Beyond Freedom and Dignity

by B. F. Skinner

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 147

Beyond Freedom and Dignity denies the idea that free will and morality exist. Skinner argues that human behavior is influenced by the environment and not some internal force or thought. In fact, Skinner claims that it is rather naive to assume that something which cannot be seen by the human eye has a big influence on our actions.

Skinner goes on to talk about human conditioning. He talks about how children are taught to act and behave when they are young and believes that the same can be done for adults. This concept is also known as operant conditioning.

Skinner believes that human beings have always tried to escape from their true nature by ignoring the environment and doing whatever comes to mind, leading to bad results. He then postulates that if human beings can be conditioned to behave in a certain way, society can be better.

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