Explanatory Pluralism: An Unrewarding Prediction Error for Free Energy Theorists

Brain and Cognition 112:3–12 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Courtesy of its free energy formulation, the hierarchical predictive processing theory of the brain (PTB) is often claimed to be a grand unifying theory. To test this claim, we examine a central case: activity of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) systems. After reviewing the three most prominent hypotheses of DA activity—the anhedonia, incentive salience, and reward prediction error hypotheses—we conclude that the evidence currently vindicates explanatory pluralism. This vindication implies that the grand unifying claims of advocates of PTB are unwarranted. More generally, we suggest that the form of scientific progress in the cognitive sciences is unlikely to be a single overarching grand unifying theory.
Reprint years
2015, 2017
PhilPapers/Archive ID
COLEPA-6
Revision history
Archival date: 2017-02-14
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2015-09-07

Total downloads
344 ( #7,112 of 37,113 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
65 ( #5,211 of 37,113 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.