Synthese 200 (2):1-37 (2022)

Authors
Alex Kiefer
Monash University
Ryan Smith
Montana State University-Bozeman
Abstract
Active inference offers a unified theory of perception, learning, and decision-making at computational and neural levels of description. In this article, we address the worry that active inference may be in tension with the belief–desire–intention model within folk psychology because it does not include terms for desires at the mathematical level of description. To resolve this concern, we first provide a brief review of the historical progression from predictive coding to active inference, enabling us to distinguish between active inference formulations of motor control and active inference formulations of decision processes. We then show that, despite a superficial tension when viewed at the mathematical level of description, the active inference formalism contains terms that are readily identifiable as encoding both the objects of desire and the strength of desire at the psychological level of description. We demonstrate this with simple simulations of an active inference agent motivated to leave a dark room for different reasons. Despite their consistency, we further show how active inference may increase the granularity of folk-psychological descriptions by highlighting distinctions between drives to seek information versus reward—and how it may also offer more precise, quantitative folk-psychological predictions. Finally, we consider how the implicitly conative components of active inference may have partial analogues in other systems describable by the broader free energy principle to which it conforms.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-022-03480-w
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,130
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Thought.Gilbert Harman - 1973 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.
Two Concepts of Consciousness.David M. Rosenthal - 1986 - Philosophical Studies 49 (May):329-59.

View all 38 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Attenuating Oneself.Jakub Limanowski & Karl Friston - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-16.
What I s Folk Psychology?Stephen Stich & Ian Ravenscroft - 1994 - Cognition 50 (1-3):447-468.
Folk Psychology as a Theory.Ian Martin Ravenscroft - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Automated Inference in Active Logics.Michael Miller & Donald Perlis - 1996 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 6 (1):9-27.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2022-03-09

Total views
4 ( #1,278,214 of 2,506,500 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #170,106 of 2,506,500 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes