Re: On Gatherer's behaviourist stance

Mario Vaneechoutte (
Fri, 11 Sep 1998 13:15:12 +0200

Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 13:15:12 +0200
From: Mario Vaneechoutte <>
Subject: Re: On Gatherer's behaviourist stance

Ton Maas wrote:

> Mario wrote:
> >Is thinking or talking to myself behaviour? It is my impression that social
> >psychologists tend to deny that thinking even exists, since it results in no
> >observable behaviour or artefact. It is an illusion. Am I right? Than I
> >have to
> >disagree with this kind of reasoning.
> Thinking or talking to yourself is not only behavior, it is
> _communication_. After all, it is entirely possible to discover something
> "new" (previously unknown to you) by simply talking/thinking to yourself.
> There really is no fundamental difference. Information can be effectively
> defined as the difference which makes a difference

I cited this quote from Bateson in my symposium paper as well (although
I erroneously ascribed it to be of Shannon)

> and it doesn't matter
> how or where that difference is made.

Well, I would call this behaviour and communication as well. I fully
agree. But if I understand correctly, then Derek, Bill(?) and Paul (who
can be considered to be representative for social psychologists) would
clearly dismiss this as behaviour, because it is not observable. Or at
least they would say that it cannot be studied since it cannot be
observed by physical behaviour.
Am I summarizing the discussion correctly?


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