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The Contextual Stance

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Abstract:

The contention that cognitive psychology and radical behaviorism yield equivalent accounts of decision making and problem solving is examined by contrasting a framework of cognitive interpretation, Dennett's intentional stance, with a corresponding interpretive stance derived from contextualism. The insistence of radical behaviorists that private events such as thoughts and feelings belong in a science of human behavior is indicted in view of their failure to provide a credible interpretation of complex human behavior. Dennett's interpretation of intentional systems is an exemplar of the interpretive stance radical behaviorism requires; a corresponding interpretive position can be based initially on a radical behaviorist view of human behavior and its determinants. This "contextual stance" is ontologically and methodologically distinct from the intentional stance over the range of explanations for which scientific psychology, cognitive or behaviorist, is responsible.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/095150899105918

Publication date: March 1, 1999

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