G. Bolacchi, Prefazione a B.F. Skinner, La scienza del comportamento ovvero il Behaviorismo, SugarCo, Milano, 1976

The scholar who contributed most to developing and disseminating the experimental perspective in behavior science is undoubtedly B. F. Skinner. He was also committed to highlighting the emptiness of metaphysical explanations of behavior and the methodological erroneousness of mentalistic arguments, even through a high-level popularization activity. His struggle against metaphysics began with Walden due, developed in Science and behavior and Beyond freedom and dignity, and finds an epilogue in this book, which addresses all aspects of the pre-scientific thought about the human organism’s nature and essence. […] This book represents Skinner’s effort aimed at critically analyzing two radically opposite types of language: scientific language, which is rigorously based on the controlled (laboratory) experiment and consequently characterized by intersubjectivity, and the pre-scientific language, devoid of any application capacity and subjective by definition, whose fundamental reference point is metaphysical theorizing.

Meticulously, on a case-by-case basis, Skinner offers a review of all pseudo-concepts and pseudo-explanations that metaphysics, ideology, and common sense use in trying to explain individual and social behavior. […] The easy-to-read feeling comes from the ostensible repudiation of any technicality (typical of all of Skinner’s non-experimental writings). In this work, the analysis carried out by Skinner is imbued with references to that body of experimental knowledge that constitutes the Science of Behavior.» IT

(Preface, pp.IX-X)
Giulio Bolacchi



B.F. Skinner, La scienza del comportamento ovvero il Behaviorismo (pp. VII-XVI)

Original title: B.F. Skinner, About Behaviorism, Knopf, 1974. Italian translation by Maria Gallone.
About B.F. Skinner and his heritage: The B.F. Skinner Foundation.

SugarCo Edizioni, Milano