Behaviourism

  1. Mental events cannot constitute the data of a reputable science. The proper object of psychological study is behaviour, not thought or feeling.

  2. All behaviour is the effect of reinforcement. The response to a stimulus is the consequence of the repeated coincidence of the response with a reward (or punishment).

  3. Experimental techniques in psychology allow us to manipulate behaviour towards socially approved ends. Since all behaviour is conditioned anyway, the objection to conditioning as opposed to rational persuasion fails.

Why is this a threat to the notion of self? Because it presumes that there is no self that you have any special control over. You are the result of external forces in exactly the same way that everything else is. You might think you have consciousness, but what could that mean, if you are externally conditioned?