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  1. Agency From a Radical Embodied Standpoint: An Ecological-Enactive Proposal.Miguel Segundo-Ortin - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11 (1319).
    Explaining agency is a significant challenge for those who are interested in the sciences of the mind, and non-representationalists are no exception to this. Even though both ecological psychologists and enactivists agree that agency is to be explained by focusing on the relation between the organism and the environment, they have approached it by focusing on different aspects of the organism-environment relation. In this paper, I offer a suggestion for a radical embodied account of agency that combines ecological psychology with (...)
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  • Bayesian Learning Models of Pain: A Call to Action.Abby Tabor & Christopher Burr - 2019 - Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 26:54-61.
    Learning is fundamentally about action, enabling the successful navigation of a changing and uncertain environment. The experience of pain is central to this process, indicating the need for a change in action so as to mitigate potential threat to bodily integrity. This review considers the application of Bayesian models of learning in pain that inherently accommodate uncertainty and action, which, we shall propose are essential in understanding learning in both acute and persistent cases of pain.
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  • Participatory sense-making: An enactive approach to social cognition.Hanne De Jaegher & Ezequiel Di Paolo - 2007 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (4):485-507.
    As yet, there is no enactive account of social cognition. This paper extends the enactive concept of sense-making into the social domain. It takes as its departure point the process of interaction between individuals in a social encounter. It is a well-established finding that individuals can and generally do coordinate their movements and utterances in such situations. We argue that the interaction process can take on a form of autonomy. This allows us to reframe the problem of social cognition as (...)
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  • An Enactive Approach to Psychiatry.Sanneke de Haan - 2020 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 27 (1):3-25.
    Psychiatry is enormously complex. One of its main difficulties is how to connect the wide diversity of factors that may cause or contribute to the problems at hand, factors ranging from traumatic experiences, dysfunctional neurotransmitters, existential worries, economic deprivation, and social exclusion, to genetic bad luck. Interventions are also diverse, with options including chemical or electrical treatment, therapies aimed at behavior change and those promoting insight. Much is still unknown: what are the causal pathways, which interventions work best for which (...)
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  • Losing Ourselves: Active Inference, Depersonalization, and Meditation.George Deane, Mark Miller & Sam Wilkinson - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  • Pain and the field of affordances: an enactive approach to acute and chronic pain.Sabrina Coninx & Peter Stilwell - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7835-7863.
    In recent years, the societal and personal impacts of pain, and the fact that we still lack an effective method of treatment, has motivated researchers from diverse disciplines to try to think in new ways about pain and its management. In this paper, we aim to develop an enactive approach to pain and the transition to chronicity. Two aspects are central to this project. First, the paper conceptualizes differences between acute and chronic pain, as well as the dynamic process of (...)
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  • Instability and Uncertainty Are Critical for Psychotherapy: How the Therapeutic Alliance Opens Us Up.Patrick Connolly - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Tschacher and Haken have recently applied a systems-based approach to modeling psychotherapy process in terms of potentially beneficial tendencies toward deterministic as well as chaotic forms of change in the client’s behavioral, cognitive and affective experience during the course of therapy. A chaotic change process refers to a greater exploration of the states that a client can be in, and it may have a potential positive role to play in their development. A distinction is made between on the one hand, (...)
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  • Whatever next? Predictive brains, situated agents, and the future of cognitive science.Andy Clark - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):181-204.
    Brains, it has recently been argued, are essentially prediction machines. They are bundles of cells that support perception and action by constantly attempting to match incoming sensory inputs with top-down expectations or predictions. This is achieved using a hierarchical generative model that aims to minimize prediction error within a bidirectional cascade of cortical processing. Such accounts offer a unifying model of perception and action, illuminate the functional role of attention, and may neatly capture the special contribution of cortical processing to (...)
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  • The anticipating brain is not a scientist: the free-energy principle from an ecological-enactive perspective.Jelle Bruineberg, Julian Kiverstein & Erik Rietveld - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6).
    In this paper, we argue for a theoretical separation of the free-energy principle from Helmholtzian accounts of the predictive brain. The free-energy principle is a theoretical framework capturing the imperative for biological self-organization in information-theoretic terms. The free-energy principle has typically been connected with a Bayesian theory of predictive coding, and the latter is often taken to support a Helmholtzian theory of perception as unconscious inference. If our interpretation is right, however, a Helmholtzian view of perception is incompatible with Bayesian (...)
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  • Abnormalities in the awareness of action.Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Daniel M. Wolpert & Christopher D. Frith - 2002 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6 (6):237-242.
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  • From cognitivism to autopoiesis: towards a computational framework for the embodied mind.Micah Allen & Karl J. Friston - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2459-2482.
    Predictive processing approaches to the mind are increasingly popular in the cognitive sciences. This surge of interest is accompanied by a proliferation of philosophical arguments, which seek to either extend or oppose various aspects of the emerging framework. In particular, the question of how to position predictive processing with respect to enactive and embodied cognition has become a topic of intense debate. While these arguments are certainly of valuable scientific and philosophical merit, they risk underestimating the variety of approaches gathered (...)
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  • Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind.Evan Thompson - 2007 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
    The question has long confounded philosophers and scientists, and it is this so-called explanatory gap between biological life and consciousness that Evan ...
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  • Action and Interaction.Shaun Gallagher - 2020 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    Shaun Gallagher presents a ground-breaking interdisciplinary account of action. He shows that in order to understand human agency and the aspects of mind that are associated with it, we need to grasp the crucial role of context or circumstance in action, and the normative constraints of social and cultural practices.
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  • Linguistic Bodies: The Continuity Between Life and Language.Ezequiel A. Di Paolo, Elena Clare Cuffari & Hanne De Jaegher - 2018 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press. Edited by Elena Clare Cuffari & Hanne De Jaegher.
    A novel theoretical framework for an embodied, non-representational approach to language that extends and deepens enactive theory, bridging the gap between sensorimotor skills and language. -/- Linguistic Bodies offers a fully embodied and fully social treatment of human language without positing mental representations. The authors present the first coherent, overarching theory that connects dynamical explanations of action and perception with language. Arguing from the assumption of a deep continuity between life and mind, they show that this continuity extends to language. (...)
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  • Extended Consciousness and Predictive Processing: A Third Wave View.Michael David Kirchhoff & Julian Kiverstein - 2019 - London, UK: Routledge.
    This book is forthcoming in Routledge. Here is the barest sketch of our aims: -/- We have two aims in this book. First, we aim to persuade you that conscious experience is sometimes realised by cycles of embodied and world-involving engagement. Second, we aim to persuade you that it is possible to develop and defend the thesis of extended consciousness through the increasingly powerful predictive processing theory developed in cognitive neuroscience.
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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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  • Thinking through other minds: A variational approach to cognition and culture.Samuel P. L. Veissière, Axel Constant, Maxwell J. D. Ramstead, Karl J. Friston & Laurence J. Kirmayer - 2020 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43:e90.
    The processes underwriting the acquisition of culture remain unclear. How are shared habits, norms, and expectations learned and maintained with precision and reliability across large-scale sociocultural ensembles? Is there a unifying account of the mechanisms involved in the acquisition of culture? Notions such as “shared expectations,” the “selective patterning of attention and behaviour,” “cultural evolution,” “cultural inheritance,” and “implicit learning” are the main candidates to underpin a unifying account of cognition and the acquisition of culture; however, their interactions require greater (...)
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  • A World Unto Itself: Human Communication as Active Inference.Jared Vasil, Paul B. Badcock, Axel Constant, Karl Friston & Maxwell J. D. Ramstead - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  • An enactive approach to pain: beyond the biopsychosocial model.Peter Stilwell & Katherine Harman - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (4):637-665.
    We propose a new conceptualization of pain by incorporating advancements made by phenomenologists and cognitive scientists. The biomedical understanding of pain is problematic as it inaccurately endorses a linear relationship between noxious stimuli and pain, and is often dualist or reductionist. From a Cartesian dualist perspective, pain occurs in an immaterial mind. From a reductionist perspective, pain is often considered to be “in the brain.” The biopsychosocial conceptualization of pain has been adopted to combat these problematic views. However, when considering (...)
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  • Illusion of sense of self-agency: discrepancy between the predicted and actual sensory consequences of actions modulates the sense of self-agency, but not the sense of self-ownership.Atsushi Sato & Asako Yasuda - 2005 - Cognition 94 (3):241-255.
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  • Autopoiesis, Adaptivity, Teleology, Agency.Ezequiel A. Di Paolo - 2005 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (4):429-452.
    A proposal for the biological grounding of intrinsic teleology and sense-making through the theory of autopoiesis is critically evaluated. Autopoiesis provides a systemic lan- guage for speaking about intrinsic teleology but its original formulation needs to be elaborated further in order to explain sense-making. This is done by introducing adaptivity, a many-layered property that allows organisms to regulate themselves with respect to their conditions of via- bility. Adaptivity leads to more articulated concepts of behaviour, agency, sense-construction, health, and temporality than (...)
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  • An enactive account of placebo effects.Giulio Ongaro & Dave Ward - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (4):507-533.
    Placebos are commonly defined as ineffective treatments. They are treatments that lack a known mechanism linking their properties to the properties of the condition on which treatment aims to intervene. Given this, the fact that placebos can have substantial therapeutic effects looks puzzling. The puzzle, we argue, arises from the relationship placebos present between culturally meaningful entities, our intentional relationship to the environment and bodily effects. How can a mere attitude toward a treatment result in appropriate bodily changes? We argue (...)
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  • On agency and body-ownership: Phenomenological and neurocognitive reflections.Manos Tsakiris, Simone Schütz-Bosbach & Shaun Gallagher - 2007 - Consciousness and Cognition 16 (3):645-660.
    The recent distinction between sense of agency and sense of body-ownership has attracted considerable empirical and theoretical interest. The respective contributions of central motor signals and peripheral afferent signals to these two varieties of body experience remain unknown. In the present review, we consider the methodological problems encountered in the empirical study of agency and body-ownership, and we then present a series of experiments that study the interplay between motor and sensory information. In particular, we focus on how multisensory signals (...)
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  • Enactive pain and its sociocultural embeddedness.Katsunori Miyahara - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 20 (5):871-886.
    This paper disputes the theoretical assumptions of mainstream approaches in philosophy of pain, representationalism and imperativism, and advances an enactive approach as an alternative. It begins by identifying three shared assumptions in the mainstream approaches: the internalist assumption, the brain-body assumption, and the semantic assumption. It then articulates an alternative, enactive approach that considers pain as an embodied response to the situation. This approach entails the hypothesis of the sociocultural embeddedness of pain, which states against the brain-body assumption that the (...)
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  • Therapeutic Alliance as Active Inference: The Role of Therapeutic Touch and Synchrony.Zoe McParlin, Francesco Cerritelli, Karl J. Friston & Jorge E. Esteves - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    Recognizing and aligning individuals’ unique adaptive beliefs or “priors” through cooperative communication is critical to establishing a therapeutic relationship and alliance. Using active inference, we present an empirical integrative account of the biobehavioral mechanisms that underwrite therapeutic relationships. A significant mode of establishing cooperative alliances—and potential synchrony relationships—is through ostensive cues generated by repetitive coupling during dynamic touch. Established models speak to the unique role of affectionate touch in developing communication, interpersonal interactions, and a wide variety of therapeutic benefits for (...)
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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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  • Free Energy and the Self: An Ecological–Enactive Interpretation.Julian Kiverstein - 2020 - Topoi 39 (3):559-574.
    According to the free energy principle all living systems aim to minimise free energy in their sensory exchanges with the environment. Processes of free energy minimisation are thus ubiquitous in the biological world. Indeed it has been argued that even plants engage in free energy minimisation. Not all living things however feel alive. How then did the feeling of being alive get started? In line with the arguments of the phenomenologists, I will claim that every feeling must be felt by (...)
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  • Open-Label Placebo: Reflections on a Research Agenda.Ted J. Kaptchuk - 2018 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 61 (3):311-334.
    Until recently, the medical community assumed that placebos required either concealment in randomized controlled trials or deception in clinical practice to elicit placebo effects. Henry Beecher emphasized this orthodoxy, when he stated that placebo pills only work "as long as it is not detected as a placebo by the subject or the observer" and therefore, patients "believe it [is a drug] and consequently the expected results occurs". The time was ripe for such ideas: Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive (...)
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  • The Self‐Evidencing Brain.Jakob Hohwy - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):259-285.
    An exciting theory in neuroscience is that the brain is an organ for prediction error minimization. This theory is rapidly gaining influence and is set to dominate the science of mind and brain in the years to come. PEM has extreme explanatory ambition, and profound philosophical implications. Here, I assume the theory, briefly explain it, and then I argue that PEM implies that the brain is essentially self-evidencing. This means it is imperative to identify an evidentiary boundary between the brain (...)
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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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  • The free-energy principle: a rough guide to the brain?Karl Friston - 2009 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (7):293-301.
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  • The anatomy of choice: active inference and agency.Karl Friston, Philipp Schwartenbeck, Thomas FitzGerald, Michael Moutoussis, Timothy Behrens & Raymond J. Dolan - 2013 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7.
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  • A Phenomenology of the 'Placebo Effect': Taking Meaning from the Mind to the Body.O. Frenkel - 2008 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (1):58-79.
    Most mainstream attempts to understand the “placebo effect” invoke expectancy theory, arguing that expecting certain outcomes from a treatment or intervention can manifest those outcomes. Expectancy theory is incompatible with the phenomena of placebo responses, more appropriately named “meaning responses.” The expectancy account utilizes reflexive consciousness to connect a world of conceptual representations to mechanical physiology. An alternative account based upon Merleau-Ponty's motor intentionality argues that the body understands and is capable of responding to meanings without the need for any (...)
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  • Autopoiesis, adaptivity, teleology, agency.Ezequiel A. Di Paolo - 2005 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (4):429-452.
    A proposal for the biological grounding of intrinsic teleology and sense-making through the theory of autopoiesis is critically evaluated. Autopoiesis provides a systemic language for speaking about intrinsic teleology but its original formulation needs to be elaborated further in order to explain sense-making. This is done by introducing adaptivity, a many-layered property that allows organisms to regulate themselves with respect to their conditions of viability. Adaptivity leads to more articulated concepts of behaviour, agency, sense-construction, health, and temporality than those given (...)
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  • Investigations.Stuart A. Kauffman - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    A fascinating exploration of the very essence of life itself sheds new light on the order and evolution in complex life systems and defines and explains autonomous agents and work within the contexts of thermodynamics and information theory, setting the stage for a dramatic technological revolution. 50,000 first printing.
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  • Principles of Biological Autonomy.Francisco J. Varela - 1979 - North-Holland.
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  • The Absent Body.Drew Leder - 1990 - University of Chicago Press.
    We are even less aware of our internal organs and the physiological processes that keep us alive. In this fascinating work, Drew Leder examines all the ways in which the body is absent—forgotten, alien, uncontrollable, obscured.
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  • The New Science of the Mind: From Extended Mind to Embodied Phenomenology.Mark Rowlands - 2010 - Bradford.
    There is a new way of thinking about the mind that does not locate mental processes exclusively "in the head." Some think that this expanded conception of the mind will be the basis of a new science of the mind. In this book, leading philosopher Mark Rowlands investigates the conceptual foundations of this new science of the mind. The new way of thinking about the mind emphasizes the ways in which mental processes are embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended. The new (...)
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  • Active Inference and the Primacy of the ‘I Can’.Jelle Bruineberg - 2017 - Philosophy and Predictive Processing.
    This paper deals with the question of agency and intentionality in the context of the free-energy principle. The free-energy principle is a system-theoretic framework for understanding living self-organizing systems and how they relate to their environments. I will first sketch the main philosophical positions in the literature: a rationalist Helmholtzian interpretation (Hohwy 2013; Clark 2013), a cybernetic interpretation (Seth 2015b) and the enactive affordance-based interpretation (Bruineberg and Rietveld 2014; Bruineberg et al. 2016) and will then show how agency and intentionality (...)
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  • Defining agency: Individuality, normativity, asymmetry, and spatio-temporality in action.Xabier Barandiaran, E. Di Paolo & M. Rohde - 2009 - Adaptive Behavior 17 (5):367-386.
    The concept of agency is of crucial importance in cognitive science and artificial intelligence, and it is often used as an intuitive and rather uncontroversial term, in contrast to more abstract and theoretically heavy-weighted terms like “intentionality”, “rationality” or “mind”. However, most of the available definitions of agency are either too loose or unspecific to allow for a progressive scientific program. They implicitly and unproblematically assume the features that characterize agents, thus obscuring the full potential and challenge of modeling agency. (...)
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  • An Embodied Predictive Processing Theory of Pain.Julian Kiverstein, Michael David Kirchhoff & Mick Thacker - 2022 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (1):1-26.
    This paper aims to provide a theoretical framework for explaining the subjective character of pain experience in terms of what we will call ‘embodied predictive processing’. The predictive processing (PP) theory is a family of views that take perception, action, emotion and cognition to all work together in the service of prediction error minimisation. In this paper we propose an embodied perspective on the PP theory we call the ‘embodied predictive processing (EPP) theory. The EPP theory proposes to explain pain (...)
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  • Is the free-energy principle a formal theory of semantics? From variational density dynamics to neural and phenotypic representations.Inês Hipólito, Maxwell Ramstead & Karl Friston - 2020 - Entropy 1 (1):1-30.
    The aim of this paper is twofold: (1) to assess whether the construct of neural representations plays an explanatory role under the variational free-energy principle and its corollary process theory, active inference; and (2) if so, to assess which philosophical stance - in relation to the ontological and epistemological status of representations - is most appropriate. We focus on non-realist (deflationary and fictionalist-instrumentalist) approaches. We consider a deflationary account of mental representation, according to which the explanatorily relevant contents of neural (...)
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  • A Simple Theory of Every 'Thing'.Inês Hipólito - 2019 - Physics of Life Reviews 1.
    One of the criteria to a strong principle in natural sciences is simplicity. This paper claims that the Free Energy Principle (FEP), by virtue of unifying particles with mind, is the simplest. Motivated by Hilbert’s 24th problem of simplicity, the argument is made that the FEP takes a seemingly mathematical complex domain and reduces it to something simple. More specifically, it is attempted to show that every ‘thing’, from particles to mind, can be partitioned into systemic states by virtue of (...)
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  • The Cultural Niche.Robert Boyd - unknown
    In the last 60,000 years humans have expanded across the globe and now occupy a wider range than any other terrestrial species. Our ability to successfully adapt to such a diverse range of habitats is often explained in terms of our cognitive ability. Humans have relatively bigger brains and more computing power than other animals and this allows us to figure out how to live in a wide range of environments. Here we argue that humans may be smarter than other (...)
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