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Wanja Wiese
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
  1. Vanilla PP for Philosophers: A Primer on Predictive Processing.Wanja Wiese & Thomas Metzinger - 2017 - Philosophy and Predictive Processing.
    The goal of this short chapter, aimed at philosophers, is to provide an overview and brief explanation of some central concepts involved in predictive processing (PP). Even those who consider themselves experts on the topic may find it helpful to see how the central terms are used in this collection. To keep things simple, we will first informally define a set of features important to predictive processing, supplemented by some short explanations and an alphabetic glossary. -/- The features described here (...)
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  2. Minimal models of consciousness: Understanding consciousness in human and non-human systems.Wanja Wiese - manuscript
    Should models of consciousness be detailed _mechanistic_ models of particular types of systems, or should they be _minimal_ models that abstract away from the underlying mechanistic details and provide generalisations? Detailed mechanistic models may afford a complete and precise account of consciousness in human beings and other, physiologically similar mammals. But they do not provide a good model of consciousness in other animals, such as non-vertebrates, let alone artificial systems. Minimal models can be applicable to a wide range of different (...)
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  3.  38
    Examining the Continuity between Life and Mind: Is There a Continuity between Autopoietic Intentionality and Representationality?Wanja Wiese & Karl J. Friston - 2021 - Philosophies 6 (1):18.
    A weak version of the life-mind continuity thesis entails that every living system also has a basic mind (with a non-representational form of intentionality). The strong version entails that the same concepts that are sufficient to explain basic minds (with non-representational states) are also central to understanding non-basic minds (with representational states). We argue that recent work on the free energy principle supports the following claims with respect to the life-mind continuity thesis: (i) there is a strong continuity between life (...)
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  4.  13
    Sentience and the Origins of Consciousness: From Cartesian Duality to Markovian Monism.Karl Friston, Wanja Wiese & J. Allan Hobson - 2020 - Entropy 22 (5):516.
    This essay addresses Cartesian duality and how its implicit dialectic might be repaired using physics and information theory. Our agenda is to describe a key distinction in the physical sciences that may provide a foundation for the distinction between mind and matter, and between sentient and intentional systems. From this perspective, it becomes tenable to talk about the physics of sentience and ‘forces’ that underwrite our beliefs (in the sense of probability distributions represented by our internal states), which may ground (...)
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  5. What are the contents of representations in predictive processing?Wanja Wiese - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (4):715-736.
    Paweł Gładziejewski has recently argued that the framework of predictive processing postulates genuine representations. His focus is on establishing that certain structures posited by PP actually play a representational role. The goal of this paper is to promote this discussion by exploring the contents of representations posited by PP. Gładziejewski already points out that structural theories of representational content can successfully be applied to PP. Here, I propose to make the treatment slightly more rigorous by invoking Francis Egan’s distinction between (...)
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  6.  57
    Action Is Enabled by Systematic Misrepresentations.Wanja Wiese - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (6):1233-1252.
    According to active inference, action is enabled by a top-down modulation of sensory signals. Computational models of this mechanism complement ideomotor theories of action representation. Such theories postulate common neural representations for action and perception, without specifying how action is enabled by such representations. In active inference, motor commands are replaced by proprioceptive predictions. In order to initiate action through such predictions, sensory prediction errors have to be attenuated. This paper argues that such top-down modulation involves systematic misrepresentations. More specifically, (...)
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  7. Predictive Processing and the Phenomenology of Time Consciousness: A Hierarchical Extension of Rick Grush’s Trajectory Estimation Model.Wanja Wiese - 2017 - Philosophy and Predictive Processing.
    This chapter explores to what extent some core ideas of predictive processing can be applied to the phenomenology of time consciousness. The focus is on the experienced continuity of consciously perceived, temporally extended phenomena (such as enduring processes and successions of events). The main claim is that the hierarchy of representations posited by hierarchical predictive processing models can contribute to a deepened understanding of the continuity of consciousness. Computationally, such models show that sequences of events can be represented as states (...)
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  8.  35
    From representations in predictive processing to degrees of representational features.Danaja Rutar, Wanja Wiese & Johan Kwisthout - 2022 - Minds and Machines 32 (3):461-484.
    Whilst the topic of representations is one of the key topics in philosophy of mind, it has only occasionally been noted that representations and representational features may be gradual. Apart from vague allusions, little has been said on what representational gradation amounts to and why it could be explanatorily useful. The aim of this paper is to provide a novel take on gradation of representational features within the neuroscientific framework of predictive processing. More specifically, we provide a gradual account of (...)
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  9.  45
    Toward a Mature Science of Consciousness.Wanja Wiese - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
  10.  7
    Experienced wholeness: integrating insights from Gestalt theory, cognitive neuroscience, and predictive processing.Wanja Wiese - 2018 - Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
    An interdisciplinary account of phenomenal unity, investigating how experiential wholes can be characterized and how such characterizations can be analyzed computationally. How can we account for phenomenal unity? That is, how can we characterize and explain our experience of objects and groups of objects, bodily experiences, successions of events, and the attentional structure of consciousness as wholes? In this book, Wanja Wiese develops an interdisciplinary account of phenomenal unity, investigating how experiential wholes can be characterized and how such characterization can (...)
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  11. Artificial consciousness: A perspective from the free energy principle.Wanja Wiese - manuscript
    Could a sufficiently detailed computer simulation of consciousness replicate consciousness? In other words, is performing the right computations sufficient for artificial consciousness? Or will there remain a difference between simulating and being a conscious system, because the right computations must be implemented in the right way? From the perspective of Karl Friston's free energy principle, self-organising systems (such as living organisms) share a set of properties that could be realised in artificial systems, but are not instantiated by computers with a (...)
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  12.  15
    Attentional Structure and Phenomenal Unity.Wanja Wiese - 2022 - Open Philosophy 5 (1):254-264.
    Some authors argue that phenomenal unity can be grounded in the attentional structure of consciousness, which endows conscious states with at least a foreground and a background. Accordingly, the phenomenal character of part of a conscious state comprises a content aspect and a structural aspect. This view presents the concern that such a structure does not bring about phenomenal unity, but phenomenal segregation, since the background is separated from the foreground. I argue that attention can still lead to a form (...)
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  13.  64
    Jakob Hohwy: The Predictive Mind: Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013, ix + 288, £60.00, ISBN: 978-0-19-968273-7.Wanja Wiese - 2014 - Minds and Machines 24 (2):233-237.
    The Predictive Mind by Jakob Hohwy is the first monograph to address the philosophical significance of what Hohwy calls the prediction error minimization framework. The central claim of the book is that, on a conceptual level, perception, action, and cognition can be understood by reference to a single principle: prediction error minimization. The corresponding empirical hypothesis is that the brain implements a hierarchical generative model that generates predictions about sensory inputs and their hidden causes. When sensory signals arrive, only their (...)
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  14.  45
    How to solve the problem of phenomenal unity: finding alternatives to the single state conception.Wanja Wiese - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (5):811-836.
    The problem of phenomenal unity consists in providing a phenomenological characterization of the difference between phenomenally unified and disunified conscious experiences. Potential solutions to PPU are faced with an important challenge. I show that this challenge can be conceived as a phenomenological dual to what is known as Bradley’s regress. This perspective facilitates progress on PPU by finding duals to possible solutions to Bradley’s regress and makes it intelligible why many characterize phenomenal unity in terms of the existence of a (...)
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  15.  20
    Breaking the self.Wanja Wiese - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-27.
    Are there logically possible types of conscious experience that are nomologically impossible, given independently justified assumptions about the neural underpinnings of consciousness in human beings? In one sense, this is trivial: just consider the fact that the types of perceptual experiences we can have are limited by our sensory organs. But there may be non-trivial types of conscious experience that are impossible. For instance, if there is a basic type of self-consciousness, corresponding to a phenomenal property that is nomologically necessary (...)
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  16.  32
    Desiderata for a mereotopological theory of consciousness.Wanja Wiese & Thomas Metzinger - 2012 - In Shimon Edelman, Tomer Fekete & Neta Zach (eds.), Being in Time: Dynamical Models of Phenomenal Experience. John Benjamins. pp. 88--185.
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  17.  15
    PP vainilla para filósofos.Wanja Wiese & Thomas Metzinger - 2021 - Cuadernos Filosóficos / Segunda Época 17.
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  18.  12
    Does the metaphysical dog wag its formal tail? The free-energy principle and philosophical debates about life, mind, and matter.Wanja Wiese - 2022 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45:e216.
    According to Bruineberg and colleagues, philosophical arguments on life, mind, and matter that are based on the free-energy principle (FEP) (1) essentially draw on the Markov blanket construct and (2) tend to assume that strong metaphysical claims can be justified on the basis of metaphysically innocuous formal assumptions provided by FEP. I argue against both (1) and (2).
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