Synthese 199 (1-2):29-53 (2020)

Authors
Jakob Hohwy
Monash University
Abstract
The free energy principle says that any self-organising system that is at nonequilibrium steady-state with its environment must minimize its free energy. It is proposed as a grand unifying principle for cognitive science and biology. The principle can appear cryptic, esoteric, too ambitious, and unfalsifiable—suggesting it would be best to suspend any belief in the principle, and instead focus on individual, more concrete and falsifiable ‘process theories’ for particular biological processes and phenomena like perception, decision and action. Here, I explain the free energy principle, and I argue that it is best understood as offering a conceptual and mathematical analysis of the concept of existence of self-organising systems. This analysis offers a new type of solution to long-standing problems in neurobiology, cognitive science, machine learning and philosophy concerning the possibility of normatively constrained, self-supervised learning and inference. The principle can therefore uniquely serve as a regulatory principle for process theories, to ensure that process theories conforming to it enable self-supervision. This is, at least for those who believe self-supervision is a foundational explanatory task, good reason to believe the free energy principle.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02622-2
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,172
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
The Predictive Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.

View all 38 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Species of Realization and the Free Energy Principle.Michael David Kirchhoff - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):706-723.
How to Entrain Your Evil Demon.Jakob Hohwy - 2017 - Philosophy and Predictive Processing.
Free-Energy and the Brain.Karl J. Friston & Klaas E. Stephan - 2007 - Synthese 159 (3):417 - 458.
Free-Energy and the Brain.Karl Friston & Klaas Stephan - 2007 - Synthese 159 (3):417-458.
Experiential Fantasies, Prediction, and Enactive Minds.Michael David Kirchhoff - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (3-4):68-92.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-03-20

Total views
33 ( #347,628 of 2,517,882 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #137,931 of 2,517,882 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes