.
> 
> 
> 
> GS: This is true, but it requires some comment. Human behavior can be viewed
> as an interaction of four environments: natural selection, cultural
> selection, personal history, and the current environment. Here, the term
> "current environment" can refer to variables other than "stimuli" and may
> include variables such as drugs (see below).

By "exclusive determinant," Lester appears to mean that there's nothing 
within the organism that determines behaviour. Ie, he seems to think 
that behaviorists believe that absent an external stimulus, there will 
be no behavior whatsoever. This is of course nonsense, since at the very 
least there must be something within the organism that responds to an 
external stimulus. That's why I labelled this paragragh "false" in my 
earlier comment.

BTW, there is IMO another environment, the chemical environment of the 
cell (both within and without) which determines the expression of genes, 
which in turn determine the operation of the cell, which at another 
level of the organism's functioning determines its behaviour. Maybe you 
would include that in "personal history," in which case the latter would 
require analysis at several levels.

Like I said, "It's behaviour all the way down."



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