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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 136

The book Beyond Freedom and Dignity by psychologist B. F. Skinner does not have any characters, as it is an academic text that delves into the subjects of psychology, philosophy, sociology, and human behavior.

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In the book, Skinner argues for a reversal of the concepts of freedom and dignity; he believes that, while they previously helped human advancement, history has at last reached a point where these concepts are detrimental to the human race. Skinner believes that free will (freedom) and individual autonomy (dignity) hinder scientific advancement, specifically when it comes to using science to improve cultures and societies. Skinner calls this idea of scientific cultural determinism "cultural engineering." Skinner ultimately argues that true freedom and dignity cannot be achieved through individual actions; rather, they can only be reached by culturally engineering a proper social environment.

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