Schema-Centred Unity and Process-Centred Pluralism of the Predictive Mind

Minds and Machines 32 (3):433-459 (2022)
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Proponents of the predictive processing (PP) framework often claim that one of the framework’s significant virtues is its unificatory power. What is supposedly unified are predictive processes in the mind, and these are explained in virtue of a common prediction error-minimisation (PEM) schema. In this paper, I argue against the claim that PP currently converges towards a unified explanation of cognitive processes. Although the notion of PEM systematically relates a set of posits such as ‘efficiency’ and ‘hierarchical coding’ into a unified conceptual schema, neither the frameworks’ algorithmic specifications nor its hypotheses about their implementations in the brain are clearly unified. I propose a novel way to understand the fruitfulness of the research program in light of a set of research heuristics that are partly shared with those common to Bayesian reverse engineering. An interesting consequence of this proposal is that pluralism is at least as important as unification to promote the positive development of the predictive mind.

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Nina Poth
Humboldt University, Berlin

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References found in this work

The Predictive Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience.Carl F. Craver - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press.
Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.

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