There is only one serious question in political philosophy: What manner of men do we take ourselves and others to be? All other issues—not least the next fundamental question, By what right does any man or class command the services of another?— derive from the answer we give to this central question.
I wish to consider here B. F. Skinner’s answers to these questions.’ They constitute, if I understand them correctly, an argument in contempt of man, turning on a currently fashionable, though age-old, thesis: that the bulk of mankind is unable or unfit to be free; that men should accordingly be divided, on the basis of some fixed criteria, into superior and inferior orders; and that some version of the closed rather ...
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