Authors
Stephan Hartmann
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Lee Elkin
Jagiellonian University
Matteo Colombo
Tilburg University
Abstract
Some naturalistic philosophers of mind subscribing to the predictive processing theory of mind have adopted a realist attitude towards the results of Bayesian cognitive science. In this paper, we argue that this realist attitude is unwarranted. The Bayesian research program in cognitive science does not possess special epistemic virtues over alternative approaches for explaining mental phenomena involving uncertainty. In particular, the Bayesian approach is not simpler, more unifying, or more rational than alternatives. It is also contentious that the Bayesian approach is overall better supported by the empirical evidence. So, to develop philosophical theories of mind on the basis of a realist interpretation of results from Bayesian cognitive science is unwarranted. Naturalistic philosophers of mind should instead adopt an anti-realist attitude towards these results and remain agnostic as to whether Bayesian models are true. For continuing on with an exclusive focus and praise of Bayes within debates about the predictive processing theory will impede progress in philosophical understanding of scientific practice in computational cognitive science as well as of the architecture of the mind.
Keywords Bayesian cognitive science  Predictive processing  Realism
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axy059
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References found in this work BETA

The Predictive Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
Bayesian Epistemology.Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann - 2003 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Bayes Nets and Rationality.Stephan Hartmann - forthcoming - In The Handbook of Rationality. Boston, Massachusetts, USA:
A Free Energy Reconstruction of Arguments for Panpsychism.Majid D. Beni - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.

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