The nonexistent link between the logic of reflex and the ideology of natural selection: Comments on Carneiro and Bentes´” Successive approximations to selectionism: Skinner’s framework for behavior in the 1930’s and 1940’s”

Emilio Ribes-Iñesta


Two arguments are presented in order to question the pertinence of natural selection (and selection by consequences) on the foundational logic of operant conditioning. One, deals with the definition of the operant as a covariation or correlation of classes of stimuli and responses, correlation which includes the reinforcer(s) as stimulus member(s) of the operant. Reinforcers cannot select themselves. A second one deals with the retroactive effect of selection by consequences and the concept of probability of response. It is concluded that there is no link between the original concept of the operant and selection by consequences, and that, in any case, operant behavior is concerned with selection of consequences.

Palabras clave

operant, correlation, selection, probability, differentiation

Texto completo:



Editor General:

Dr. Rogelio Escobar

ISSN: 0185-4534

ISSN Electrónico: 2007-0802