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Arquivos Brasileiros de Psicologia

versão On-line ISSN 1809-5267


ZILIO, Diego  e  CARRARA, Kester. B. F. Skinner: theorist of science and theorist of moral?. Arq. bras. psicol. [online]. 2009, vol.61, n.2, pp. 1-11. ISSN 1809-5267.

Would Skinner's moral theory be dependent on his scientific theory to the point of becoming meaningless without it? The mere suggestion of such hypothesis brings the problem of naturalistic fallacy, that is, the problem of deriving statements of ''ought'' kind from statements of ''is'' kind. This issue is used here as an indication that suggests how problematic sustaining a moral and a scientific theory in the same ambit can be. The aim of this article, in this context, is to analyze if that is the case of Radical Behaviorism. Inspired by the naturalistic fallacy dilemma, the first step is to expose the structural and functional differences between statements of ''ought'' kind and statements of ''is'' kind. To do so, the strategy is to present, under the scope of language philosophy, the differences between factual and valuative assertions. The next step consists in analyzing what the nature of relations between Skinner's scientific and moral theories is. That is, if there are necessary or contingencial relations. By doing so it is expected to be plausible the presentation of a possible answer to the central question of this article.

Palavras-chave : Radical Behaviorism; Skinner; Scientific theory; Moral theory; Facts; Values.

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