The discussion starts with a consideration of whether variation and selection within a lifetime can be thought of evolutionarily. There appears to be agreement that it can. Dr. Jablonka makes the point with a well-known quote from Mary Jane Eberhard: “genes are followers, they stabilize what has been achieved ontogenetically.”

Both of the chapters deal with taxonomic considerations and the discussion turns to those issues, and what we even mean by learning: is it a behavioral change in response to the organism – environmental regularities? Does it require the specification of a receptor or neural system? The discussion moves into the nature of associative learning, the need for a brain, issues of memory, the analytic purpose of learning categories, and the role of learning in biological evolution.

Published On: December 18, 2020

Steven C. Hayes

Steven C. Hayes

Steven C. Hayes is Nevada Foundation Professor in the Behavior Analysis program at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada. An author of 46 books and over 650 scientific articles, his career has focused on an analysis of the nature of human language and cognition and the application of this to the understanding and alleviation of human suffering. He is the developer of Relational Frame Theory, an account of human higher cognition, and has guided its extension to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a popular evidence-based form of psychotherapy that uses mindfulness, acceptance, and values-based methods. Dr. Hayes has been President of several scientific societies including Division 25 of the APA, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. He was the first Secretary-Treasurer of the Association for Psychological Science, which he helped form and has served a 5-year term on the National Advisory Council for Drug Abuse in the National Institutes of Health. In 1992 he was listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as the 30th “highest impact” psychologist in the world and Google Scholar data ranks him among the top ~1,100 most cited scholars in all areas of study, living and dead (http://www.webometrics.info/en/node/58). Dr. Hayes is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in addition to several other scientific societies. His work has been recognized by several awards including the Exemplary Contributions to Basic Behavioral Research and Its Applications from Division 25 of APA, the Impact of Science on Application award from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy. 

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