Walden Two Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
Walden Two Walden Two by B.F. Skinner
5,562 ratings, 3.48 average rating, 403 reviews
Open Preview
Walden Two Quotes Showing 1-30 of 39
“The only geniuses produced by the chaos of society are those who do something about it. Chaos breeds geniuses. It offers a man something to be a genius about.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“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.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“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.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“We are only just beginning to understand the power of love because we are just beginning to understand the weakness of force and aggression.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“What is love except another name for the use of positive reinforcement? Or vice versa.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“A fourth-grade reader may be a sixth-grade mathematician. The grade is an administrative device which does violence to the nature of the developmental process.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“At this very moment enormous numbers of intelligent men and women of goodwill are trying to build a better world. But problems are born faster than they can be solved.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“A scientist may not be sure of the answer, but he's often sure he can find one. And that's a condition which is clearly not enjoyed by philosophy.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“The mob rushes in where individuals fear to tread.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless. It enslaves him almost before he has tasted freedom. The 'ologies' will tell you how its done Theology calls it building a conscience or developing a spirit of selflessness. Psychology calls it the growth of the superego.

Considering how long society has been at it, you'd expect a better job. But the campaigns have been badly planned and the victory has never been secured.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Democracy is the spawn of despotism. And like father, like son. Democracy is power and rule. It's not the will of the people, remember; it's the will of the majority.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“The majority of people don't want to plan. They want to be free of the responsibility of planning. What they ask for is merely some assurance that they will be decently provided for. The rest is a day-to-day enjoyment of life. That's the explanation for your Father Divines; people naturally flock to anyone they can trust for the necessities of life... They are the backbone of a community--solid, trust-worthy, essential.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Going out of style isn't a natural process, but a manipulated change which destroys the beauty of last year's dress in order to make it worthless.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
tags: trend
“It is not a question of starting. The start has been made. It's a question of what's to be done from now on.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“A piece of music is an experience to be taken by itself.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
tags: music
“Promising paradise or threatening hell-fire is, we assumed, generally admitted to be unproductive. It is based upon a fundamental fraud which, when discovered, turns the individual against society and nourishes the very thing it tries to stamp out. What Jesus offered in return of loving one's enemies was heaven on earth, better known as peace of mind.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
tags: jesus
“In the world at large we seldom vote for a principle or a given state of affairs. We vote for a man who pretends to believe in that principle or promises to achieve that state. We don't want a man, we want a condition of peace and plenty-- or, it may be, war and want-- but we must vote for a man.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Men build society and society builds men.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Each of us has interests which conflict the interests of everybody else... 'everybody else' we call 'society'. It's a powerful opponent and it always wins. Oh, here and there an individual prevails for a while and gets what he wants. Sometimes he storms the culture of a society and changes it to his own advantage. But society wins in the long run, for it has the advantage of numbers and of age.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“But restraint is the only one sort of control, and absence of restraint isn't freedom. It's not control that's lacking when one feels 'free', but the objectionable control of force.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Society already possesses the psychological techniques needed to obtain universal observance of a code -- a code which would guarantee the success of a community or state. The difficulty is that these techniques are in the hands of the wrong people--or, rather, there aren't any right people.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Any single historical event is too complex to be adequately known by anyone. It transcends all the intellectual capacities of men. Our practice is to wait until a sufficient number of details have been forgotten. Of course things seem simpler then! Our memories work that way; we retain the facts which are easiest to think about.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“The tender sentiment of the 'one and only' has less to do with constancy of heart than with singleness of opportunity.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Something doing every minute' may be a gesture of despair--or the height of a battle against boredom.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Fame is also won at the expense of others. Even the well-deserved honors of the scientist or man of learning are unfair to many persons of equal achievements who get none. When one man gets a place in the sun, the others are put in a denser shade. From the point of view of the whole group there's no gain whatsoever, and perhaps a loss.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
tags: fame
“It is a mistake to suppose that the whole issue is how to free man. The issue is to improve the way in which he is controlled.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“The world's a poor standard. any society which is free of hunger and violence looks bright against that background.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Your liberals and radicals all want to govern. They want to try it their way-- to show that people will be happier if the power is wielded in a different way or for different purposes. But how do they know? Have they ever tried it? No, it's merely their guess.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Why did colleges make their students take examinations, and why did they give grade? What did a grade really mean? When a student "studied" did he do anything more than read and think-- or was there something special which no one in Walden Two would know about? Why did the professors lecture to the students? Were the students never expected to do anything except answer questions? Was it true that students were made to read books they were not interested in?”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“The amateur doesn't appreciate the need for experimentation. He wants his experts to know.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two

« previous 1