Walden Two / Edition 1

Walden Two / Edition 1

4.0 21
by Burrhus Frederic Skinner
     
 

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ISBN-10: 002411510X

ISBN-13: 9780024115102

Pub. Date: 09/11/1991

Publisher: Pearson Education

This fictional outline of a modern utopia has been a center of controversy ever since its publication in 1948. Set in the United States, it pictures a society in which human problems are solved by a scientific technology of human conduct.

Overview

This fictional outline of a modern utopia has been a center of controversy ever since its publication in 1948. Set in the United States, it pictures a society in which human problems are solved by a scientific technology of human conduct.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780024115102
Publisher:
Pearson Education
Publication date:
09/11/1991
Edition description:
REISSUE
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
4.24(w) x 7.16(h) x 0.66(d)

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Walden Two 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Walden Two, written by B.F. Skinner in the 1940s, is a novel about the account of six people who go to visit a modern-day utopia where the advancements in science and technology have been used to create a society transcending that of modern culture through its harmony, unity, and happiness. The main character is Burris a college professor who along with Professor Castle an acquaintance of his, a former student and his friend , and the two young men¿s girlfriends go to visit for themselves a self-proclaimed utopia called Walden Two. Most of the plot centers on the several day visit the company partakes in Walden Two and their exploration of its structure and function guided by its main creator Frazier, a former colleague of Burris¿s. Walden Two is a book of complex ideas and theories focused on the need for change and evolution of modern society through advancements in scientific technology. Although one may find himself re-reading several times for better comprehension of a passage, overall the book is an intriguing read for its boldness, creativeness, and originality. Through his skillful execution Skinner makes many of Walden Two¿s revolutionary innovations seem ingenious yet still plausible. Whether analyzing Walden Two¿s reforms in education, improvements in economics, conservatism in industry or examining its overhaul of parenting, modification of family, and encouraged renaissance of the fine arts, Skinner creates the almost seemingly perfect utopia without traveling beyond the restraints of reality. In much the same way that Skinner creates a realistic utopia, he develops the characters, especially Burris, Castle, and Frazier, to a degree that although not much is known about them other than their present actions and thoughts, they still come to life as accurate portrayals of real people. Probably the most captivating feature of the story is not Walden Two itself but Frazier its creator. Charismatic and witty yet still vain and coldly calculable, much of the story delves on the arguments between him and Castle about the morality and effectiveness of Walden Two and its principles. In this way Skinner¿s writing is remarkable for the fact that it consistently explains the opposing arguments Frazier and Castle make concerning inventive features integrated within Walden Two Just when you believe Castle has made a statement that cannot be countered, Frazier says something to him even more perplexing. It is clear that much preparation and research in the ideas of psychology, theology, and logic was needed by Skinner to create this story. Walden Two deserves four out of five stars for its revolutionary, thoughtful ideas that at one time were very controversial. Take into account that it was written in the first few years following World War Two and one will realize the significance of this novel for its effective creation of a desired utopia in a time of far less advancement in technology than today. If not for anything else it still is a thought provoking and entertaining read for those who wish to read something unique or for fun. Those who like Walden Two will also like B. F. Skinner¿s About Behaviorism and Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy for their similar themes on Utopian societies, the future, and psychological/philosophical theories involving social culture.
fudge123 More than 1 year ago
This book helped change my view of the possibilities within us all and the fact that none of us has a right to expect others to do for us what we can and should do for ourselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this after becoming fascinated with Walden. This book is a very different perspective than the one offered by Thoreau, but followed similar themes (mostly). It is a worthwhile read for those interesteed in social structures, the role of labor and nature of mankind. It is not a book to read if you are looking for plot or significant conflict to drive the plot. Any conflict was based on philosophical/idealogical disagreements and was played out in dialogue. Regardless Skinner did give a lot to think about and was overall well written.
modestindecisiv More than 1 year ago
For those who do not know, B.F. Skinner was one of the fathers of Behavioral Psychology and operant conditioning . He was inventive and highly intelligent. This book is proof of this. His ideal utopia is explained in vivid detail. It is apparent that B.F. Skinner chose his words very carefully in order to articulate exactly what he was conveying. On that note, it can be a very difficult read for the lay person. It takes patients to read and I do not recommend reading unless behaviorism is highly fascinating to you. I do recommend reading for the knowledge and understanding of what behaviorism. Walden Two is an excellent well written book but I do not think it is that thrilling. However, B.F. Skinner deserves much respect.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
i'm a 11th grader who is taking a psychology course....my teacher recommend this book to me.. i just bougght this book and started to read it..its going good so far...even though i havent finished reading this book i think its good...you should really read this book if u haven't
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a psychology major, I had to immediately go out and get this book upon hearing 'rave' reviews. I went into reading this book with a certain bias against behaviorism in general since I found most of Skinner's theories on certain matters to be non-sense. However, this book really is a real eye-opener and an enjoyable, easy to understand novel. Even if you are against what Skinner preached, go out and get this because it really reveals the fault in every system instituational or not in this country...
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very interesting book. Skinner provides solutions to many problems in our country and culture. His solutions seem strange at first, but once you think about them, you realize how backward our culture is and how practical it could be. The book is written like a story, which makes the reading easier. He gets technical once in a while, but it's not too difficult. It's a book I would recommend to my friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that the book was great...unlike that unappreciative English student from Illinois.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those of you who do not know Skinner, he was one of the most famous behaviorists in the history of psychology. Behaviorists believed that human behavior is totally controlled by the environment and that our social problems therefore come from 'wrong' reinforcement contingencies between our behaviors and the feedback we get from our environment. Thus, Skinner wrote this novel to show how it was possible to build a good community if it was based on the 'right' contingencies of reinforcement. Although it does not focus on cultural mythology and what it means to be human, this book shows how people can cooperate and have fulfilling lives by simply working a few hours a day to keep the community functioning, and then spend time on what they really enjoy doing. Skinner also discusses very important issues. Behaviorists believe that different individuals are interested in different things and also learn at different paces. Thus, children need to be in an environment where they can master their interests at their own pace, with a lot of personal attention yielding to more and more independence with age. Skinner then illustrates what such education would be like, with small laboratories being set for children to experience many things and thus learn by seeing the meaningfulness of what they are taught. In short, Skinner tries to recreate the workings of natural selection with behavioral engineering methods. The argument is that human beings have stopped experimenting with what works and what does not work. Our civilization has settled down in its own ways, and now tries to fix its problems from the inside, blinded by the false belief that civilization was the best thing ever made. Skinner argues that there are better ways to live, and that to find them we need to experiment with different things and find what works for everyone of us. Although you might find a few of its chapters plain silly, or even scary because of the 'engineering' of behavior, this book is a great read to see what may be possible to do beyond civilization.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good example of a behaviorism environment
Guest More than 1 year ago
Skinner would have done well to write an essay rather than trying to package his ideas in a loose narrative. Extremely unsatisfying, poorly veiled allusions, flat, unsympathetic characters, and almost no plot. The whole book is forced and contrived. Unless you are extremely interested in behaviorism, do NOT read this book. It's definitely not literature.