By T. R. Miles
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Additional info for Eliminating the Unconscious. A Behaviourist View of Psycho-Analysis
If there were any doubt of this point one could in theory set a panel of judges to listen to the recording of an analytic session and require them to indicate whether a particular piece of behaviour by the analyst did or did not constitute a transferenceinterpretation or whether a particular piece of behaviour by the patient did or did not constitute repression or regression. This is exactly comparable to asking a panel of judges to look at some water and to give a ruling as to whether or not it is to be counted as "boiling".
The fatal step is taken if one moves away from the description of particular experiences to a discussion of their existence, as though the word "experience" stood for an allegedly "mental" event in the sense of a non-physical event in some non-physical world. Moreover, if "experience" were this kind of concept it would make good sense to speak of studying lizards on Mondays and studying experiences on Tuesdays, which it clearly does not. Methodological behaviourism has unfortunately tended to perpetuate this mistake by maintaining that experiences are not proper objects for scientific study.
But—to offer a somewhat unkind parody—if we are confronted with a generalisation such as "When eight-yearold schoolboys are asked on a questionnaire if they want to be engine-drivers 40 per cent say 'Yes' ", we may fairly say that we are being treated to quantification without inspiration; and this is surely worse, even from a strictly scientific point of view, than inspiration without quantification! One of the main objections to much current psychological research is that the urge to quantify has become so strong that large numbers of impeccable statistics are continually collected which lead precisely nowhere.