approach in or philosophy of psychology,
that insists one should use only evidence
about the observable behavior of
humans and animals and not about their mental states, except in so far
as these can be distinguished by behavior.
methodological approach, this makes sense to the extent that it
makes sense to do with fewer assumptions than with more.
philosophy of psychology it makes no
sense, since everyone knows at least for oneself that one has
externally observable behaviour often holds clues to this; but
there is much that
that others aren't aware of.
By parity, this is true of all other human beings.
behaviorism seems to reduce human beings and animals to black boxes about which
nothing can be said except such as is observable in their behavior, as
if their internal states do not matter or must be fundamentally
incomprehensible. Neither seems to me to be the case, though I agree it
is easy to attribute internal states to an organism which it does not
have. But this does not always happen, as anyone knows who loves any
other person who loves one.
For a version of behaviorism in philosophy see Gilbert Ryle's
Concept of Mind", and Russell's review of it in "My