Dewey & The Behavioristic Context of Ethics

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Dewey & The Behavioristic Context of Ethics by Morris, Donald, 9781573090407
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  • ISBN: 9781573090407 | 1573090409
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/1/1996

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The work presents a thorough and engaging overview of a perennial problem in philosophy - the relation between moral theory and human limitations - which is examined in an interdisciplinary context. This treatment emphasizes the character of the problem and focuses on proposed methods for dealing with it which lie outside the normal philosophical path of discourse but are nonetheless at the core of 20th-century american philosophy.
Dr. Morris's monograph presents an examination of the constraints placed upon ethical theory by certain aspects of contemporary psychological theory, specifically behaviorism. These constraints were outlined in many of the writings of John Dewey. The present text culls and organizes Dewey's thoughts regarding this issue. It traces the development of Dewey's thoughts regarding the interrelations between ethics and psychology from his early papers to his last works. For contrast and dimension, a parallel discussion is presented for B.F. Skinner. The book focuses on Dewey's insistence that an adequate ethical theory must be modeled within the context of the most current psychological theories; among the latter Dewey saw behaviorism as most promising. Skinner's behaviorism is outlined and extra-psychological views are presented regarding ethical matters and ethical outcomes.

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