death of the mind.

Sergio Navega snavega at
Tue Jul 20 11:56:21 EST 2004

"David Longley" <David at> escreveu na mensagem
news:3Kzm9DH05T$AFwVB at
> >
> How does anything that you write above impugn the point that "thinking",
> "seeing" etc is private behaviour? Why does being able to show that
> blood flows in areas of the brain which are "active" when people
> actually see people smiling etc *and* when they just "think" about this
> in any way impugn the value of treating this as behaviour? On the
> contrary, it would seem to do exactly the opposite through bringing some
> reference to such behaviour under some control of the reinforcing
> (verbal) community - ie by rendering it public. The writing is on the
> wall for intensionalist cognitivism, not for behaviour analysis and
> behavioural neuroscience.

The question is not to impugn behaviorism (at least, in my way of
seeing things). I'm not "against" behaviorism (I have some Skinner
books and also Baum's). The best book about behavior change I have
is "Principles of Behavior Change", by Edward Sarafino. It's a
wonderful book, so much better than much of what we have with
psychoanalisis. So I don't want to bury behaviorism.

I am against artificial attempts to prevent the creation of
insightful scientific models. If we have today ERP, PET, fMRI, TMS
and other techniques for "peeking" at the brain while it's working,
we have a good chance to really make progress with our models (and
in science we *do* need to make models; in AI this is absolutely
essential). If one cognitive scientist proposes a falsifiable
model and it turns out to be falsified (by behavioral data or
by neurobiological means), then I think this theory should really
be thrown away, and not because it was not developed the way
radical behaviorists wanted.

Sergio Navega.

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