Information, Cognition, and Objectivity

American Philosophical Quarterly 58 (3):251-268 (2021)
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Abstract

The idea that the brain is an information processing system raises some challenging questions about whether information exists independently of brains. Answering these questions is relevant for clarifying the theoretical foundations of the sciences of mind and brain, but also for appropriately interpreting and evaluating the evidence about how brains—and other biological systems—work. This article claims that (1) informational descriptions in the sciences of mind and brain can be genuinely explanatory, despite assuming a mind-dependent notion of information; and (2) that either Popperian objectivity or response-dependence in normal receivers is sufficient for grounding the explanatory role that information often plays in these sciences. Hierarchical predictive processing, which has become a central theoretical framework for neurocognitive research, is used as a case study for supporting these two claims.

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Nir Fresco
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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The extended mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Meaning.Herbert Paul Grice - 1957 - Philosophical Review 66 (3):377-388.
Conjectures and Refutations.K. Popper - 1963 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.

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