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Matthew Sims
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  1. How to Count Biological Minds: Symbiosis, the Free Energy Principle, and Reciprocal Multiscale Integration.Matthew Sims - 2020 - Synthese 8:1-1.
    The notion of a physiological individuals has been developed and applied in the phi- losophy of biology to understand symbiosis, an understanding of which is key to theorising about the major transition in evolution from multi-organismality to multi- cellularity. The paper begins by asking what such symbiotic individuals can help to reveal about a possible transition in the evolution of cognition. Such a transition marks the movement from cooperating individual biological cognizers to a function- ally integrated cognizing unit. Somewhere along (...)
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  2. A Continuum of Intentionality: Linking the Biogenic and Anthropogenic Approaches to Cognition.Matthew Sims - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (6):1-31.
    Biogenic approaches investigate cognition from the standpoint of evolutionary function, asking what cognition does for a living system and then looking for common principles and exhibitions of cognitive strategies in a vast array of living systems—non-neural to neural. One worry which arises for the biogenic approach is that it is overly permissive in terms of what it construes as cognition. In this paper I critically engage with a recent instance of this way of criticising biogenic approaches in order to clarify (...)
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  3. Coupling to Variant Information: An Ecological Account of Comparative Mental Imagery Generation.Matthew Sims - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4):899-916.
    Action-based theories of cognition place primary emphasis upon the role that agent-environment coupling plays in the emergence of psychological states. Prima facie, mental imagery seems to present a problem for some of these theories because it is understood to be stimulus-absent and thus thought to be decoupled from the environment. However, mental imagery is much more multifaceted than this “naïve” view suggests. Focusing on a particular kind of imagery, comparative mental imagery generation, this paper demonstrates that although such imagery is (...)
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    Modelling Ourselves: What the Debate on the Free Energy Principle Reveals About Our Implicit Notions of Representation.Matthew Sims - 2021 - Synthese 1 (1):30.
    Predictive processing theories are increasingly popular in philosophy of mind; such process theories often gain support from the Free Energy Principle (FEP)—a nor- mative principle for adaptive self-organized systems. Yet there is a current and much discussed debate about conflicting philosophical interpretations of FEP, e.g., repre- sentational versus non-representational. Here we argue that these different interpre- tations depend on implicit assumptions about what qualifies (or fails to qualify) as representational. We deploy the Free Energy Principle (FEP) instrumentally to dis- tinguish (...)
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