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B.F. Skinner Quotes

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Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.

Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.


         

I don't know whether I want to improve religion or not. I prefer to get rid of it.

I don't know whether I want to improve religion or not. I prefer to get rid of it.


         
Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless.

Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless.


         
The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount.

The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount.


         
Properly used, positive reinforcement is extremely powerful.

Properly used, positive reinforcement is extremely powerful.


         

If you're old, don't try to change yourself, change your environment.

If you're old, don't try to change yourself, change your environment.


         
We shouldn't teach great books we should teach a love of reading.

We shouldn't teach great books we should teach a love of reading.


         
I did not direct my life. I didn't design it. I never made decisions. Things always came up and made them for me. That's what life is.

I did not direct my life. I didn't design it. I never made decisions. Things always came up and made them for me. That's what life is.


         
If you insist that individual rights are the summum bonum, then the whole structure of society falls down.

If you insist that individual rights are the summum bonum, then the whole structure of society falls down.


         
A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.

A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.


         
The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.

The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.


         

I will be dead in a few months. But it hasn't given me the slightest anxiety or worry. I always knew I was going to die.

I will be dead in a few months. But it hasn't given me the slightest anxiety or worry. I always knew I was going to die.


         
Some of us learn control, more or less by accident. The rest of us go all our lives not even understanding how it is possible, and blaming our failure on being born the wrong way.

Some of us learn control, more or less by accident. The rest of us go all our lives not even understanding how it is possible, and blaming our failure on being born the wrong way.


         
We shouldn't teach great books we should teach a love of reading. Knowing the contents of a few works of literature is a trivial achievement. Being inclined to go on reading is a great achievement.

We shouldn't teach great books we should teach a love of reading. Knowing the contents of a few works of literature is a trivial achievement. Being inclined to go on reading is a great achievement.


         
No one asks how to motivate a baby. A baby naturally explores everything it can get at, unless restraining forces have already been at work. And this tendency doesn't die out, it's wiped out.

No one asks how to motivate a baby. A baby naturally explores everything it can get at, unless restraining forces have already been at work. And this tendency doesn't die out, it's wiped out.


         
I wanted to explain so much to him at that moment, but you can't give a six-year-old the perspective of a 40-year-old, not really, so I gave him the short course.

I wanted to explain so much to him at that moment, but you can't give a six-year-old the perspective of a 40-year-old, not really, so I gave him the short course.


         
The opposite of a coward is one who knows and does the right thing at the right time even if it may cost them their own life.

The opposite of a coward is one who knows and does the right thing at the right time even if it may cost them their own life.


         
How did he close off that part of his brain that tells someone they've harmed another soul?...Most frighteningly of all, are some of us born with no conscience at all?

How did he close off that part of his brain that tells someone they've harmed another soul?...Most frighteningly of all, are some of us born with no conscience at all?


         
...not everyone is willing to defend a position of 'not knowing.' There is no virtue in ignorance for its own sake.

...not everyone is willing to defend a position of 'not knowing.' There is no virtue in ignorance for its own sake.


         
Amazing how a confluence of praise and lust can just make your defensive barriers collapse like Jell-O on a hot stove

Amazing how a confluence of praise and lust can just make your defensive barriers collapse like Jell-O on a hot stove