Publications of Place that refer to Comte (1830). Cours de Philosophie Positive (6 Volumes).

Place, U. T. (1981a). Skinner's Verbal Behavior I - why we need it. Behaviorism, 9, 1-24.
To explain behaviour in terms of intension­al or mentalistic concepts is to explain the behaviour in question on the assump­tion of a consistent and rational connection between what the agent does and what he says or what is said to him and that therefore any general account of verbal or linguistic behaviour which employs such concepts is necessarily circular, since it explains the acquisition of linguistic skills on the assumption that the speaker already possesses such skills. It follows that this circularity can only be avoided by developing a theory of verbal or linguistic behaviour which is stated entirely in a nonintensional or extensional language. At the present time, the most developed conceptual system for description and explanation of the behav­iour of organisms at the molar level in purely extensional terms is that provided by the so-called ‘Radical Behaviorism’ of B. F. Skinner and his followers. Fur­thermore, in his book Verbal Behavior Skinner (1957) has used this conceptual framework to develop a theory of verbal or linguistic behaviour which repre­sents the most ambitious attempt made so far to formulate a theory of linguistic behaviour in nonintensional or extensional terms.
Revised version is from 1999.
[References]  [Is cited by]  [7 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1981a 1999 Skinner's Verbal Behavior I - Why We Need It - revised version.pdf

Place, U. T. (1988e). The problem of mental content from the standpoint of linguistic empiricism [Presentation prepared for the Course on Functionalism and Content, Inter-university Post-graduate Centre, Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia (since 1991 Croatia), 7-15 September 1988] Inter-university Post-graduate Centre.
Download: 1988e The Problem of Mental Content from the Standpoint of Linguistic Empiricism .pdf

Place, U. T. (1993c). A radical behaviorist methodology for the empirical investigation of private events. Behavior and Philosophy, 20, 25-35.
Skinner has repeatedly asserted that he does not deny either the existence of private events or the possibility of studying them scientifically. But he has never explained how his position in this respect differs from that of the mentalist or provided a practical methodology for the investigation of private events within a radical behaviorist perspective. With respect to the first of these deficiencies, I argue that observation statements describing a public state of affairs in the common public environment of two or more observers which those observers confirm as a correct description provide a far more objective and secure foundation for empirical knowledge than statements describing private events in the experience of a single individual. In the course of this argument, I also invoke Wittgenstein's (1953) demonstration — his 'private language argument' — of the incoherence of traditional subjective empiricism. Regarding the second deficiency, I argue that observation statements describing private events can serve as data for an objective study, provided that (a) the verbal behavior in which they consist and its context are objectively observed and recorded, and (b) an explanation is given of how this verbal behavior is generated by the events it reports.
Keywords: methodological behaviorism, objectivity principle, private events, private language argument, radical behaviorism
[References]  [1 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1993c A Radical Behaviorist Methodology for the Empirical Investigation of Private Events.pdf