Commentary on Leão and Carvalho Neto (2018): “Successive Approximations to Selectionism: Skinner’s Framework for Behavior in the 1930s and 1940s”

J. Moore


The authors examine B. F. Skinner’s writings from the 1930s and 1940s to determine how early Skinner embraced selectionism.  The authors conclude that despite an implicit commitment to selectionism during these two decades, on balance Skinner’s writings suggest a more traditional sense of antecedent, mechanistic causality based on necessity and temporal contiguity, and a stronger case can be made that Skinner’s selectionism emerged only later, in the 1950s.  The present commentary generally supports the authors’ analysis, and interprets Skinner’s early writings, such as those arguing for the generic nature of stimuli and responses, as laying an important foundation for selectionism, rather than expressing a fully mature version of selectionism.

Palabras clave

B. F. Skinner, behavior analysis, evolution, selection by consequences

Texto completo:



Editor General:

Dr. Rogelio Escobar

ISSN: 0185-4534

ISSN Electrónico: 2007-0802