Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 224
Beyond Freedom and Dignity by B. F. Skinner is a book that focuses on humanity and the environment. B. F. Skinner was a renowned American psychologist known for the operant conditioning theory. The author offers solutions to the various problems people face in the world. Two major themes in the novel include population growth and environmental degradation. Skinner asserts that by controlling human behavior, many global problems can be solved. The author states:
We need to make vast changes in human behavior, and we cannot make them with the help of nothing more than physics or biology, no matter how hard we try.
The author makes a valid argument because every policy, law, or regulation that is implemented to solve any societal problem depends on human behavior. Solutions to global issues can be arrived at, but they require conditioning human behavior for them to be effective.
According to Skinner, the world needs to shift its focus from developing solutions that do not consider the environment to those that promote sustainability. The author claims that the environment should be given the same priority as human life. Personally, I agree with Skinner's sentiments, because environmental degradation and pollution has led to the extinction of many animal and plant species. Therefore, the problem of environmental degradation must be taken seriously and addressed with the urgency it deserves.
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