Bayes or determinables? What does the bidirectional hierarchical model of brain functions tell us about the nature of perceptual representation?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The focus of this commentary is what Andy Clark takes to be the most groundbreaking of the philosophical import of the ‘bidirectional hierarchical model of brain functions’, namely, the claim that perceptual representations represent probabilities. This is what makes his account Bayesian and this is a philosophical or theoretical conclusion that neuroscientists and psychologists are also quick and happy to draw. My claim is that nothing in the ‘bidirectional hierarchical models of brain functions’ implies that perceptual representations are probabilistic, or that they represent or ‘encode probability density distributions’. There is a much more parsimonious way of describing the representations in the bidirectional hierarchical model of brain functions: they attribute properties to objects (or to the perceived scene) that are not fully determinate.
|Keywords||Predictive coding Bayesian neuroscience Determinable properties Perceptual representation|
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