In a recent paper by Hayes, Adams, and Dixon (1997), Skinner's radical behaviorism was criticized on conceptual and philosophical grounds. The criticisms centered around certain types of alleged confusions between observed events and the verbal constructions used in the description of those events. In examining the arguments presented by Hayes et al. (1997), however, certain inconsistencies may be seen regarding the central issues, and problems are found in the application of the arguments to Skinner's work, given a thoroughgoing behavioral view of language. For example, the word "cause" might be viewed in Skinner's writings as implying hidden metaphysical forces, but such an interpretation would ignore the historical influence of Mach in Skinner's usage of the term as well as Skinner's repeated refutation of such metaphysical implications.
"Radical Behaviorism and the Clarification of Causality, Constructs, and Confusions: A Reply to Hayes, Adams, and Dixon,"
The Psychological Record:
3, Article 6.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol48/iss3/6