23 publications of Place that refer to Skinner (1966). An operant analysis of problem solving.

Place, U. T. (1973-11-14). Lecture 7: Linguistic Rules and their classification (14/11/1973). Section 2
[Abstract]The concept of a linguistic rule and the traditional classification into pragmatic, semantic and syntactic rules.
[References]  
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 07 - revised version.pdf

Place, U. T. (1986a). Ethics as a system of behavior modification. In L. J. Parrott, & P. N. Chase (Eds.), Psychological Aspects of Language: The West Virginia Lectures (Chapter 6, pp.157-178). Charles C. Thomas.
[References]  [1 citing publications]  [2 referring publications by Place]  [Is replied by]  
Download: 1986a Ethics as Behavior Modification - revised version.pdf revised and two footnotes added after publication of the book

Place, U. T. (1986b). Do we have intuitive knowledge of what is the case in all possible worlds [Presentation]. Department of Philosophy, University of York, 6th November 1986.
[References]  [Talks]  
Download: 1986b Do We Have Intuitive Knowledge of What is the Case in All Possible Worlds.pdf at the end is included an appendix which explicates the structure of the main argument of the paper

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. (1988c). What went wrong? - comments on B.F.Skinner's 'Whatever happened to psychology as the science of behavior?' Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 1, 307-309. doi:10.1080/09515078808254214
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Download: 1988c What Went Wrong.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.
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Download: 1988e The Problem of Mental Content from the Standpoint of Linguistic Empiricism .pdf

Place, U. T. (1989f). Two concepts of consciousness: The biological/private and the linguistic/social. Revista mexicana de análisis de la conducta= Mexican journal of behavior analysis, (Extra 3), 69-88.
[Abstract]How much of the mental life which we attribute to ourselves and our fellow human beings should we attribute to other creatures, particularly those mammals to which we are most closely related in evolutionary terms, given that such creatures do not communi­cate with one another by means of anything resembling human natural language? The paper approaches this question historically by consider­ing the positions taken by Aristotle, Descartes, the post-Darwinians such as Romanes, the behaviorists down to Skinner, and contemporary philosophers such as Davidson and Fodor. A distinction is drawn between two concepts of consciousness: the biological/private which I argue we should not hesitate to attribute to all warm-blooded vertebrates and the linguistic/social which is ex­clusively human. The concept of consciousness as biological and private is the 'consciousness' of traditional introspective psychology and of 'Is consciousness a brain process?' (Place 1956). It comprises the phenomena of selective attention, conceptualization, mental image formation, emotional reaction and motivation. The concept of consciousness as linguistic and social is the consciousness of Hegel, Marx, Vygotsky, Skinner and much contemporary philosophical psychology. It consists of an integrated system of propositional attitudes (beliefs) all of which are either formulated or sus­ceptible to formulation as sentences in natural language (Skinner's "contingency-specifying stimuli" or "rules").
Note:
The publication date, 1989, can't be correct, but it is the date used by the journal. After publication the author revised the paper, see Place 1992f
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Download: 1989f Two Concepts of Consciousness (Revista Mexicana de Analisis de la Conducta).pdf

Place, U. T. (1989g). Some thought on the work of the Würzburg School and the controversy it provoked, prompted by a visit to Würzburg 10-16 October 1989 [Unpublished presentation at the Departmental Seminar, Departement of Psychology, University College of North Wales, Bangor, 2nd November 1989].
[Abstract]The debate between the Würzburg School and E. B. Titchener which took place during the first decade of this century was not, as it is often portrayed, a debate about the existence or non-existence of imageless thought. It is better described as a conceptual and terminological issue about the nature of consciousness, the place of meaning in consciousness and the role of introspection (Selbstbeobachtung) in its empirical investigation. Titchener's contention that in introspection the trained psychologist strips away meaning in order to provide a description of raw uninterpreted experience is shown to be the absurdity that it is by Wittgenstein's (1953) 'private language argument'. There is, nevertheless, a useful distinction to be drawn between two ways of acquiring mental self-knowledge: (a) introspection (Selbstbeobachtung) which yields observational knowledge of the qualia of ongoing experience, and (b) inner perception (innere Wahrnehmung) which yields intuitive knowledge of the onset and content of dispositional mental states. In terms of this distinction, the Würzburg protocols are based on an inner perception of the content of the reported thoughts rather than on introspective observation of the qualia of experience. The paper concludes with an assessment of the significance of the Würzburg-Titchener controversy for the subsequent history of psychology and for contemporary issues in psychology and the philosophy of mind.
Note:
Poshumously published as Place (2002/3)
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Download: 1989g Some Thought on the Work of the Wurzburg School and the Controversy it Provoked.pdf

Place, U. T. (1989h). Relational frames and the role of logic in rule-governed behaviour. [Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour Group, Cambridge, 1989. Revised in 1997.]
[Abstract]The concept "relational frame" has been proposed by Steve Hayes (1991) as a higher order category in which Murray Sidman's concept of "equivalence class" is subsumed as a special case. Like equivalence, the relational frame concept was originally conceived as an interpretation of the behaviour of human subjects on a matching to sample task. While not denying the reality of relational frame abstraction in the case of intelligent human adults, it is suggested that this may be an over intellectual interpretation of the equivalence responding of children and less intelligent adults. It is proposed that the relational frame concept should instead be seen as an important contribution (a) to relational logic, and (b) to our understanding of the role of logic in rule governed behaviour, and that the ability to abstract relational frames is something that appears much later in the process whereby linguistic competence is acquired than equivalence class responding on the matching to sample task.
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Download: 1989h Relational Frames and the Role of Logic in Rule-Governed Behaviour.pdf

Place, U. T. (1991h). Error-correction in connectionist networks: A new perspective on the law of effect [Unpublished paper. Presented to the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society, Bournemouth, 12th April 1991, Session on Behavioristic Perspectives on Cognitive Psychology and to the 17th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis, Atlanta, Georgia, May 26th 1991.] .
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Download: 1991h Error Correction in Connectionist Networks - A New Perspective on the Law of Effect.pdf

Place, U. T. (1992a). Behavioral contingency semantics and the correspondence theory of truth. In S. C. Hayes,& L. J. Hayes (Eds.), Understanding verbal relations: The Second and Third International Institute on Verbal Relations (Chapter 9, pp. 135-151). Context Press.
Keywords: behaviour analysis, behavioural contingency semantics, correspondence theory of truth, picture theory of meaning, situation, three-term contingency
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Download: 1992a Behavioral Contingency Semantics and the Correspondence Theory of Truth.pdf

Place, U. T. (1992b). Is there an operant analysis of animal problem-solving? [Conference presentation, presented at 18th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis - May 25-28 1992 - San Francisco, California]. Association for Behavior Analysis. Abstract published in Proceedings of 18th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis - May 25-28 1992 - San Francisco, California (p. 155). Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis.
[Abstract]In 'An operant analysis of problem-solving', Skinner (1966/1969/1988) develops an account of problem-solving based on the distinction between two different ways in which an organism can learn to adapt to environmental contingencies: (1) contingency-shaped behavior in which the behavior of an organism is progressively shaped by repeated exposure to the contingency itself, and (2) rule-governed behavior in which a verbally competent human being adapts to a contingency by constructing a verbal formula or rule which is said to "specify" the contingency in question. A rule may be constructed, as in the case of contingency-shaped behavior, in the light of repeated exposure to the contingency itself. It may equally well be based on information about the contingency supplied by another speaker, on information derived from a written text, or on an inference from other rules derived from any or all these sources. It is this case where the agent infers a new rule tailor-made for the problem with which he/she is confronted that Skinner has in mind in offering an analysis of problem-solving in these terms. There is a growing body of empirical evidence (Hayes 1989) which confirms the accuracy of Skinner's description of problem-solving as it occurs in the case of verbally competent human beings. But animals also solve problems; and so do pre-verbal human infants. This kind of problem-solving cannot simply be a matter of contingency-shaping, though previous contingency-shaped behavior is the only resource from which a pre-verbal organism can draw in selecting an appropriate problem-solving strategy. It requires some mechanism like that which Köhler (1925) refers to as "insight" whereby the stimulus class which currently controls a particular response class is somehow stretched so as to include the current stimulus situation. The case for postulating such a behavior mediating mechanism within the conceptual framework of radical behaviorism is argued by appealing (a) to the analogy between attending behavior and thinking by talking to oneself, and (b) to the process whose existence is implied by Skinner's (1938) account of "stimulus class" whereby an organism learns to break up its stimulus environment into stimulus classes "along the natural lines of fracture."
Keywords: the natural lines of fracture, stimulus class, rule-governed behaviour, problem-solving, Skinner
[References]  [Talks]  [1 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1992b Is There an Operant Analysis of Animal Problem-Solving.pdf

Place, U. T. (1992f). Two concepts of consciousness: the biological/private and the linguistic/social. Acta Analytica, 7(8), 53-72.
[Abstract]How much of the mental life which we attribute to ourselves and our fellow human beings should we attribute to other creatures, particularly those mammals to which we are most closely related in evolutionary terms, given that such creatures do not communicate with one another by means of anything resembling human natural language? The paper approaches this question historically by considering the positions taken by Aristotle, Descartes, the post-Darwinians such as Romanes, the behaviorists down to Skinner, and contemporary philosophers such as Davidson and Fodor. A distinction is drawn between two concepts of consciousness: the biological/private which I argue we should not hesitate to attribute to all warm-blooded vertebrates and the linguistic/social which is exclusively human. The concept of consciousness as biological and private is the 'consciousness' of traditional introspective psychology and of 'Is consciousness a brain process?' (Place 1956). It comprises the phenomena of selective attention, conceptualization, mental image formation, emotional reaction and motivation. The concept of consciousness as linguistic and social is the consciousness of Hegel, Marx, Vygotsky, Skinner and much contemporary philosophical psychology. It consists of an integrated system of propositional attitudes (beliefs) all of which are either formulated or susceptible to formulation as sentences in natural language (Skinner's "contingency-specifying stimuli" or "rules").
Note:
The download is a version revised after publication by the author.
[References]  [Talks]  [4 citing publications]  
Download: 1992f Two Concepts of Consciousness the Biological Private and the Linguistic Social.pdf

Place, U. T. (1992j). Towards a reconciliation between the associationist and radical behaviorist traditions in the experimental analysis of behavior. [Unpublished paper. Presented under the title 'The three term contingency as a link between the associationist and radical behaviorist traditions in the experimental analysis of behavior' as Invited Address to the First International Congress on Behaviorism and the Sciences of Behavior, Guadalajara, Mexico, 6th October 1992].
[Abstract]It is an implication of the Law of Non-Contradiction that two incompatible descriptions of the same class of phenomena cannot both be true. This suggests that the future for radical behaviorism must lie in achieving a reconciliation with other disciplines and approaches studying the same or closely related phenomena. The approach known as "associative learning theory" shares a common data basis with radical behaviorism in the area of the experimental analysis of animal behavior. It is separated from radical behaviorism by a different view of the nature of what is learned. According to the radical behaviorist, under certain antecedent conditions (discriminative stimulus + establishing condition) an organism learns to emit a response. According to associative learning theory what is learned is an association between a pair of consecutive stimulus events. When presented with the first member of the pair, the organism learns to "predict" or "expect" the second member of the pair. Until recently, the principal application of this principle was Rescorla and Wagner's (1972) analysis of  Pavlovian (respondent) conditioning. More recently, Adams and Dickinson's (1981) reinforcer-devaluation experiment has led associationists to pay more attention to instrumental (operant) learning. It has also opened up an interesting divergence of views between Dickinson (1988; Heyes and Dickinson, 1991; Dickinson & Balleine, forthcoming) who takes it as evidence of a discontinuity between respondent conditioning, which he interprets in terms of the establishment of mechanical associations, and operant learning which he interprets in terms of the ‘beliefs’ and ‘desires’ of philosophical action theory, and Rescorla (1991) who uses it as evidence for an interpretation of operant learning based on the same principles of stimulus-stimulus association invoked by Rescorla and Wagner to account for respondent conditioning. Standing in the way of a reconciliation between radical behaviorism and associative learning theory are the misgivings of the former about the use made by the latter of ‘mentalistic’ concepts, such as ‘expect,’ ‘anticipate,’ and ‘predict.’ These misgivings may be allayed if attention is paid to the results of applying to such concepts the technique, known as ‘conceptual analysis,’ developed by Wittgenstein (1953; 1958) and the philosophers of the Oxford ‘ordinary language’ school. A recent application of this technique to the linguistic phenomenon known variously as ‘intentionality’ or ‘intensionality’ shows that it consists of two distinct varieties of ‘referential anomaly’ which ‘infect’ the grammatical objects of certain verbs. In one case, the grammatical object is used to indicate a range of possible events any one of which, if it were to occur, would constitute a manifestation or satisfaction of a disposition. In the other case, the grammatical object functions as a quotation of what the agent either has said or might be expected to say or have said. Referential anomaly of the dispositional kind is both unavoidable and benign, but the use of quotations to characterize behavioral dispositions is acceptable for scientific purposes only in those cases where the behavior in question is in fact subject to linguistic control. Since the grammatical object of the verbs ‘know,’ ‘believe’ and ‘think,’ as they occur in belief/desire explanations, takes the form of an embedded indicative sentence in oratio obliqua or indirect reported speech, Dickinson's explanation of instrumental/operant learning in animals involves the scientifically unacceptable metaphor of linguistic initiation and control. Rescorla's theory, on the other hand, requires nothing more than that the organism learn to ‘expect’ or ‘anticipate’ an event (the outcome), given the combination of an antecedent discriminative stimulus and the stimulus constituted by the incipient emission of the response which it evokes. In this case the anomaly of reference in the noun phrase which occurs as the grammatical object of the verb reflects its use as a device for indicating a range of possible outcomes any one of which, if it occurred, would fulfill and confirm the expectation which it specifies.
Note:
UTP made changes to the text of the presentation in 1995 and in 1999.
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Download: 1992j 1999 Towards a Reconciliation between the Ascociationist and Redical Behaviorist Traditions in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.pdf

Place, U. T. (1994a). Connectionism and the resurrection of behaviourism. Acta Analytica, 9(12), 65-79.
[Abstract]The demise of behaviourism is traced to the advent of the serial-digital computer as a model for the functioning of the brain. With the advent of a new model in the shape of the parallel distributed processor (PDP) or connectionist network, the resurrection of behaviourism can be predicted. The relation between the two models is explained in terms of Skinner's (1966) distinction between "contingency-shaped" (modelled by the PDP) and "rule-governed" behaviour. Rule-governed behaviour in Skinner's sense is behaviour controlled by a verbal/symbolic "specification" of the relevant contingencies. The S-D computer is a device designed by a PDP (the human brain) to compensate for its own slowness and inefficiency in constructing and manipulating such symbolic specifications.
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Download: 1994a Connectionism and the Resurrection of Behaviorism.pdf

Place, U. T. (1994e). Conceptual analysis as the empirical study of linguistic conventions: Some implications for behavior analysis [Conference presentation at the Twentieth Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis, Atlanta, Georgia, May 29th 1994].
[Abstract]In a recent paper (Place 1992), the writer has argued that conceptual analysis, as practised by the philosophers of the 'ordinary language' school, is an empirical study of the linguistic conventions to which a speaker must conform if what she says is to be understood by (i.e., is to effectively control the behavior of) any competent interpreter of the language, dialect or technical code she is using. Since conformity to social norms and conventions is maintained by the avoidance of the aversive consequences of failing to do so, the only way to demonstrate unambiguously the existence of such a norm or convention is to perform an ethnomethodological experiment (Garfinkel 1964) in which the putative norm or convention is deliberately flouted so that the actual social consequences of so doing can be observed. Because of the social disruption and hostility towards the experimenter which such an experiment is liable to incur, in practice most such investigations take the form of a thought experiment in which the researcher invites the reader to imagine or recollect from her own past experience the consequences of flouting the convention in question. Though the consequences of flouting linguistic conventions are less serious, the reluctance of philosophers, in their professional capacity, to engage in any form of practical activity has ensured that the methodology of conceptual analysis is likewise that of the ethnomethodological thought experiment. In this case the existence of a linguistic convention is demonstrated by constructing a sentence which flouts the putative convention, and then asking the reader to consider how she would react, if confronted by such a sentence in the course of ordinary conversation. Provided the linguistic conventions which are studied in this way are universal in the sense that some version of them is to be found in every natural language, conceptual analysis so conceived can provide valuable insights into (a) the different ways in which language is used to control the behavior of the listener (pragmatics), (b) the way in which sentences are used to depict or represent segments of environmental reality, possible future events and states of affairs as well as actual past and present ones, (semantics) and (c) the nature of the reality thereby depicted (metaphysics). In relation to behavior analysis, conceptual analysis has important implications for the study of verbal behavior, for an understanding of the relation between our ordinary psychological language ("folk psychology") and the language of behavior analysis on the one hand and the language of physiology on the other, and for an understanding of some of the concepts, such as the concepts of 'cause' and 'effect' which are fundamental to the enterprise of empirical science as a whole.
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Download: 1994e Conceptual Analysis as the Empirical Study of Linguistic Convention - Some Implications for Behavior Analysis.pdf

Place, U. T. (1995/6). Symbolic processes and stimulus equivalence. Behavior and Philosophy, 23/24, 13-30. www.jstor.org/stable/27759337
[Abstract]A symbol is defined as a species of sign. The concept of a sign coincides with Skinner's (1938) concept of a discriminative stimulus. Symbols differ from other signs in five respects: (1) They are stimuli which the organism can both respond to and produce, either as a self-directed stimulus (as in thinking) or as a stimulus for another individual with a predictably similar response from the recipient in each case. (2) they act as discriminative stimuli for the same kind of object for all members of the verbal community within which they function as symbols; (3) they acquire their properties by virtue of arbitrary social convention rather than any natural and intrinsic connection between the sign and what it is a sign of; (4) competent members of the verbal community can both produce the appropriate symbol in response to a naturally occurring sign of the presence of the object or a sample of the kind of object which the symbol stands for and select the appropriate object when presented with the symbol; (5) they form stimulus equivalence classes of the kind demonstrated in the matching-to-sample task (Sidman, 1971; Sidman and Tailby, 1982) both with other symbols having the same meaning and, more important, with the naturally-occurring non-symbolic signs of the presence of the object or kind of object which the symbol stands for.
[References]  [Talks]  [13 citing publications]  [4 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1995-6 Symbolic Processes and Stimulus Equivalence.pdf

Place, U. T. (1996d). A conceptualist ontology. In D. M. Armstrong, C. B. Martin. U. T. Place, & T. Crane (Ed.) Dispositions: A debate (Chapter 4, pp. 49-67). Routledge.
[Abstract]Nominalised predicates, opaque contexts and monadic relational predicates are cases where surface structure conceals an underlying complexity. A conceptualist picture theory of meaning allows different ways of carving up reality into atomic situations. To say that a universal exists means either that it has at least one instance or that some creature has that concept. Structural factors combine to cause dispositions. Dispositions combine with the relevant conditions to cause their manifestations. Type-identities begin as contingent hypotheses and become necessary when used in classification. The existence of individual dispositional properties, not Laws of Nature, are the truthmakers for causal counterfactuals.
Keywords: picture theory of meaning
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Download: 1996d Chapter 4 A Conceptualist Ontology.pdf

Place, U. T. (1996q). The picture theory of meaning and its implication for the theory of truth and its discrimination. Communication and Cognition, 29, 5-14.
[Abstract]Linguistic behaviourism is an approach to linguistics, philosophy and the philosophy of science which combines Skinner's (1957) thesis that language is a form of learned social behaviour maintained by the reinforcement practices of a linguistic or, as he would say, "verbal" community with Chomsky's (1957, etc.) insistence that the functional unit of language is the sentence and that sentences are seldom repeated word-for-word, but are typically constructed anew on each occasion of utterance. The ability of the listener or reader to be directed by an imperative sentence to do something she has never done before or to be alerted by a declarative sentence to the existence of a situation the like of which she has never encountered and to which she would otherwise have no access is explained on a version of the picture theory of meaning in which the structure and content of the sentence maps onto the structure and content of the situation which is thereby depicted. Hand in hand with the picture theory of meaning goes a correspondence theory of what it means for a contingent proposition to be true. But in accounting for the way true contingent propositions are discriminated, both the coherence and the pragmatic principles are invoked.
Keywords: correspondence theory of truth, picture theory of meaning
[References]  [1 citing publications]  [3 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1996q The Picture Theory of Meaning and its Implication for the Theory of Truth and its Discrimination.pdf

Place, U. T. (1997a). Contingency analysis applied to the pragmatics and semantics of naturally occurring verbal interactions. In J. L. Owen (Ed.), Context and communication behavior (Chapter 18, pp. 369-385). Context Press.
[Abstract]Contingency analysis is a technique for analyzing the relation between a living organism and its environment based on a generalized version of Skinner's (1969) concept of the "three-term contingency." It can be applied to the analysis of any sequence of events in which a single individual interacts with its environment or, as in the case of social behavior, in which two or more individuals interact with each other. It is particularly valuable when applied to the analysis of naturally-occurring verbal interactions, such as conversations and business transactions. It can be applied not only to the sequence of events whereby utterances follow one another as the interaction proceeds, their pragmatics, but also to the semantic content of the utterances, the sequence of events called for by what Skinner (1957) calls a "mand" or those recorded or predicted by the kind of declarative sentence he sometimes (Place 1985) calls a "tact".
[References]  [Talks]  [2 citing publications]  [5 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1997a Contingency Analysis Applied to the Pragmatics and Semantics of Naturally Occurring Verbal Interactions.pdf

Place, U. T. (1997d). Rescuing the science of human behavior from the ashes of socialism. Psychological Record, 47, 649-659. doi:10.1007/BF03395251
[Abstract]The discredit into which the socialist ideal has fallen as a consequence of recent political events calls into question, not just the viability of a particular political and economic system but, the very idea that the social order can be improved by applying principles derived from the scientific study of human social behavior. Before the collapse of socialism, the idea of a science of human behavior, construed in biological terms as a branch of the science of the behavior of free-moving living organisms in general, had been undermined by Chomsky's (1959) repudiation of the behaviorist project to construct a science of language (verbal behavior) based on principles derived from the study of animal learning. I contend that only by reinstating the link between linguistics and the study of animal learning can confidence be restored in the possibility of a genuine science of human behavior with application to the problem of constructing a better social order.
[References]  [Talks]  [3 citing publications]  [2 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1997d Rescuing the Science of Human Behavior from the Ashes of Socialism.pdf

Place, U. T. (2000e). Behaviorism as an ethnomethodological experiment: Flouting the convention of rational agency. Behavior & Philosophy, 28(1/2), 57. www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/27759404.pdf
[Abstract]As interpreted here, Garfinkel's "ethnomethodological experiment" (1967) demonstrates the existence of a social convention by flouting it and observing the consternation and aversive consequences for the perpetrator which that provokes. I suggest that the hostility which behaviorism has provoked throughout its history is evidence that it flouts an important social convention, the convention that, whenever possible, human beings are treated as and must always give the appearance of being rational agents. For these purposes, a rational agent is someone whose behavior is controlled by a logically consistent body of means-end beliefs ("rules" in Skinner's terminology) and complementing desires which between them provide a basis for predicting how the individual will behave and for suggesting what arguments will persuade the agent to modify his or her beliefs and the behavior based upon them. The behaviorist flouts this convention by suggesting that its fictional character makes it unsuitable for the purposes of scientific explanation of behavior. The hostility that this suggestion provokes is evidence of the importance attached by the verbal community both to preserving a consistent and rational connection between what is said and what is done and presenting it as part of the natural order of things.
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Download: 2000e Behaviorism as an Ethnomethodological Experiment.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.
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Download: Place & Sofroniou (1987) Equivalence Classes, Relational Frames and the Autoclitic.pdf