Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Behaviorism and altruistic acts

J. McKenzie Alexander a1
a1 Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom


Rachlin's idea that altruism, like self-control, is a valuable, temporally extended pattern of behavior, suggests one way of addressing common problems in developing a rational choice explanation of individual altruistic behavior. However, the form of Rachlin's explicitly behaviorist account of altruistic acts suffers from two faults, one of which questions the feasibility of his particular behaviorist analysis.