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Document Type

Article

Abstract

The discredit into which the socialist ideal has fallen as a consequence of recent political events calls into question, not just the viability of a particular political and economic system but, the very idea that the social order can be improved by applying principles derived from the scientific study of human social behavior. Before the collapse of socialism, the idea of a science of human behavior, construed in biological terms as a branch of the science of the behavior of free-moving living organisms in general, had been undermined by Chomsky's (1959) repudiation of the behaviorist project to construct a science of language (verbal behavior) based on principles derived from the study of animal learning. I contend that only by reinstating the link between linguistics and the study of animal learning can confidence be restored in the possibility of a genuine science of human behavior with application to the problem of constructing a better social order.

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