The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 229–238 | Cite as

Faith, fact, and behaviorism

  • J. E. R. Staddon


David Hume argued that ought cannot be derived from is. That is, no set of facts, no amount of scientific knowledge, is by itself sufficient to urge us to action. Yet generations of well-meaning scientists (more and more as secular influences grow in the West) seem to have forgotten Hume’s words of wisdom. All motivated action depends ultimately on beliefs that cannot be proved by the methods of science, that is, on faith.

Key words

evolution Richard Dawkins religion science E. O. Wilson 


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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