Recent conceptual work in behavior analysis has argued that the discipline is not mechanistic, but contextualistic, in world view. This argument has been contested, however, and a mechanism-contextualism debate has ensued. In taking the side of contextualism, I offer four reflections on the controversy. These concern (a) confusions concerning Pepper's purpose in writing his book and its place in the debate, (b) misunderstandings about the meanings of context and contextualism, (c) the pragmatic implications of theories of truth in world views other than contextualism, and (d) the evolution of ontology from mechanism to contextualism. In the end, behavior analysis may benefit from this debate by evolving as a world view unto its own for its science of behavior. The two-the world view and the science-are inexorably interrelated.
Morris, Edward K.
"Some Reflections on Contextualism, Mechanism, and Behavior Analysis,"
The Psychological Record:
4, Article 2.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol47/iss4/2