Tuesday, September 09, 2008


A few gems from my course readings this week:

"...we have grossly overemphasized the importance of simple possession. Neither happiness nor the survival of the group depends on the satisfaction derived from having things."
- B.F. Skinner from "The ethics of helping people."

"Solidarity is a willingness to make respectful common cause with the vulnerable, but for Farmer [another author], pragmatic solidarity goes beyond this by contributing through the active exercise of one's power and privileged status as scientist, scholar and/or practitioner toward ensuring that the rights of the vulnerable are honored, actively focusing one's work on relief of suffering in ways that are consonant with the vision of the vulnerable themselves."
- Mattaini, M.A. Editorial: Human Rights, Pragmatic Solidarity, and Behavior Science (2006). Behavior and Social Issues, 15, 1-4.


"Intellectual recognition is only a necessary first step toward pragmatic solidarity, that is, toward taking a stand by the side of those who suffer most from an increasingly hard 'new world order'"
- Paul Farmer, Quoted in Mattaini, 2006 (cited above).

The course I'm taking this semester is called Social Bases of Behavior and delves much more into the theoretical, philosophical and ethical realms of behavior analysis. Loving it!

1 comment:

Simply Victoria said...

wow. good quotes. I had to take an 'exceptionalities' course in my last semester (kurt insists that is not a real word, however...:)
and these quotes reminded me of that. good teacher. an autism specialist and consultant. brenda fossett.

I think a society can be measured against how it treats its weakest members, so I agree with these quotes wholeheartedly.