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  1. Free Energy and the Self: An Ecological–Enactive Interpretation.Julian Kiverstein - 2020 - Topoi 39 (3):559-574.
    According to the free energy principle all living systems aim to minimise free energy in their sensory exchanges with the environment. Processes of free energy minimisation are thus ubiquitous in the biological world. Indeed it has been argued that even plants engage in free energy minimisation. Not all living things however feel alive. How then did the feeling of being alive get started? In line with the arguments of the phenomenologists, I will claim that every feeling must be felt by (...)
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  • Unification by Fiat: Arrested Development of Predictive Processing.Piotr Litwin & Marcin Miłkowski - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (7).
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  • Neural Representations Observed.Eric Thomson & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):191-235.
    The historical debate on representation in cognitive science and neuroscience construes representations as theoretical posits and discusses the degree to which we have reason to posit them. We reject the premise of that debate. We argue that experimental neuroscientists routinely observe and manipulate neural representations in their laboratory. Therefore, neural representations are as real as neurons, action potentials, or any other well-established entities in our ontology.
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  • Predictive Coding and Thought.Daniel Williams - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1749-1775.
    Predictive processing has recently been advanced as a global cognitive architecture for the brain. I argue that its commitments concerning the nature and format of cognitive representation are inadequate to account for two basic characteristics of conceptual thought: first, its generality—the fact that we can think and flexibly reason about phenomena at any level of spatial and temporal scale and abstraction; second, its rich compositionality—the specific way in which concepts productively combine to yield our thoughts. I consider two strategies for (...)
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  • Multiscale Integration: Beyond Internalism and Externalism.Maxwell J. D. Ramstead, Michael D. Kirchhoff, Axel Constant & Karl J. Friston - forthcoming - Synthese:1-30.
    We present a multiscale integrationist interpretation of the boundaries of cognitive systems, using the Markov blanket formalism of the variational free energy principle. This interpretation is intended as a corrective for the philosophical debate over internalist and externalist interpretations of cognitive boundaries; we stake out a compromise position. We first survey key principles of new radical views of cognition. We then describe an internalist interpretation premised on the Markov blanket formalism. Having reviewed these accounts, we develop our positive multiscale account. (...)
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  • Neural Synchrony and the Causal Efficacy of Consciousness.David Yates - forthcoming - Topoi:1-16.
    The purpose of this paper is to address a well-known dilemma for physicalism. If mental properties are type identical to physical properties, then their causal efficacy is secure, but at the cost of ruling out mentality in creatures very different to ourselves. On the other hand, if mental properties are multiply realizable, then all kinds of creatures can instantiate them, but then they seem to be causally redundant. The causal exclusion problem depends on the widely held principle that realized properties (...)
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  • Just How Conservative is Conservative Predictive Processing?Paweł Gładziejewski - 2017 - Hybris. Revista de Filosofía 38:98-122.
    Predictive Processing (PP) framework construes perception and action (and perhaps other cognitive phenomena) as a matter of minimizing prediction error, i.e. the mismatch between the sensory input and sensory predictions generated by a hierarchically organized statistical model. There is a question of how PP fits into the debate between traditional, neurocentric and representation-heavy approaches in cognitive science and those approaches that see cognition as embodied, environmentally embedded, extended and (largely) representation-free. In the present paper, I aim to investigate and clarify (...)
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  • New Directions in Predictive Processing.Jakob Hohwy - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (2):209-223.
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  • In Defense of Picturing; Sellars’s Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Neuroscience.Carl Sachs - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (4):669-689.
    I argue that Sellars’s distinction between signifying and picturing should be taken seriously by philosophers of mind, language, and cognition. I begin with interpretations of key Sellarsian texts in order to show that picturing is best understood as a theory of non-linguistic cognitive representations through which animals navigate their environments. This is distinct from the kind of discursive cognition that Sellars called ‘signifying’ and which is best understood in terms of socio-linguistic inferences. I argue that picturing is required because reflection (...)
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  • Predictive Minds and Small-Scale Models: Kenneth Craik’s Contribution to Cognitive Science.Daniel Williams - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (2):245-263.
    I identify three lessons from Kenneth Craik’s landmark book “The Nature of Explanation” for contemporary debates surrounding the existence, extent, and nature of mental representation: first, an account of mental representations as neural structures that function analogously to public models; second, an appreciation of prediction as the central component of intelligence in demand of such models; and third, a metaphor for understanding the brain as an engineer, not a scientist. I then relate these insights to discussions surrounding the representational status (...)
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  • Introduction.Krzysztof Dołęga, Luke Roelofs & Tobias Schlicht - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (2):179-186.
    The papers in this special issue make important contributions to a longstanding debate about how we should conceive of and explain mental phenomena. In other words, they make a case about the best philosophical paradigm for cognitive science. The two main competing approaches, hotly debated for several decades, are representationalism and enactivism. However, recent developments in disciplines such as machine learning and computational neuroscience have fostered a proliferation of intermediate approaches, leading to the emergence of completely new positions, in particular (...)
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  • A Match Made in Heaven: Predictive Approaches to Sensorimotor Enactivism.María Jimena Clavel Vázquez - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-32.
    It has been pointed out that Sensorimotor Enactivism, a theory that claims that perception is enacted and brought about by movement, says very little about the neural mechanisms that enable perception. For the proponents of the predictive approach to Sensorimotor Enactivism, this is a challenge that can be met by introducing predictive processing into the picture. However, the compatibility between these theories is not straightforward. Firstly, because they seem to differ in their stand towards representations: while Sensorimotor Enactivism is said (...)
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  • Hierarchical Minds and the Perception/Cognition Distinction.Daniel Williams - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    ABSTRACTRecent research in cognitive and computational neuroscience portrays the neocortex as a hierarchically structured prediction machine. Several theorists have drawn on this research to challe...
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  • From Symbols to Icons: The Return of Resemblance in the Cognitive Neuroscience Revolution.Daniel Williams & Lincoln Colling - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):1941-1967.
    We argue that one important aspect of the “cognitive neuroscience revolution” identified by Boone and Piccinini :1509–1534. doi: 10.1007/s11229-015-0783-4, 2015) is a dramatic shift away from thinking of cognitive representations as arbitrary symbols towards thinking of them as icons that replicate structural characteristics of their targets. We argue that this shift has been driven both “from below” and “from above”—that is, from a greater appreciation of what mechanistic explanation of information-processing systems involves, and from a greater appreciation of the problems (...)
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  • Pragmatism and the Predictive Mind.Daniel Williams - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (5):835-859.
    Predictive processing and its apparent commitment to explaining cognition in terms of Bayesian inference over hierarchical generative models seems to flatly contradict the pragmatist conception of mind and experience. Against this, I argue that this appearance results from philosophical overlays at odd with the science itself, and that the two frameworks are in fact well-poised for mutually beneficial theoretical exchange. Specifically, I argue: first, that predictive processing illuminates pragmatism’s commitment to both the primacy of pragmatic coping in accounts of the (...)
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