A Literary Behavior Analysis of Ghost in the Shell: From Science to Art of Behaviorism
Although behavioristic works have had substantial effects on many fields, the art and entertainment world had responded largely negatively or insensitive to behaviorism in the past. More recently, however, as the field of Applied Behavior Analysis grew, a new wave of behavioristic art has emerged. With this new trend, the argument can be made that it is now time to develop a fully-fledged art of behaviorism, both in terms of art making and art theory. In this paper, I present a literary analysis of the film, Ghost in the Shell (Oshii, 1995), as a form of behavioristic literary criticism based on the works of three contemporary behaviorists, B. F. Skinner, Gilbert Ryle, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. From a behaviorist point of view, the film presents a juxtaposition between Motoko’s belief and the environmental influences on her personal identity.