29 publications of Place that refer to Geach (1957). Mental Acts.

Lecture 12: Mentalist explanations - Believing and wanting (23/1/1974). Section 3
[Abstract]The dispositional character and the intentionality of mentalist explanations. Mentalism as a scientific theory. The logical structure of mentalist explanations
[References]  
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 12.pdf

Place, U. T. (1969b). Collected papers on brain, mind and consciousness [Doctoral thesis submitted 1969 for the degree of D.Litt, degree awarded in 1972]. University of Adelaide.
[References]  [1 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1969b Brain, Mind and Consciousness - Introduction DLitt Thesis.pdf [includes editorial changes by UTP]

Place, U. T. (1973-11-07). Lecture 6.1: Cosmology 3. Dispositions (7/11/1973) Section 1
[Abstract]Dispositional concepts and their explanatory functions
[References]  
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 06.1 - revised version.pdf

Place, U. T. (1974-03-20). Lecture 20: Mental events, mental acts and imageless thoughts.(20/3/1974). Section 5
[Abstract]Mental events as the interface between a process and a state. Imageless thoughts. Our knowledge of our own mental events. The symbolic nature of thought
[References]  
Download: Amsterdam lecture 20

Place, U. T. (1974-05-01). Lecture 23: Presumptive criteria of identity and Central State Materialism (1/5/1974). Section 6
[Abstract]Presumptive criteria of identity: spatio-temporal location, micro reductive explanation and the explanation of common observations. Central State Materialism
[References]  
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 23.pdf

Place, U. T. (1978a). Psychological paradigms and behaviour modification. De Psycholoog, 13, 611-621.
[Abstract]The application of Kuhn's concept of "incommensurable paradigms" to the science of psychology is discussed. Two such paradigms, the behaviorist or behavior analytic paradigm and the cognitive/mentalist paradigm, are distinguished. It is suggested that the choice of paradigm will depend on the method of behavior modification to be employed. If behavior is to be modified by stimulus control and contingency management, a version of the behaviorist paradigm will be selected. If behavior is to be modified by changing the individual's self-directed verbal behavior, the mentalist/cognitive paradigm is to be preferred.
Note:
An earlier version of this paper was presented to a conference of the European Association for Behavioural Therapy at the Central Hotel, London Heathrow Airport in July 1974 and was in 1978 published in De Psycholoog, in English The Psychologist, a journal of the Dutch Society of Psychology. The present revision is from 1986.
[References]  [Talks]  [1 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1978a 1986 Psychological Paradigms and Behavior Modification - revised version.pdf

Place, U. T. (1981a). Skinner's Verbal Behavior I - why we need it. Behaviorism, 9, 1-24. www.jstor.org/stable/27758970
[Abstract]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.
Note:
Revised version is from 1999.
[References]  [3 citing publications]  [9 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1981a 1999 Skinner's Verbal Behavior I - Why We Need It - revised version.pdf

Place, U. T. (1987a). Skinner re-skinned. In S. Modgil, & C. Modgil (Eds.), B. F. Skinner, Consensus and Controversy (Part XI, Skinner and the 'Virtus dormitiva' argument, pp. 235-243). Falmer Press.
[Abstract]In 'Skinner Skinned' Dennett (1978, chapter 4) discusses two arguments, the virtus dormitiva and intentionality arguments, which he sees as the only solid ground underlying the various arguments which Skinner gives for repudiating the use of mentalistic explanations in a scientific psychology; and of these he endorses only the intentionality argument. I argue (a) that what Skinner finds objectionable in mentalistic idioms is their dispositional character, (b) that both the virtus dormitiva and intentionality argument are arguments against the use of dispositional property ascriptions in scientific explanation, and (c) that, since dispositional property ascriptions are essential to any causal explanation, Dennett has failed to provide any good reason for endorsing Skinner's repudiation of mentalism. It is suggested that mentalism is objectionable only insofar it involves the use of idioms which presuppose what Skinner (1969) calls 'rule-governed' behaviour to explain behaviour that is 'contingency-shaped'.
[References]  [5 citing publications]  [3 referring publications by Place]  [Is replied by]  
Download: 1987a Skinner Re-skinned.pdf

Place, U. T. (1987c). Causal laws, dispositional properties and causal explanations. Synthesis Philosophica, 2(3), 149-160.
[Abstract]The role in causal explanation of sentences ascribing dispositional properties to the entities involved is discussed in the light of (a) the counterfactual theory of causal necessity originally proposed by Hume (1777) and more recently by Mackie (1962; 1974), (b) Ryle's (1949) hypothetical analysis of dispositional statements. and (c) Goodman's (1965) observation that counterfactuals are "sustained", not only by causal law statements universally quantified over entities of a given kind, but by dispositional statements which are restricted in their scope to a single individual. It is argued that what is required in order to support a causal counterfactual is universal quantification over a period of time which may be as short as you like, provided (a) that it covers the moment when the event hypothesised in the counterfactual is assumed to have occurred and (b) that its restriction to that period can be rationally justified.
[References]  [10 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1987c Causal Laws, Dispositional Properties and Causal Explanations.pdf with corrections added after publication

Place, U. T. (1988a). Thirty years on - is consciousness still a brain process? Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 66, 208-219.
[References]  [9 citing publications]  [5 referring publications by Place]  [1 reprinting collections]  
Download: 1988a Thirty Years On - Is Consciousness Still a Brain Process.pdf

Place, U. T. (1988b). Skinner's distinction between rule-governed and contingency-shaped behaviour. Philosophical Psychology, 1, 225-234. doi:10.1080/09515088808572941
[Abstract]The distinction that Skinner draws in his 'An operant analysis of problem solving' (1966, 1969, 1984) between 'rule-governed' and 'contingency'shaped' behaviour is arguably the most important single contribution to the theory of behaviour that he has made in a long and uniquely distinguished career. The concept of a 'rule' as a 'contingency-specifying' verbal formula which exercises 'stimulus control' over other aspects of the behaviour of a linguistically competent human being presents a formidable challenge to contemporary cognitive psychology in that the 'Representation' and 'computation' of environmental contingencies is seen as confined to verbally controlled behaviour emitted by linguistically competent human subjects. It also suggests a way of filling a major gap in the account of language offered by Skinner in his earlier book Verbal Behavior (1957), namely the lack of any account of how the speaker is able to use instructions to evoke behaviour which the listener never previously emitted and declarative sentences to convey information about contingencies which the listener has never previously encountered.
[References]  [Talks]  [5 citing publications]  [2 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1988b Skinner's Distinction Between Rule Governed and Contingency Shaped Behaviour.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.
[References]  [Talks]  
Download: 1988e The Problem of Mental Content from the Standpoint of Linguistic Empiricism .pdf

Place, U. T. (1988h). Pre-linguistic and post-linguistic concepts. [Presentation to the Generalisation Group, Department of Psychology, University College of North Wales, Bangor at 10 March 1988 and to the Department of Psychology, Trinity College, Dublin at 11 March 1988.]
Note:
After the presentation revised by the author. The last revision is from 24th March 1999. The central argument of the paper has not been revised.
[References]  [Talks]  
Download: 1988h Pre-Linguistic and Post-Linguistic Concepts.pdf

Place, U. T. (1988i). Natsoulas v. Skinner on Feeling [Unpublished].
[Abstract]Natsoulas' critique of Skinner's account of feeling is a mixture of valid criticism, profound misunderstanding of Skinner's position and conceptual confusion.
Note:
It is unclear which publication of Natsoulas Place is reacting to in this unpublished comment. Natsoulas wrote several articles about Skinner’s views on consciousness with titles like Toward a model for consciousness in the light of B.F. Skinner’s contribution (1978), Perhaps the most difficult problem faced by behaviorism (1983), On the radical behaviorist conception of consciousness (1986), On the radical behaviorist conception of pain experience (1988). But no one is as explicit about feelings as suggested in this comment on Natsoulas. Perhaps Place is reacting to an unpublished paper of Natsoulas. The present comment is of interest because of the conceptual analysis of the verb to feel. The date of this comment is unclear. I have chosen 1988, but this is more or less an educated guess.
[References]  
Download: 1988i Natsoulas v. Skinner on Feeling.pdf

Place, U. T. (1989a). Low claim assertions. In J. Heil (Ed.), Cause, mind and meality: Essays honoring C. B. Martin (pp. 121-135). Kluwer. doi:10.1007/978-94-011-9734-2_9
Keywords: colours, mind-brain identity theory, introspection, phenomenological fallacy, topic neutrality
[References]  [2 citing publications]  [4 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1989a Low claim assertions.pdf

Place, U. T. (1990d). Can social constructivism be reconciled with scientific realism [Presentation to the Course on the Philosophy of Science at the Inter-university Centre, Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, April 11th 1990]. Inter-university Centre, Dubrovnik
Keywords: conceptualism, connectionism, universals
[References]  [Talks]  
Download: 1990d Can Social Constructivism Be Reconciled With Scientific Realism.pdf

Place, U. T. (1990e). Critical Notice [Unpublished book review of Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind Brain by Patricia Smith Churchland. MIT Press, l986].
Keywords: conceptual analysis, eliminative materialism, mind-brain identity theory, neurophilosophy
Note:
This critical notice was commissioned by the editor of the Quarterly Journal of Philosophy in 1986 when the book first appeared; but since it was not completed until four years later in 1990, it was never submitted. It was revised in 1999 in anticipation of a meeting with Pat Churchland in Siena, Italy, in October of that year - a meeting that because of the illness of Place never took place.
[References]  [Reviewed publication(s)]  
Download: 1990e Critical Notice.pdf

Place, U. T. (1992h). The Tower of Babel: some speculations on the role of technology, language and trade on the evolution of religion, philosophy and science [Conference presentation with additional notes, presented at the Centennial Conference of the Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, on the Philosophy of Religion, Fairbairn House, Clarendon Road, Leeds, 6 August 1992]. Department of Philosophy, University Leeds.
[Abstract]The paper explores the relationship between three features which, it is often claimed, distinguish human beings from other species of living organism: (1) the ability to colonize a new environment by developing an appropriate technology, (2) the ability to communicate with one another by means of a learned language, and (3) the propensity to develop a system of magico-religious beliefs and practices. The Tower of Babel legend is seen as reflecting the way in which a new environment and the development of a new set of technologies designed to deal with that environment leads to changes in linguistic practice within the community involved. The dependence of human beings on the possession of integrated systems of causal theory and technological practice for their survival, is proposed as the motive for the creation of a system of magico-religious beliefs and practices in those areas of human life where understanding of the causal relations and consequent technological control is lacking. Because they are not constrained in the way that technological beliefs and practices are constrained, by the need for precise control over the technological process, magico-religious belief systems tend to proliferate in much the same way that languages proliferate as a consequence of the Tower of Babel phenomenon. The consequent multiplicity of magico-religious belief systems creates a barrier to trade and other forms of social co-operation between communities which differ in this respect which, to judge by the lengths to which human beings have gone to iron out such differences, is more serious than that presented by differences in language. The development of philosophy, the supra-national religions and science are interpreted as successive responses to this problem.
[References]  [Talks]  
Download: 1992h The Tower of Babel.pdf

Place, U. T. (1994d). Sharpness: an interesting exception to the rule that dispositional properties require explanation in terms of their owner's microstructure [Conference presentation, presented to the Twentieth Annual Conference on the Philosophy of Science at the Inter University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 12th April 1994]. Inter University Centre, Dubrovnik.
[Abstract]The most common form of distinctively scientific causal explanation is an explanation of the dispositional properties shared by instances of a universal or kind. Such explanations typically invoke the structural properties of the property-bearer. In the majority of cases and in all cases where a specifically scientific explanation is required, what are invoked are features of the microstructure of the property-bearer which are not accessible to ordinary observation at the level of common sense. An interesting exception is the case of the sharpness of a knife or needle. Sharpness is a property and a concept with a number of unusual features. Most property-concepts are either purely dispositional, as in the case of such things as the brittleness of glass, the flexibility of rubber or the magnetic properties of an iron bar, or they are structural properties, such as the external shape and internal arrangement of an object. Sharpness, by contrast, is a property with two aspects, a purely dispositional aspect, the property-bearer's propensity to cut or pierce, and a structural aspect, the fineness and hardness of its edge or point. However, the relation between these two aspects is a causal relation between "distinct existences", not a relation of identity. The dispositional property, aptness to cut or pierce, depends on and is explained by the structural properties, the fineness and hardness of the edge or point. In this it differs from most other dispositional properties. For in this case, the structural properties on which the dispositional property depends are features of the macrostructure rather than the microstructure of the property-bearer. They are thus available to common observation by the man- or woman-in-the-street in a way that the microstructural properties on which most dispositional properties depend are not. Hence the absorption of both cause and its effect into a single common-sense concept. Causal relations and the causal explanations which invoke them have two components: (a) a categorical component, some kind of contact or proximity between the causal agent and the causal patient, and (b) a dispositional component which provides the "cement" which, in the explanation, takes the form of a 'covering law' and governs the interaction between the two. In this respect, the causal relation whereby aptness to cut or pierce is generated by the structural properties of fineness and hardness of edge or point is no exception. Of the two structural properties which stand as cause to the dispositional property as effect, one, the fineness of the edge or point, is categorical; the other, its hardness, is dispositional. From a philosophical standpoint the 'sharpness' example raises two interesting questions: (1) In what sense does the effect, the aptness to cut or pierce, constitute a "distinct existence" from its causes, the fineness and hardness of the edge or point, as Hume's principle requires? (2) What light, if any, is thrown by this example on the problem of the source of the dispositional properties of an elementary particle which has no microstructure (the 'charm' of the quark)?
[References]  [Talks]  
Download: 1994d Sharpness.pdf

Place, U. T. (1996e). Structural properties: categorical, dispositional or both? In D. M. Armstrong, C. B. Martin, U. T. Place, & T. Crane (Ed.) Dispositions: A debate (Chapter 7, pp. 105-125). Routledge.
[Abstract]Martin's "linguisticism" which converts existence into the truth of an existential statement is found in such doctrines as "To exist is to be the value of a variable", "Wanting is a propositional attitude", and "Causal conditionals are of the form 'If p, then q'". The (dispositional) properties of the whole are caused by, are often predictable from, but are not reducible to, the (categorical) arrangement of its parts and their dispositional properties. An unmanifested dispositional property is a law of the nature of the property-bearer which governs how it would behave, if its manifestation conditions were to be fulfilled.
[References]  [Related]  
Download: 1996e Chapter 7 Structural Properties - Categorical, Dispositional or Both .pdf

Place, U. T. (1996g). Intentionality as the mark of the dispositional. Dialectica, 50, 91-120. doi:10.1111/j.1746-8361.1996.tb00001.x
[Abstract]Martin and Pfeifer (1986) have claimed "that the most typical characterizations of intentionality . . . all fail to distinguish . . . mental states from . . . dispositional physical states." The evidence they present in support of this thesis is examined in the light of the possibility that what it shows is that intentionality is the mark, not of the mental, but of the dispositional. Of the five marks of intentionality they discuss a critical examination shows that three of them, Brentano's (1874) inexistence of the intentional object, Searle's (1983) directedness and Anscombe's (1965) indeterminacy, are features which distinguish T-intenTional/dispositional states, both mental and non-mental (physical), from non-dispositional "categorical" states. The other two are either, as in the case of Chisholm's (1957) permissible falsity of a propositional attitude ascription, a feature of linguistic utterances too restricted in its scope to be of interest, or, as in the case of Frege's (1892) indirect reference/Quine's (1953) referential opacity, evidence that the S-intenSional locution is a quotation either of what someone has said in the past or might be expected to say, if the question were to arise at some time in the future.
[References]  [Is reply to]  [Talks]  [23 citing publications]  [10 referring publications by Place]  [Is replied by]  
Download: 1996g Intentionality as the Mark of the Dispositional.pdf

Place, U. T. (1996h). Mental causation is no different from any other kind. The British Psychological Society, History and Philosophy of Psychology Newsletter, 23, 15-20.
[Abstract]Mental causation, as the term is used here, is the relation between an individual's beliefs, desires and intentions on the one hand and the behaviour they motivate on the other. Until it was challenged by Donald Davidson (1963/1980), the accepted view amongst philosophers was that mental causation in this sense is not a causal relation ("reasons are not causes"). Now most subscribe to Davidson's view that it is a causal relation, but an anomalous one. I argue that it is a standard causal relationship which differs in no way from other non-mental cases of causation.
[References]  [Talks]  
Download: 1996h Mental Causation is No Different from Any Other Kind.pdf this is a shortened version of the unpublished:  1996h Full version of Mental Causation is No Different from Any Other Kind.pdf

Place, U. T. (1997g). We needed the analytic-synthetic distinction to formulate mind-brain identity then: we still do [Conference presentation, presented at a Symposium on 'Forty years of Australian Materialism', June 21st 1997]. Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds.
[Abstract]Quine's (1951/1980) repudiation of the analytic-synthetic distinction undermines three principles fundamental to the view expounded in ‘Is consciousness a brain process?' (Place 1956): the idea that problems, such as that of the relation between mind and body, are partly conceptual confusions to be cleared away by philosophical analysis and partly genuine empirical questions to be investigated and answered decisively by the relevant empirical science, the distinction between the meaning of what the individual says when she describes her private experiences and the nature of the actual events she is describing as revealed by science, and the claim that, unless the connection is obscured by the different ways in which the two predicates come to be applied, co-extensive predicates become conceptually (intensionally) connected, and sentences asserting their identity become analytic. It is argued that, if the object is, as it should be, to assimilate this case to other cases of type-identity in science, rather than perpetuate the problem, these principles are still needed.
[References]  [Talks]  
Download: 1997g We Needed the Analytic-Synthetic Distinction to Formulate the Mind-Brain Identity Then We Still Do.pdf

Place, U. T. (1999a). Ryle's behaviorism. In W. O'Donohue, & R. Kitchener (Eds.), Handbook of Behaviorism (Chapter 13, pp. 361-398). Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-012524190-8/50014-0
[Abstract]A distinction is drawn between the OR-behaviorism of the Americans which wants to make psychology more scientific and the OUR-behaviourism of Wittgenstein and Ryle which comes from the philosophy of language. Ryle's doctrines are classified into those that derive from Wittgenstein and those that are peculiar to Ryle. The latter are sub-classified into failures and successes. Criticisms of Ryle's position by Place, Geach, Medlin, Armstrong and Martin are examined and, where possible, rebutted. I conclude that, with some important exceptions, the dispositional analysis of mental concepts survives, as does, more controversially, the hypothetical analysis of dispositional statements.
Note:
'Brian Medlin challenges Ullin Place on the question of probity in Place's paper "Ryle's Behaviorism" and holds him accountable for defaming him. Medlin wants this rectified. In further correspondence Medlin wants the passage withdrawn from the paper. As the book had already been published, Ullin requested from the publisher that a corrigendum slip be printed and inserted into unsold copies of the book, and sewn in if any further copies of the book were printed.' Note on Box 1, Folder 025 (letters exchanged between Jack Smart, Ullin T. Place, Brian Medlin, Jim Franklin, David Armstrong) held in the Brian Medlin Collection at the Library of Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia.
[References]  [5 citing publications]  [4 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1999a Ryle's Behaviorism.pdf

Place, U. T. (1999d). Connectionism and the problem of consciousness. Acta Analytica, 14(22), 197-226.
[Abstract]This paper falls into three parts. In Part 1 I give my reasons for rejecting two aspects of Horgan and Tienson's position as laid out in their book, the language of thought and belief-desire explanations of behaviour, while endorsing the connection they see between linguistic syntax and the syntax of a motor skill. In Part 2 I outline the theory that the brain consists of two input-output transformation systems consciousness whose function is (a) to categorise problematic inputs, (b) to select a response appropriate to such inputs once they have been categorised and (c) to initiate and monitor the execution of such response once selected, and the "zombie-within" whose function is (a) to identify and alert consciousness to any inputs that are problematic either because they are unexpected or because they are significant relative to the agent's current or perennial motivational concerns. In Part 3 I consider how far the properties of the two systems outlined in Part 2 can be understood in terms of the known properties of connectionist networks.
Keywords: connectionism, consciousness, problematic input, zombie-within
Note:
The download file contains some text added by the author after publication. Footnote 2 is added.
[References]  [Related]  [Talks]  [1 citing publications]  [1 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1999d Connectionism and the Problem of Consciousness.pdf

Place, U. T. (1999e). Token- versus type-identity physicalism. Anthropology and Philosophy, 3(2), 21-31.
[Abstract]The observation that identity is a relation between two names or descriptions which refer to the same individual (token-identity) or the same kind or class of things (type-identity) suggests that, unless the descriptions in question are specified, physicalism, understood as the claim that every mentally specified state or process is identical with some physically specified state or process, is empty hand-waving. It can be argued on behalf of the type-identity physicalist that future psycho-physiological research will allow us to specify which types of mentally-specified states or processes are identical with which physically-specified states or processes. No such possibility can be envisaged if token-identity physicalism (Davidson 1970/1980) is true. Consequently, the case for token-identity physicalism must rest on an a priori argument. But the argument which Davidson offers is inconclusive. Token-identity physicalism is, therefore, in serious danger of being side-lined, should evidence supporting the stronger type-identity thesis be forthcoming.
[References]  [5 citing publications]  [1 reprinting collections]  
Download: 1999e Token- versus Type-Identity Physicalism.pdf

Place, U. T. (1999g). Intentionality naturalized: dispositions and quotations [Unpublished paper].
[Abstract]Martin and Pfeifer have argued that physical dispositions satisfy all the accepted masks of intentionality. My own researches suggest the following conclusions: 1. ‘Intentionality’ means whatever the accepted marks make it mean. 2. Hence, if Martin and Pfeifer are right, intentionality is the mark, not of the mental, but of the dispositional. 3. We need to distinguish intentionality, as described by Brentano, Anscombe and Searle's “intentionality-with-a-t” which is the mark of the dispositional from Frege's “indirect reference", Quine’s “referential opacity”, Geach's “non-Shakespearianity” and Searle’s “intensionality-with-an-s” which is the mark of a quotation.
[References]  
Download: 1999g Intentionality Naturalized - Dispositions and Quotations.pdf

Place, U. T. (2000d). The two-factor theory of the mind-brain relation. Brain and Mind, 1, 29-43. doi:10.1023/A:1010087621727
[Abstract]The analysis of mental concepts suggests that the distinction between the mental and the nonmental is not ontologically fundamental, and that, whereas mental processes are one and the same things as the brain processes with which they are correlated, dispositional mental states depend causally on and are, thus, "distinct existences" from the states of the brain microstructure with which 'they' are correlated. It is argued that this difference in the relation between an entity and its composition/underlying structure applies across the board. All stuffs and processes are the same thing as is described by a description of their microstructure. In all cases where the manifestation of a disposition extends beyond the "skin" of the dispositional property bearer, dispositions invariably depend causally on the structure, usually the microstructure, of the bearer.
[References]  [2 citing publications]  [1 referring publications by Place]  [1 reprinting collections]  
Download: 2000d The Two Factor-Theory of the Mind-Brain Relation.pdf

Place, U. T., & Sofroniou, N. (1987). Equivalence classes, relational frames and the autoclitic. [Unpublished paper presented at the Christmas Conference of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour Group, University College, London, December 1987].
[Abstract]Sidman (Sidman 1971 and Sidman and Tailby 1982) defines an "equivalence class" in terms of the generalisation of responses on a matching to sample task which conforms to the principles of reflexivity (or identity), symmetry and transitivity. More recently, Hayes (forthcoming) has proposed that equivalence in this sense is only one amongst a number of "relational frames" which the child abstracts from particular relations which it encounters in the process of acquiring language. Hayes is not specific in characterising the experiences from which the child is supposed to abstract these relational frames. This paper explores the suggestion (Place forthcoming) that relational frames are a species of what Skinner (1957) calls "autoclitic frames". As here conceived, autoclitics are construed as syntactic operators which enable the speaker to construct novel sentences which are nevertheless intelligible to the listener. Likewise an autoclitic frame is seen as an abstract framework formed by autoclitic words, prefixes, suffixes and other autoclitic features, such as word order. When completed by the insertion of the appropriate tact words, phrases or clauses, an autoclitic frame yields an intelligible phrase or sentence. This hypothesis predicts that the child's acquisition of the ability to generalise in accordance with the principles of reflexivity, symmetry and transitivity on the matching to sample task will be found to depend on its ability to construct and draw the appropriate inferences from relational sentences which legitimise inferences of these kinds.
[References]  [Talks]  
Download: Place & Sofroniou (1987) Equivalence Classes, Relational Frames and the Autoclitic.pdf