ERIC Number: EJ869232
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 148
B. F. Skinner's Utopian Vision: Behind and beyond "Walden Two"
Altus, Deborah E.; Morris, Edward K.
Behavior Analyst, v32 n2 p319-335 Fall 2009
This paper addresses B. F. Skinner's utopian vision for enhancing social justice and human wellbeing in his 1948 novel, "Walden Two." In the first part, we situate the book in its historical, intellectual, and social context of the utopian genre, address critiques of the book's premises and practices, and discuss the fate of intentional communities patterned on the book. The central point here is that Skinner's utopian vision was not any of Walden Two's practices, except one: the use of empirical methods to search for and discover practices that worked. In the second part, we describe practices in Skinner's book that advance social justice and human well-being under the themes of health, wealth, and wisdom, and then show how the subsequent literature in applied behavior analysis supports Skinner's prescience. Applied behavior analysis is a measure of the success of Skinner's utopian vision: to experiment.
Descriptors: Books, Literary Genres, Citizenship, Imagination, Social Environment, Peace, Social Justice, Well Being, Time Perspective, Context Effect, Social Change, Personal Autonomy, Organizational Effectiveness, Health Promotion, Theory Practice Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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