more from Georges Rey

Single Idea 3167

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 4. Behaviourism Critique]

Full Idea

Animals exhibit 'spontaneous alteration' in their behaviour (e.g. varying the route to the food), or improvisation (finding short cuts instead of following training). They use mental maps, or dead reckoning, not just conditioned responses.


'Dead reckoning' is guessing where you will be after a given direction and time of movement.

Gist of Idea

Animals don't just respond to stimuli, they experiment


Georges Rey (Contemporary Philosophy of Mind [1997], 4.1.4)

Book Reference

Rey,Georges: 'Contemporary Philosophy of Mind' [Blackwell 1997], p.103

A Reaction

If we can't even get a decent behaviourist account of animal behaviour, presumably the chances for humans look even less good. 'Black box' behaviourism, rather than the eliminativist version, might allow internal mechanisms to modify responses.