The Entry Where Sam Becomes a Behaviorist

Ok, so I've spent three semesters saying "behaviorism sucks" essentially, because, I was (wrongly) under the impression that it ignored phenomenological concerns like, you know, cognition. Behaviorism has the animal/empericism problems, which I still object too, but I think as a theoretical outlook/explaintory framework, it's not as corrupt as I thought it was.

I've also been disgruntled by cognitivism, for much the same reasons, that it reduces the impact of experience, and seems to assume that cognitive patterns, because they're in our brains, are the result of essential or innate characteristics, and not themselves, conditioned

I think cognition is critically important to psychology, as is recognizing the importance of, if not exactly the impact of situations on behavior, then the development/contexts that produce (condition) the individual.

I've been saying for--well, weeks--that (noted queer theorist) Judith Butler, has a bunch of really great ideas that I rather appreciate about how gender and sexuality happen, in the Foucaultian tradition, but then attempts to explain the mechanisms behind these theories with a psychoanalytic framework, which strikes me as an always already failing proposition.

She's not the only post-structuralist who does this, and I find this troubling. In order to accept psychoanalysis you basically have to accept a likely inaccurate view of non/un-concious, and what is ultimately a structuralist understanding of human development. No matter how you shake that up, it still rests on those tenants, and I'm not convinced that Kristeva did a particularly good job of escaping that. (Not that I have anywhere enough unused brain cells to get her).

But anyway, There you have it. I could offer a conclusion synthesizing my exact position on the social/cognative/behavioral playing field, but that's not ultimately useful, and sufice it to say, I feel like I have a much better grounding. The downside is that I have to look at a lot of different grad programs now.

School has been busy, after this next week, I think things will be much nicer. I promise to report more.

Cheers, sam

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