Biology and Philosophy (forthcoming)

Stephen Francis Mann
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Ross Pain
Australian National University
The free energy principle is notoriously difficult to understand. In this paper, we relate the principle to a framework that philosophers of biology are familiar with: Ruth Millikan's teleosemantics. We argue that: (i) systems that minimise free energy are systems with a proper function; and (ii) Karl Friston's notion of *implicit modelling* can be understood in terms of Millikan's notion of *mapping relations*. Our analysis reveals some surprising formal similarities between the two frameworks, and suggests interesting lines of future research. We hope this will aid further philosophical evaluation of the free energy principle.
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The Predictive Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
Philosophy Within its Proper Bounds.Edouard Machery - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
Representation in Cognitive Science.Nicholas Shea - 2018 - Oxford University Press.

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