Behavioral and Brain Sciences



Short Communication

Consciousness, higher-order thought, and stimulus reinforcement


José Luis Bermúdez a1
a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland jb10@stir.ac.uk www.stir.ac.uk/philosophy/cnw/webpage1.htm

Abstract

Rolls defends a higher-order thought theory of phenomenal consciousness, mapping the distinction between conscious and non-conscious states onto a distinction between two types of action and corresponding neural pathways. Only one type of action involves higher-order thought and consequently consciousness. This account of consciousness has implausible consequences for the nature of stimulus-reinforcement learning.