Philosophical Explorations 21 (2):264-281 (2018)

This paper starts by considering an argument for thinking that predictive processing (PP) is representational. This argument suggests that the Kullback–Leibler (KL)-divergence provides an accessible measure of misrepresentation, and therefore, a measure of representational content in hierarchical Bayesian inference. The paper then argues that while the KL-divergence is a measure of information, it does not establish a sufficient measure of representational content. We argue that this follows from the fact that the KL-divergence is a measure of relative entropy, which can be shown to be the same as covariance (through a set of additional steps). It is well known that facts about covariance do not entail facts about representational content. So there is no reason to think that the KL-divergence is a measure of (mis-)representational content. This paper thus provides an enactive, non-representational account of Bayesian belief optimisation in hierarchical PP.
Keywords predictive processing, enactivism, (mis-)representation, Kullback–Leibler-divergence, relative entropy, mutual information, generalised synchrony, covariance, Shannon information
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/13869795.2018.1477983
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: 70,337
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2005 - MIT Press.

View all 42 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 21 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Predictive Processing and the Representation Wars.Daniel Williams - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):141-172.
What Are the Contents of Representations in Predictive Processing?Wanja Wiese - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (4):715-736.
Naturalising Representational Content.Nicholas Shea - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (5):496-509.
Content, Design, and Representation in Chemistry.Grant Fisher - 2017 - Foundations of Chemistry 19 (1):17-28.
Tolerant Enactivist Cognitive Science.Thomas Raleigh - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (2):226-244.


Added to PP index

Total views
66 ( #173,844 of 2,508,106 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #138,932 of 2,508,106 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes