In The Structure of Behaviour, MerleauPonty, who at the time of his death in 1961 was perhaps France's most distinguished philosopher, comes to grips with details of recent scientific theories and data in psychology, psychiatry, biology, and physiology, and shows that many of the most widely accepted concepts of behaviour are inadequate. Influenced by the phenomenology of Husserl, and by the ideas of Heidegger, Sartre and Hegel, in this major critique he seeks to uncover the philosophic presuppositions implicit in the theories of such traditional behaviourists as Pavlov, Watson and their later exponents. He finds contradictions between the interpretive theories of behavioural and Gestalt psychology and the actual facts uncovered by the behavioural sciences. He argues that behaviour cannot be understood in terms of conditional reflexes, and that learning is not primarily a trial-and-error procedure. He does not accept the neural concept of a reflex-arc, with its hypothesis of an invariant correspondence between a local stimulus of a certain kind and a response of a certain kind. He is somewhat more favourable to such Gestalt psychologists as Koehler and Koffka, though they are criticised in fundamental ways. In general Merleau-Ponty emphasises a holistic and structural approach to behaviour.
Hard back, in a very good condition. With a clean dust cover, the pages are clean and the spine is tight.