|B. F. Skinners Retirement Party|
|In 1974, when Skinner was 70 years old, he became Professor
Emeritus at Harvard.
His department held a party for him in the court of the Fogg Museum.|
Brendan A. Maher, the chairman of the Department of Psychology and Social Relations,
chaired the proceedings, which featured tributes by three of Skinners faculty colleagues:
Richard J. Herrnstein (whose remarks start at 0:30), George C. Homans (5:00), and
Willard V. O. Quine (11:50).|
| At 19:00 Professor Maher read messages
from two absent colleagues, Jerome S. Bruner and Fred Mosteller, and then presented a first edition
of Thoreau's Walden (Walden One) to Skinner, who responded (21:30) to the encomiums
with remarks that include a behavioral analysis of retirement. |
|The tape is 33 minutes long. While not of professional quality,
it is intelligible enough to capture the occasion.
|[The note cards that Professor
Quine used were added to a comprehensive site devoted to the philosopher (in a section of the home page entitled Audio Recordings of Quine.]