Author Admin / 2017-11-17
11. Walden, classes of 10th and 12th, Nov.
11. Science Walden (사이언스 월든)Walden Two (Design of Scientific Utopia)from the novel of B.F. Skinner, Walden Two (1948):Skinner wrote a novel, named Walden Two, after the Walden of Henry David Thoreau, in1948, when the second world war was ended. Even with degradation of humanitythrough the two hugh wars, pride as citizens of a victorious country (e.g., USA) wassurely spread, and majority of world goods and money were actually in the country,which might bring hopeful outlooks. Then, Skinner, for some reasons, decided to writethe Walden Two, which brings some interests to us who are living in present moderntimes. Value of the novel seems rated high at present rather than at the time Skinnerwrote it. He might be either prophet, a man of clairvoyance, or a man who fullyunderstands patterns of human behaviors and has standards of human judgment fortheir behaviors, as based on his behaviorism.Skinner made, in his novel, an alternative small village not religiously or philosophically(like the utopia of Thomas More (1478-1535), but scientifically based on his behaviorism;he hoped to give reality community body to his designed village, through applying hismechanisms of human behaviorism. He would like to design the Walden Two byminimizing unnecessary works to be done, with 4 hours per day being believed to beenough for living. Points are given to who does the 4-hour work, then, the points enableresidents in the community to be able to do every living, including eating, living (housing,clothing, medical service), and other cultural activities; 4 points per day and 1,200 pointsper year are enough for living. There are, of course, various jobs to contribute, such asscientists, medical doctor, and others. He was also interested in how his science ofeducation can be operated in the community. There is no strong leadership, but onlydesigners and planning committee (6 persons) for 10 years. They get 600 points fromthe committee works, so, they must do other physical works as well.Skinner says what we really need is technology of behavior, for the community, notfreedom and free will of human; the latter two have been trusted as reality of humanthrough a long history of humankind, but, even people do so, but, those are justhallucination under a more big scale of control system, such as government or worldwideeconomy, which we are facing in 2012, with global economic crisis and the newliberalism, for example. He believed that people are behaving with own free will, but,actually do under some controls, like machine, of economic, education, and politics. And,he also believed free will is one of elements of technology of behavior, as based on theprinciples of reinforcements (reinforcer contingence) which we discussed in previouschapter.In his novel, Skinner emphasized importance of science of education. He thinks peoplecan be happy only if condition (or environment) to be happy is given; happiness itself cannot be obtained, so is education; it was behaviors controlled in the community, byappropriately designed eduction system, otherwise behaviors are subject to othercontrols affected by the other systems, such as politics and economics (locally andglobally). Control cannot be helped, thus, we have to select, which is his science of51behaviorism. With his eduction science, right after birth (by the way, marriage isrecommended at around 16~18 years old), all children are brought up in a group awayfrom their parents, to protect bad effects (i.e., any type of control) from parents, notnecessary with some regular curriculums, but, flexible programs based on technology ofteaching underlying the eduction system.There have been, of course, criticism on the Walden Two. Typically, there is one tellingwhether a test of scientific utopian with only 1,000 residents can be extended to largercities, like Seoul and New York. There may be two answers to the question, the first isthat the test is a pilot test. Test is test for the actualization of an idea, with science, in thisutopian community. In a small community, it is relatively easy to find solutions tofundamental problems we are facing, such as extremely different distribution of wealth,job opportunity, population control, and environmental problems. With a large community,competition occurs more severely, with more significant difficulty, with respect to analysisof the problems. Instead, alternative a net type of combined relatively small communitiesmay work to find a solution, with affluence with less consumption in a small community,with much simpler occasions structurally, thus, behavioral principles of contingencies ofreinforcements can be more easily applied. And, the second answer is to ask in return tothe question, by saying "Is big one always effective or better?"Bringing Issue of Human in ScienceIf we select one that in great danger, it might be human itself over other things also indanger, such as environment in earth, energy supply, and world-wide economics. Evenwith this problem, man (human) has not been studied thoroughly, especially scientifically,as researches of man has been generally considered as not scientific with certainscientific logics and/or grounds. From this, many studies of natural science, focusing onour Nature crises of organisms, climate change, and others, have been investigatedusing various factors except man itself (influence of industrial and other human activitieswere considered though); please note there is big difference in characteristics betweenman itself as variable and influence of man's activity on nature.Scientific research of man itself should be designed and conducted with emphasis of itsrelations and interactions with nature and also human society, with helps of psychologybut considering its limitation; first of all, please remind of two different psychologicalways to touch the man, which are naturalism (1. materialism, 2. spiritualism) and socialpsychology. We also have to acknowledge we can not use human mind (such as feeling)for our scientific study of man itself, instead, we can get to man in indirect ways, throughact and behavior. Lucien Seve differentiates characteristics of the two, in his book (1974)that behavior is concrete activity of the subject and objective outcome for society, while,act concept includes something important for values of society (i.e., social implication).Prior to idea of analysis with act, for man, proposed by Lucien Seve, there was othersimilar attempts which were experimentally investigated with animals, such as Pavlovismand Behaviorism (Skinner). Pavlovism successfully proved dialectical materialism andfounded for the first time a new psychology, in agreement with Marxism, throughdialectical materialism. But, Seve developed his own and very distinct theory of52personality, with a few hypotheses, and tried to bring up the issue of man itself, intoscience, to overcome a crisis of human alienation and powerful control of human bycapital. He did not use human mind and feeling to recover human personality as hedefined personality as enormous accumulation of the most varied acts through time;here, his act concept is somewhat different from behavior (of Skinner), in a few pointsthat act includes something socially important, and is concrete activity of the subject,objective outcome for society, and decisive for the individual himself. Instead, he (Seve)tries to (or trusts) recover and newly build personality by making purification of capacityof human acts in both individuality and society perspectives. Here, capacity is defined asensemble of actual potentialities, innate or acquired, to carry out any act whatever andwhatever its level.We may think and decide how to act when we face problems or feel needs; i.e., actscorrespond to problems or needs. When either similar or the same needs occur, alsosimilar acts are conducted by us, but, with different purpose or for different products fromthe previous cases (with the same need, different product). Then, similar scenario again;primary, secondary, tertiary, and so on. The acts are accumulated to be humanpersonality, and new capacities are required to reproduce personality for updated needs.In general, as the stage goes up, the level transits from individuality to sociality levels
(i.e., socialized personality).