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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
On-line version ISSN 1678-7153
DITTRICH, Alexandre. Survival or collapse? B. F. Skinner, J. M. Diamond and the fate of cultures. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2008, vol.21, n.2, pp. 252-260. ISSN 1678-7153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722008000200010.
One of the most interesting and polemic features of B. F. Skinner's work is his interpretation about cultural evolution. According to that author, the consequences of cultural practices have a retroactive effect over the cultures, increasing or decreasing their chances of survival. The book "Collapse" - written by the north-American biologist and geographer Jared Diamond - shows remarkable resemblances with Skinner's theory making clear that the consequences of cultural practices have a decisive influence over the fate of cultures. This paper aims to detail such resemblances, considering that Diamond's book serves as a complement to Skinner's theory, because it illustrates with concrete examples the general statements made by Skinner about cultural evolution and, by doing so, makes these statements clearer and more credible.
Keywords : Skinner, Burrhus Frederic; Diamond, Jared Mason; culture; radical behaviorism.