Skinner's belief that 'operant conditioning' is the true explanation of human behaviour has put him in direct conflict with philosophical arguments which uphold free will. Skinner claims that in no... real sense do we choose to do something but that in fact we act according to the rewards or punishments that such an action might bring about. To use his words, our behaviour is controlled by contingency reinforcements. His argument extends into the political field because he believes that, as we manipulate the rewards (or 'reinforcements') for any action people can be controlled to behave in a way which is for the general good of our society. Geoffrey Warnock attempts to pinpoint what he sees as the contradictions within Skinner's arguments. He asks how, in Skinners view, a political power can manipulate reinforcements without freely choosing which actions are to be rewarded and which punished.
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