Recent work in cognitive and computational neuroscience depicts the human cortex as a multi-level prediction engine. This ‘predictive processing’ framework shows great promise as a means of both understanding and integrating the core information processing strategies underlying perception, reasoning, and action. But how, if at all, do emotions and sub-cortical contributions fit into this emerging picture? The fit, we shall argue, is both profound and potentially transformative. In the picture we develop, online cognitive function cannot be assigned to either the (...) cortical or the sub-cortical component, but instead emerges from their tight co-ordination. This tight co-ordination involves processes of continuous reciprocal causation that weave together bodily information and ‘top-down’ predictions, generating a unified sense of what’s out there and why it matters. The upshot is a more truly ‘embodied’ vision of the predictive brain in action. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Taine aspired to place his philosophical project in the synthesis of the two major theoretical tendencies of the nineteenth century: positivism, on the one hand, giving preference to the English tradition, and German metaphysics, mostly Hegelianism, on the other. What does this attempt mean in the field of aesthetics? Taine based his interpretation of the production of art on a series of objective laws, following the naturalist method, as he clearly stated at the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris where (...) he taught for several years from January 1864. (shrink)
As a recent addition to the editorial board for the journal of Philosophy in the Contemporary World, I wanted to revisit a practice from past editions of the journal—interviewing philosophers who engage philosophical practice that reflects the mission of PCW. In this interview, a model for what I hope will continue to be a regular feature, I have a dialogue with the philosopher Burcu Gurkan. Professor Gurkan currently lives and works in Turkey while I live in work in the central (...) US, so what follows is edited from an email exchange.—Taine Duncan. (shrink)
Getting ready to visit Australia makes us think about what it is to belong to a country. We joke about our lives as "rootless cosmopolitans". That was Stalinist code for Jews, of course, a sign of how treacherous they were, because they didn't really have roots in the Motherland. But, with globalisation, it's no longer a bad thing to be a cosmopolitan.