Mechanistic unity of the predictive mind

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dc.contributor.author Gładziejewski, Paweł
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-27T09:51:53Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-27T09:51:53Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.citation Theory & Psychology
dc.identifier.issn 0959-3543
dc.identifier.uri http://repozytorium.umk.pl/handle/item/5876
dc.description.abstract It is often recognized that cognitive science employs a diverse explanatory toolkit. It has also been argued that cognitive scientists should embrace this explanatory diversity rather than pursue search for some grand unificatory framework or theory. This pluralist stance dovetails with the mechanistic view of cognitive-scientific explanation. However, one recently proposed theory – based on an idea that the brain is a predictive engine – opposes the spirit of pluralism by unapologetically wearing unificatory ambitions on its sleeves. In this paper, my aim is to investigate those pretentions to elucidate what sort of unification is on offer. I challenge the idea that explanatory unification of cognitive science follows from the Free Energy Principle. I claim that if the predictive story is to provide an explanatory unification, it is rather by proposing that many distinct cognitive mechanisms fall under the same functional schema that pertains to prediction error minimization. Seen this way, the brain is not simply a predictive mechanism – it is a collection of predictive mechanisms. I also pursue a more general aim of investigating the value of unificatory power for mechanistic explanations. I argue that even though unification is not an absolute evaluative criterion for mechanistic explanations, it may play an epistemic role in evaluating the credibility of an explanation relative to its direct competitors.
dc.language.iso eng
dc.rights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subject explanatory pluralism
dc.subject explanatory unification
dc.subject Free Energy Principle
dc.subject mechanistic explanation
dc.subject Predictive Processing
dc.title Mechanistic unity of the predictive mind
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article

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