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Upon further reflection /

Main Author:
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Prentice-Hall, 1987
Series: Century psychology series
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This book deals with global issues concerning ecology and world government. It moves from the very general to the very specific.

Review by Choice Review

Skinner's passionate commitment to the human race and its future shines more clearly in this book than in any previous collection of his writings. The scope of Skinner's concerns ranges from the practical (``How to Discover What You Have to Say: A Talk to Students'') to the scientifically theoretical (``Selection by Consequences'') and from the concerns of education (``The Shame of American Education'') to global problems (``Why We Are Not Acting to Save the World''). All written in the 1980s, the articles are astounding testimony to Skinner's use of his own scientifically based techniques of self-management (``Intellectual Self Management in Old Age''). Perhaps the most efficient prose written in the English language, Skinner's work embodies an economical style that packs more information per paragraph than can be unpacked in several readings. Despite Skinner's suggestion that the book ``is not a book to be read straight through,'' putting down Upon Further Reflection is difficult. In addition to the importance of the topics and clear writing style, the book is beautifully designed in cover, print style, binding, format, and ordering of the contents. Any library without this book would deprive patrons of some of the most profoundly important ideas of the 20th century.-S.S. Glenn, North Texas State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

B. F. Skinner, an American behavioral psychologist, is known for his many contributions to learning theory. His Behavior of Organisms (1938) reports his experiments with the study of reflexes. Walden Two (1949), a utopian novel, describes a planned community in which positive rather than negative reinforcers serve to maintain appropriate behavior; the novel stimulated the founding of some experimental communities. In Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971), Skinner attempted to show that only what he called a technology of behavior could save democracy from the many individual and social problems that plague it. (An early example of this technology is the so-called Skinner box for conditioning a human child.) A teacher at Harvard University from 1948 until his retirement, Skinner was for some the model of the objective scientist, for others the epitome of the heartless behaviorist who would turn people into automatons. (Bowker Author Biography)