Reward and Punishment

Timothy Schroeder

in Three Faces of Desire

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780195172379
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849987 | DOI:

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

Reward and Punishment

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This chapter begins with three sections dedicated to the three main fields of knowledge about the psychology of reward and punishment. The findings of common sense, behaviorism, and neuroscience are surveyed in turn, and found to have much in common. Then, these commonalities are used to produce a more unified theory of the nature of reward. A wide variety of organisms, including both rats and people, appear capable of constituting some things as rewards and others as punishments, in a sense that is perfectly unified, and perfectly compatible with common sense. Uncovering this common core of reward is this chapter's task. Moreover, the theories of reward and punishment are examined.

Keywords: reward; punishment; psychology; common sense; behaviorism; neuroscience

Chapter.  17523 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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