1. Content and misrepresentation in hierarchical generative models.Alex Kiefer & Jakob Hohwy - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2387-2415.
    In this paper, we consider how certain longstanding philosophical questions about mental representation may be answered on the assumption that cognitive and perceptual systems implement hierarchical generative models, such as those discussed within the prediction error minimization framework. We build on existing treatments of representation via structural resemblance, such as those in Gładziejewski :559–582, 2016) and Gładziejewski and Miłkowski, to argue for a representationalist interpretation of the PEM framework. We further motivate the proposed approach to content by arguing that it (...)
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  2. Literal Perceptual Inference.Alex Kiefer - 2017 - In Metzinger Thomas & Wiese Wanja (eds.), Philosophy and Predictive Processing. MIND Group.
    In this paper, I argue that theories of perception that appeal to Helmholtz’s idea of unconscious inference (“Helmholtzian” theories) should be taken literally, i.e. that the inferences appealed to in such theories are inferences in the full sense of the term, as employed elsewhere in philosophy and in ordinary discourse. -/- In the course of the argument, I consider constraints on inference based on the idea that inference is a deliberate acton, and on the idea that inferences depend on the (...)
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    Active inference models do not contradict folk psychology.Ryan Smith, Maxwell J. D. Ramstead & Alex Kiefer - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-37.
    Active inference offers a unified theory of perception, learning, and decision-making at computational and neural levels of description. In this article, we address the worry that active inference may be in tension with the belief–desire–intention model within folk psychology because it does not include terms for desires at the mathematical level of description. To resolve this concern, we first provide a brief review of the historical progression from predictive coding to active inference, enabling us to distinguish between active inference formulations (...)
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  4. Psychophysical identity and free energy.Alex Kiefer - 2020 - Journal of the Royal Society Interface 17.
    An approach to implementing variational Bayesian inference in biological systems is considered, under which the thermodynamic free energy of a system directly encodes its variational free energy. In the case of the brain, this assumption places constraints on the neuronal encoding of generative and recognition densities, in particular requiring a stochastic population code. The resulting relationship between thermodynamic and variational free energies is prefigured in mind–brain identity theses in philosophy and in the Gestalt hypothesis of psychophysical isomorphism.
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  5. Representation in the Prediction Error Minimization Framework.Alex Kiefer & Jakob Hohwy - 2009 - In Sarah Robins, John Francis Symons & Paco Calvo (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 384-409.
    This chapter focuses on what’s novel in the perspective that the prediction error minimization (PEM) framework affords on the cognitive-scientific project of explaining intelligence by appeal to internal representations. It shows how truth-conditional and resemblance-based approaches to representation in generative models may be integrated. The PEM framework in cognitive science is an approach to cognition and perception centered on a simple idea: organisms represent the world by constantly predicting their own internal states. PEM theories often stress the hierarchical structure of (...)
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  6. Bayesian realism and structural representation.Alex Kiefer & Jakob Hohwy - 2022 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45:e199.
    We challenge Bruineberg et al's view that Markov blankets are illicitly reified when used to describe organismic boundaries. We do this both on general methodological grounds, where we appeal to a form of structural realism derived from Bayesian cognitive science to dissolve the problem, and by rebutting specific arguments in the target article.
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    The intentional model in interpretation.Alex Kiefer - 2005 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (3):271–281.