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On Private Events and Theoretical Terms

Jay Moore
The Journal of Mind and Behavior
Vol. 13, No. 4 (Autumn 1992), pp. 329-345
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43853616
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
On Private Events and Theoretical Terms
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Abstract

The conception of a private event as an inferred, theoretical construct is critically examined. The foundation of this conception in logical positivist epistemology is noted, and the basis of the radical behaviorist alternative is presented. Of particular importance is the radical behaviorist stance on the contributions of physiology and private behavioral events to psychological explanations. Two cases are then reviewed to illustrate radical behaviorist concerns about private events, theoretical terms, and the relation between them. The first is the position of cognitive psychology toward internal states and processing mechanisms. The second is the recent suggestion that even radical behaviorists regard the private event as an inferred, theoretical construct (Zuriff, 1985).

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