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Vanilla PP for Philosophers: A Primer on Predictive Processing

Philosophy and Predictive Processing (2017)

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  1. The Cognitive Basis of the Conditional Probability Solution to the Value Problem for Reliabilism.Erik J. Olsson, Trond A. Tjøstheim, Andreas Stephens, Arthur Schwaninger & Maximilian Roszko - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-22.
    The value problem for knowledge is the problem of explaining why knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief. The problem arises for reliabilism in particular, i.e., the externalist view that knowledge amounts to reliably acquired true belief. Goldman and Olsson argue that knowledge, in this sense, is more valuable than mere true belief due to the higher likelihood of future true beliefs (produced by the same reliable process) in the case of knowledge. They maintain that their solution works given (...)
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  • Schema-Centred Unity and Process-Centred Pluralism of the Predictive Mind.Nina Poth - 2022 - Minds and Machines 32 (3):433-459.
    Proponents of the predictive processing (PP) framework often claim that one of the framework’s significant virtues is its unificatory power. What is supposedly unified are predictive processes in the mind, and these are explained in virtue of a common prediction error-minimisation (PEM) schema. In this paper, I argue against the claim that PP currently converges towards a unified explanation of cognitive processes. Although the notion of PEM systematically relates a set of posits such as ‘efficiency’ and ‘hierarchical coding’ into a (...)
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  • Windows on Time: Unlocking the Temporal Microstructure of Experience.Keith A. Wilson - 2022 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology.
    Each of our sensory modalities—vision, touch, taste, etc.—works on a slightly different timescale, with differing temporal resolutions and processing lag. This raises the question of how, or indeed whether, these sensory streams are co-ordinated or ‘bound’ into a coherent multisensory experience of the perceptual ‘now’. In this paper I evaluate one account of how temporal binding is achieved: the temporal windows hypothesis, concluding that, in its simplest form, this hypothesis is inadequate to capture a variety of multisensory phenomena. Rather, the (...)
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  • The Projective Consciousness Model and Phenomenal Selfhood.Kenneth Williford, Daniel Bennequin, Karl Friston & David Rudrauf - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • The Temporality of Situated Cognition.David H. V. Vogel, Mathis Jording, Christian Kupke & Kai Vogeley - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  • Toward an Embodied, Embedded Predictive Processing Account.Elmarie Venter - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    In this paper, I argue for an embodied, embedded approach to predictive processing and thus align the framework with situated cognition. The recent popularity of theories conceiving of the brain as a predictive organ has given rise to two broad camps in the literature that I call free energy enactivism and cognitivist predictive processing. The two approaches vary in scope and methodology. The scope of cognitivist predictive processing is narrow and restricts cognition to brain processes and structures; it does not (...)
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  • Tuning in to Art: A Predictive Processing Account of Negative Emotion in Art.Sander Van de Cruys, Rebecca Chamberlain & Johan Wagemans - 2017 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40.
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  • Religious Belief as Acquired Second Nature.Hans Van Eyghen - 2020 - Zygon 55 (1):185-206.
    Multiple authors in cognitive science of religion (CSR) argue that there is something about the human mind that disposes it to form religious beliefs. The dispositions would result from the internal architecture of the mind. In this article, I will argue that this disposition can be explained by various forms of (cultural) learning and not by the internal architecture of the mind. For my argument, I draw on new developments in predictive processing. I argue that CSR theories argue for the (...)
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  • Minimizing prediction errors in predictive processing: from inconsistency to non-representationalism.Thomas van Es - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (5):997-1017.
    Predictive processing is an increasingly popular approach to cognition, perception and action. It says that the brain is essentially a hierarchical prediction machine. It is typically construed in a representationalist and inferentialist fashion so that the brain makes contentful inferences on the basis of representational models. In this paper, I argue that the predictive processing framework is inconsistent with this epistemic position. In particular, I argue that the combination of hierarchical modeling, contentful inferentialism and representationalism entail an internal inconsistency. Specifically, (...)
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  • From filters to fillers: an active inference approach to body image distortion in the selfie era.Simon C. Tremblay, Safae Essafi Tremblay & Pierre Poirier - 2021 - AI and Society (1):33-48.
    Advances in artificial intelligence, as well as its increased presence in everyday life, have brought the emergence of many new phenomena, including an intriguing appearance of what seems to be a variant of body dysmorphic disorder, coined “Snapchat dysmorphia”. Body dysmorphic disorder is a DSM-5 psychiatric disorder defined as a preoccupation with one or more perceived defects or flaws in physical appearance that are not observable or appear slight to others. Snapchat dysmorphia is fueled by automated selfie filters that reflect (...)
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  • From Filters to Fillers: An Active Inference Approach to Body Image Distortion in the Selfie Era.Simon C. Tremblay, Safae Essafi Tremblay & Pierre Poirier - 2020 - AI and Society (1):1-16.
    Advances in artificial intelligence, as well as its increased presence in everyday life, have brought the emergence of many new phenomena, including an intriguing appearance of what seems to be a variant of body dysmorphic disorder, coined “Snapchat dysmorphia”. Body dysmorphic disorder is a DSM-5 psychiatric disorder defined as a preoccupation with one or more perceived defects or flaws in physical appearance that are not observable or appear slight to others. Snapchat dysmorphia is fueled by automated selfie filters that reflect (...)
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  • Perception as Controlled Hallucination.Justin Tiehen - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    “Perception is controlled hallucination,” according to proponents of predictive processing accounts of vision. I say they are right that something like this is a consequence of their view but wrong in how they have pursued the idea. The focus of my counterproposal is the causal theory of perception, which I develop in terms of a productive concept of causation. Cases of what otherwise seem like successful perception are instead mere veridical hallucination if predictive processing accounts are correct, I argue, because (...)
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  • Repeating Patterns: Predictive Processing Suggests an Aesthetic Learning Role of the Basal Ganglia in Repetitive Stereotyped Behaviors.Blanca T. M. Spee, Ronald Sladky, Joerg Fingerhut, Alice Laciny, Christoph Kraus, Sidney Carls-Diamante, Christof Brücke, Matthew Pelowski & Marco Treven - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    Recurrent, unvarying, and seemingly purposeless patterns of action and cognition are part of normal development, but also feature prominently in several neuropsychiatric conditions. Repetitive stereotyped behaviors can be viewed as exaggerated forms of learned habits and frequently correlate with alterations in motor, limbic, and associative basal ganglia circuits. However, it is still unclear how altered basal ganglia feedback signals actually relate to the phenomenological variability of RSBs. Why do behaviorally overlapping phenomena sometimes require different treatment approaches−for example, sensory shielding strategies (...)
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  • Is Free-Energy Minimisation the Mark of the Cognitive?Matt Sims & Julian Kiverstein - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-27.
    A mark of the cognitive should allow us to specify theoretical principles for demarcating cognitive from non-cognitive causes of behaviour in organisms. Specific criteria are required to settle the question of when in the evolution of life cognition first emerged. An answer to this question should however avoid two pitfalls. It should avoid overintellectualising the minds of other organisms, ascribing to them cognitive capacities for which they have no need given the lives they lead within the niches they inhabit. But (...)
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  • What Simulations Teach Us About Ordinary Objects.Arthur C. Schwaninger - 2019 - Open Philosophy 2 (1):614-628.
    Under the label of scientific metaphysics, many naturalist metaphysicians are moving away from a priori conceptual analysis and instead seek scientific explanations that will help bring forward a unified understanding of the world. This paper first reviews how our classical assumptions about ordinary objects fail to be true in light of quantum mechanics. The paper then explores how our experiences of ordinary objects arise by reflecting on how our neural system operates algorithmically. Contemporary models and simulations in computational neuroscience are (...)
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  • Predicting Ordinary Objects Into the World.Arthur C. Schwaninger - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-24.
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  • Cognitive Systems, Predictive Processing, and the Self.Robert D. Rupert - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology (Online):1-26.
    This essay presents the conditional probability of co-contribution account of the individuation of cognitive systems (CPC) and argues that CPC provides an attractive basis for a theory of the cognitive self. I proceed in a largely indirect way, by emphasizing empirical challenges faced by an approach that relies entirely on predictive processing (PP) mechanisms to ground a theory of the cognitive self. Given the challenges faced by PP-based approaches, we should prefer a theory of the cognitive self of the sort (...)
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  • What Makes a Mental State Feel Like a Memory: Feelings of Pastness and Presence.Melanie Rosen & Michael Barkasi - 2021 - Estudios de Filosofía (Universidad de Antioquia) 64:95-122.
    The intuitive view that memories are characterized by a feeling of pastness, perceptions by a feeling of presence, while imagination lacks either faces challenges from two sides. Some researchers complain that the “feeling of pastness” is either unclear, irrelevant or isn’t a real feature. Others point out that there are cases of memory without the feeling of pastness, perception without presence, and other cross-cutting cases. Here we argue that the feeling of pastness is indeed a real, useful feature, and although (...)
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  • Explaining “Spatial Purport of Perception”: A Predictive Processing Approach.Wiktor Rorot - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9739-9762.
    Despite the large interest in the human ability to perceive space present in neuroscience, cognitive science and psychology, as well as philosophy of mind, the issues regarding egocentric space representation received relatively less attention. In this paper I take up a unique phenomenon related to this faculty: the “spatial purport” of perceptual experiences. The notion was proposed by Rick Grush to describe the subjective, qualitative aspects of egocentric representations of spatial properties and relations. Although Grush offered an explanation of the (...)
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  • Predictive minds can think: addressing generality and surface compositionality of thought.Sofiia Rappe - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-22.
    Predictive processing framework has found wide applications in cognitive science and philosophy. It is an attractive candidate for a unified account of the mind in which perception, action, and cognition fit together in a single model. However, PP cannot claim this role if it fails to accommodate an essential part of cognition—conceptual thought. Recently, Williams argued that PP struggles to address at least two of thought’s core properties—generality and rich compositionality. In this paper, I show that neither necessarily presents a (...)
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  • Counterfactual Cognition and Psychosis: Adding Complexity to Predictive Processing Accounts.Sofiia Rappe & Sam Wilkinson - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-24.
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  • Pure Awareness Experience.Brentyn J. Ramm - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    I am aware of the red and orange autumn leaves. Am I aware of my awareness of the leaves? Not so according to many philosophers. By contrast, many meditative traditions report an experience of awareness itself. I argue that such a pure awareness experience must have a non-sensory phenomenal character. I use Douglas Harding’s first-person experiments for assisting in recognizing pure awareness. In particular, I investigate the gap where one cannot see one’s head. This is not a mere gap because (...)
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  • Predictive Processing in Sign Languages: A Systematic Review.Tomislav Radošević, Evie A. Malaia & Marina Milković - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    The objective of this article was to review existing research to assess the evidence for predictive processing in sign language, the conditions under which it occurs, and the effects of language mastery on the neural bases of PP. This review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses framework. We searched peer-reviewed electronic databases and gray literature. We also searched the reference lists of records selected for the review and forward citations to identify all relevant publications. We searched (...)
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  • Normatywność antycypacji a normatywność predykcji. Dwa podejścia: fenomenologia i teoria przetwarzania predykcyjnego.Michał Piekarski - 2017 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 8 (3):25-56.
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  • Motivation, counterfactual predictions and constraints: normativity of predictive mechanisms.Michał Piekarski - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-31.
    The aim of this paper is to present the ontic approach to the normativity of cognitive functions and mechanisms, which is directly related to the understanding of biological normativity in terms of normative mechanisms. This approach assumes the hypothesis that cognitive processes contain a certain normative component independent of external attributions and researchers’ beliefs. This component consists of specific cognitive mechanisms, which I call normative. I argue that a mechanism is normative when it constitutes given actions or behaviors of a (...)
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  • Commentary: The Problem of Mental Action: Predictive Control Without Sensory Sheets.Giovanni Pezzulo - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • Stone Tools, Predictive Processing and the Evolution of Language.Ross Pain - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Recent work by Stout and colleagues indicates that the neural correlates of language and Early Stone Age toolmaking overlap significantly. The aim of this paper is to add computational detail to their findings. I use an error minimisation model to outline where the information processing overlap between toolmaking and language lies. I argue that the Early Stone Age signals the emergence of complex structured representations. I then highlight a feature of my account: It allows us to understand the early evolution (...)
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  • Testable or Bust: Theoretical Lessons for Predictive Processing.Marcin Miłkowski & Piotr Litwin - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-18.
    The predictive processing account of action, cognition, and perception is one of the most influential approaches to unifying research in cognitive science. However, its promises of grand unification will remain unfulfilled unless the account becomes theoretically robust. In this paper, we focus on empirical commitments of PP, since they are necessary both for its theoretical status to be established and for explanations of individual phenomena to be falsifiable. First, we argue that PP is a varied research tradition, which may employ (...)
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  • Minimal Phenomenal Experience.Thomas Metzinger - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-44.
    This is the first in a series of instalments aiming at a minimal model explanation for conscious experience, taking the phenomenal character of “pure consciousness” or “pure awareness” in meditation as its entry point. It develops the concept of “minimal phenomenal experience” as a candidate for the simplest form of consciousness, substantiating it by extracting six semantic constraints from the existing literature and using sixteen phenomenological case-studies to incrementally flesh out the new working concept. One empirical hypothesis is that the (...)
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  • Free energy: a user’s guide.Stephen Francis Mann, Ross Pain & Michael D. Kirchhoff - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (4):1-35.
    Over the last fifteen years, an ambitious explanatory framework has been proposed to unify explanations across biology and cognitive science. Active inference, whose most famous tenet is the free energy principle, has inspired excitement and confusion in equal measure. Here, we lay the ground for proper critical analysis of active inference, in three ways. First, we give simplified versions of its core mathematical models. Second, we outline the historical development of active inference and its relationship to other theoretical approaches. Third, (...)
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  • ‘Seeing the Dark’: Grounding Phenomenal Transparency and Opacity in Precision Estimation for Active Inference.Jakub Limanowski & Karl Friston - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • Attenuating Oneself.Jakub Limanowski & Karl Friston - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-16.
    In this paper, we address reports of “selfless” experiences from the perspective of active inference and predictive processing. Our argument builds upon grounding self-modelling in active inference as action planning and precision control within deep generative models – thus establishing a link between computational mechanisms and phenomenal selfhood. We propose that “selfless” experiences can be interpreted as cases in which normally congruent processes of computational and phenomenal self-modelling diverge in an otherwise conscious system. We discuss two potential mechanisms – within (...)
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  • New Directions in Predictive Processing.Jakob Hohwy - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (2):209-223.
    Predictive processing (PP) is now a prominent theoretical framework in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. This review focuses on PP research with a relatively philosophical focus, taking stock of the framework and discussing new directions. The review contains an introduction that describes the full PP toolbox; an exploration of areas where PP has advanced understanding of perceptual and cognitive phenomena; a discussion of PP's impact on foundational issues in cognitive science; and a consideration of the philosophy of science (...)
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  • Reinforcement Learning: A Brief Guide for Philosophers of Mind.Julia Haas - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (9).
    Philosophy Compass, Volume 17, Issue 9, September 2022.
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  • Predictive Processing and Some Disillusions about Illusions.Shaun Gallagher, Daniel Hutto & Inês Hipólito - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-19.
    A number of perceptual illusions present problems for predictive processing accounts. In this chapter we’ll review explanations of the Müller-Lyer Illusion, the Rubber Hand Illusion and the Alien Hand Illusion based on the idea of Prediction Error Minimization, and show why they fail. In spite of the relatively open communicative processes which, on many accounts, are posited between hierarchical levels of the cognitive system in order to facilitate the minimization of prediction errors, perceptual illusions seemingly allow prediction errors to rule. (...)
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  • Dynamical Relations in the Self-Pattern.Shaun Gallagher & Anya Daly - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
    Abstract: The notion of a self-pattern, as developed in the pattern theory of self, which holds that the self is best explained in terms of the kind of reality that pertains to a dynamical pattern, acknowledges the importance of neural dynamics, but also expands the account of self to extra-neural (embodied and enactive) dynamics. The pattern theory of self, however, has been criticized for failing to explicate the dynamical relations among elements of the self-pattern; as such, it seems to be (...)
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  • Predictive Processing and Anti-Representationalism.Marco Facchin - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11609-11642.
    Many philosophers claim that the neurocomputational framework of predictive processing entails a globally inferentialist and representationalist view of cognition. Here, I contend that this is not correct. I argue that, given the theoretical commitments these philosophers endorse, no structure within predictive processing systems can be rightfully identified as a representational vehicle. To do so, I first examine some of the theoretical commitments these philosophers share, and show that these commitments provide a set of necessary conditions the satisfaction of which allows (...)
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  • Extended Predictive Minds: Do Markov Blankets Matter?Marco Facchin - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-30.
    The extended mind thesis claims that a subject’s mind sometimes encompasses the environmental props the subject interacts with while solving cognitive tasks. Recently, the debate over the extended mind has been focused on Markov Blankets: the statistical boundaries separating biological systems from the environment. Here, I argue such a focus is mistaken, because Markov Blankets neither adjudicate, nor help us adjudicate, whether the extended mind thesis is true. To do so, I briefly introduce Markov Blankets and the free energy principle (...)
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  • Spontaneous Cognition and Epistemic Agency in the Cognitive Niche.Regina E. Fabry - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • Against Radical Enactivism’s Narrowmindedness About Phenomenality.Juan Camilo Espejo-Serna - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):213-228.
    Radical Enactivism rejects representationalism but nonetheless allows the phenomenal character of perceptual experience as supervening on brain bound elements. In this paper, I argue that Radical Enactivism should reject the possibility of wholly brain-bound phenomenal experience. I propose a way of individuating perceptual experiences that does not depend on representationalism and raises a problem to the view defended by Hutto and Myin according to which, with respect to phenomenality, it is possible to adopt a view that partly construes experience in (...)
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  • Predictive Processing and the Representation Wars: A Victory for the Eliminativist.Adrian Downey - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5115-5139.
    In this paper I argue that, by combining eliminativist and fictionalist approaches toward the sub-personal representational posits of predictive processing, we arrive at an empirically robust and yet metaphysically innocuous cognitive scientific framework. I begin the paper by providing a non-representational account of the five key posits of predictive processing. Then, I motivate a fictionalist approach toward the remaining indispensable representational posits of predictive processing, and explain how representation can play an epistemologically indispensable role within predictive processing explanations without thereby (...)
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  • Fame in the predictive brain: a deflationary approach to explaining consciousness in the prediction error minimization framework.Krzysztof Dołęga & Joe E. Dewhurst - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7781-7806.
    The proposal that probabilistic inference and unconscious hypothesis testing are central to information processing in the brain has been steadily gaining ground in cognitive neuroscience and associated fields. One popular version of this proposal is the new theoretical framework of predictive processing or prediction error minimization, which couples unconscious hypothesis testing with the idea of ‘active inference’ and claims to offer a unified account of perception and action. Here we will consider one outstanding issue that still looms large at the (...)
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  • BizarreVR: Dream-Like Bizarreness in Immersive Virtual Reality Induced Changes in Conscious Experience of Reality While Leaving Spatial Presence Intact.Simone Denzer, Sarah Diezig, Peter Achermann, Thomas Koenig & Fred W. Mast - 2022 - Consciousness and Cognition 99:103283.
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  • Dissolving the Self.George Deane - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-27.
    Psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, LSD and DMT are known to induce powerful alterations in phenomenology. Perhaps of most philosophical and scientific interest is their capacity to disrupt and even “dissolve” one of the most primary features of normal experience: that of being a self. Such “peak” or “mystical” experiences are of increasing interest for their potentially transformative therapeutic value. While empirical research is underway, a theoretical conception of the mechanisms underpinning these experiences remains elusive. In the following paper, psychedelic-induced (...)
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  • Deweyan Reflex Arc: The Origins of an Idea.Wei da DongChen - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
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  • From Allostatic Agents to Counterfactual Cognisers: Active Inference, Biological Regulation, and the Origins of Cognition.Andrew W. Corcoran, Giovanni Pezzulo & Jakob Hohwy - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (3):1-45.
    What is the function of cognition? On one influential account, cognition evolved to co-ordinate behaviour with environmental change or complexity. Liberal interpretations of this view ascribe cognition to an extraordinarily broad set of biological systems—even bacteria, which modulate their activity in response to salient external cues, would seem to qualify as cognitive agents. However, equating cognition with adaptive flexibility per se glosses over important distinctions in the way biological organisms deal with environmental complexity. Drawing on contemporary advances in theoretical biology (...)
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  • The Free Energy Principle: It’s Not About What It Takes, It’s About What Took You There.Axel Constant - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-17.
    Philosophical writings on the free energy principle in the life sciences often give the impression that minimising free energy is sufficient for life. But minimising free energy is not a sufficient condition for life. In fact, one can perfectly well conceive of a system that actively minimises its free energy, and for this very reason moves inexorably towards death. So, where does the assumption of this entailment relation come from? There is indeed an entailment relation, but it goes the other (...)
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  • Representation Wars: Enacting an Armistice Through Active Inference.Axel Constant, Andy Clark & Karl J. Friston - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Over the last 30 years, representationalist and dynamicist positions in the philosophy of cognitive science have argued over whether neurocognitive processes should be viewed as representational or not. Major scientific and technological developments over the years have furnished both parties with ever more sophisticated conceptual weaponry. In recent years, an enactive generalization of predictive processing – known as active inference – has been proposed as a unifying theory of brain functions. Since then, active inference has fueled both representationalist and dynamicist (...)
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  • Extended Active Inference: Constructing Predictive Cognition Beyond Skulls.Axel Constant, Andy Clark, Michael Kirchhoff & Karl J. Friston - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (3):373-394.
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  • Underlying Delusion: Predictive Processing, Looping Effects, and the Personal/Sub-Personal Distinction.Matteo Colombo & Regina E. Fabry - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-27.
    What is the relationship between the concepts of the predictive processing theory of brain functioning and the everyday concepts with which people conduct and explain their mental lives? To answer this question, we focus on predictive processing explanations of mental disorder that appeal to false inference. After distinguishing two concepts of false inference, we survey four ways of understanding the relationship between explanations of mental phenomena at the personal and sub-personal level. We then argue that if predictive processing accurately accounts (...)
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