chapter  1
16 Pages

Science and behaviour

ByDerek Blackman

This chapter provides a brief history of how specifiable scientific principles have evolved in the study of behaviour. The simplicity of the experiments discussed makes it possible to abstract and develop general principles about the effects of an animal's environment on its behaviour. The review of work with animals incorporates experiments of increasing complexity, and it is hoped that possible analogies to certain patterns of human behaviour may begin to emerge more forcefully. In extending the evolutionary argument to behaviour C. R. Darwin may be said to have initiated an approach to the study of behaviour which is enjoying something of a vogue, to judge by the popularity of the writings of Desmond Morris. An adequate analysis would inevitably have to be both long and involved, and would include philosophical evaluation of the nature of self, of free-will, of purpose.