Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

The basic questions: What is reinforced? What is selected?

Patrick Grim a1
a1 Group for Logic and Formal Semantics, Department of Philosophy, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750 [email protected]


Any behavior belongs to innumerable overlapping types. Any adequate theory of emergence and retention of behavior, whether psychological or biological, must give us not only a general mechanism – reinforcement or selection, for example – but a reason why that mechanism applies to a particular behavior in terms of one of its types rather than others. Why is it as this type that the behavior is reinforced or selected?