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.
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Walden Two

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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.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603842785
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Co.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2005
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 140,601
  • File size: 664 KB

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2007

    A reviewer

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    An interesting perspective on society

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    B.F. Skinner an excellent psychologist and highly intelligent.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2005

    Intriguing

    One of the best novels I have ever read--if not the best. This novel changed my outlook on the world and on my life. After my skepticism diminished, I became increasingly jealous of Skinner's utopia and wondered why we could not build one just like it in today's world. Thus, Skinner's message succeeded in converting me.

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