What is behaviorism about the mind?


  • Filipe Lazzeri Faculdade de Filosofia - Universidade Federal de Goiás (Federal University of Goias)




Behaviorism, Philosophy of mind, Embodied mind approaches, Enactivism, Behavior, Psychology


It is common to find depictions of behaviorist approaches to the mind as approaches according to which mental (or psychological) events are “dispositions for behavior.” Moreover, it is sometimes said that for these approaches the dispositions are for publicly observable (external) behaviors, or even “purely physical movements,” thereby excluding from being constitutive of mental events any internal (e.g., physiological) bodily happening, besides any movement not taken as “purely physical.” In this paper I aim to (i) pinpoint problems in such widespread depictions of behaviorism about the mind, by arguing that they turn out to be too restrictive or too broad, as the case may be. In addition, (ii) I put forward an alternative, more balanced characterization, which wards off such problems. Based upon this alternative characterization, I attempt to (iii) classify some of the embodied mind theories as behavioral, non-behavioral, or borderline cases between behavioral and non-behavioral perspectives.

Author Biography

Filipe Lazzeri, Faculdade de Filosofia - Universidade Federal de Goiás (Federal University of Goias)

Professor da UFG


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