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Matthew Sims
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  1. A continuum of intentionality: linking the biogenic and anthropogenic approaches to cognition.Matthew Sims - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (6):1-31.
    Biogenic approaches investigate cognition from the standpoint of evolutionary function, asking what cognition does for a living system and then looking for common principles and exhibitions of cognitive strategies in a vast array of living systems—non-neural to neural. One worry which arises for the biogenic approach is that it is overly permissive in terms of what it construes as cognition. In this paper I critically engage with a recent instance of this way of criticising biogenic approaches in order to clarify (...)
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  2. How to count biological minds: symbiosis, the free energy principle, and reciprocal multiscale integration.Matthew Sims - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2157-2179.
    The notion of a physiological individuals has been developed and applied in the philosophy of biology to understand symbiosis, an understanding of which is key to theorising about the major transition in evolution from multi-organismality to multi-cellularity. The paper begins by asking what such symbiotic individuals can help to reveal about a possible transition in the evolution of cognition. Such a transition marks the movement from cooperating individual biological cognizers to a functionally integrated cognizing unit. Somewhere along the way, did (...)
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  3. Many Paths to Anticipatory Behavior: Anticipatory Model Acquisition Across Phylogenetic and Ontogenetic Timescales.Matthew Sims - 2023 - Biological Theory 1 (2):114-133.
    Under the assumption that anticipatory models are required for anticipatory behavior, an important question arises about the different manners in which organisms acquire anticipatory models. This article aims to articulate four different non-exhaustive ways that anticipatory models might possibly be acquired over both phylogenetic and ontogenetic timescales and explore the relationships among them. To articulate these different model-acquisition mechanisms, four schematics will be introduced, each of which represents a particular acquisition structure that can be used for the purposes of comparison, (...)
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    Externalized memory in slime mould and the extended (non-neuronal) mind.Matthew Sims & Julian Kiverstein - 2022 - Cognitive Systems Research 1:1-10.
    The hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC) claims that the cognitive processes that materially realise thinking are sometimes partially constituted by entities that are located external to an agent’s body in its local envi- ronment. We show how proponents of HEC need not claim that an agent must have a central nervous system, or physically instantiate processes organised in such a way as to play a causal role equivalent to that of the brain if that agent is to be capable of (...)
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  5.  54
    Minimal perception: Responding to the challenges of perceptual constancy and veridicality with plants.Matthew Sims - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (7):1024-1048.
    Plant predictive processing suggests that plants anticipatorily perceive their environment. This hypothesis runs up against a challenge which takes the form of two constraints on per- ception advanced by Tyler Burge: the veridicality constraint and the constancy constraint. This paper argues that the veridicality constraint can be satisfied by assuming a general account of predictive processing. To show how the constancy constraint may be fulfilled, an ecologically informed account of invariant pick-up is developed and given a place within plant predictive (...)
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    Many Paths to Anticipatory Behavior: Anticipatory Model Acquisition Across Phylogenetic and Ontogenetic Timescales.Matthew Sims - 2023 - Biological Theory 18 (2):114-133.
    Under the assumption that anticipatory models are required for anticipatory behavior, an important question arises about the different manners in which organisms acquire anticipatory models. This article aims to articulate four different non-exhaustive ways that anticipatory models might possibly be acquired over both phylogenetic and ontogenetic timescales and explore the relationships among them. To articulate these different model-acquisition mechanisms, four schematics will be introduced, each of which represents a particular acquisition structure that can be used for the purposes of comparison, (...)
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  7.  57
    Strong continuity of life and mind: the free energy framework, predictive processing and ecological psychology.Matthew Sims - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
    Located at the intersection of philosophy of cognitive science and philosophy of biology, this thesis aims to provide a novel approach to understanding the strong continuity between life and mind. This thesis applies the Free Energy Framework, predictive processing and the conceptual apparatus from ecological psychology to reveal different manners in which the organizational processes and principles underlying life have been enriched so as to result in cognitive processes. By using these anticipatory cognitive frameworks this thesis unveils different forms of (...)
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  8. Coupling to Variant Information: an Ecological Account of Comparative Mental Imagery Generation.Matthew Sims - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4):899-916.
    Action-based theories of cognition place primary emphasis upon the role that agent-environment coupling plays in the emergence of psychological states. Prima facie, mental imagery seems to present a problem for some of these theories because it is understood to be stimulus-absent and thus thought to be decoupled from the environment. However, mental imagery is much more multifaceted than this “naïve” view suggests. Focusing on a particular kind of imagery, comparative mental imagery generation, this paper demonstrates that although such imagery is (...)
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  9. Concern Across Scales: a biologically inspired embodied artificial intelligence.Matthew Sims - 2022 - Frontiers in Neurorobotics 1 (Bio A.I. - From Embodied Cogniti).
    Intelligence in current AI research is measured according to designer-assigned tasks that lack any relevance for an agent itself. As such, tasks and their evaluation reveal a lot more about our intelligence than the possible intelligence of agents that we design and evaluate. As a possible first step in remedying this, this article introduces the notion of “self-concern,” a property of a complex system that describes its tendency to bring about states that are compatible with its continued self-maintenance. Self-concern, as (...)
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  10. Modelling ourselves: what the debate on the Free Energy Principle reveals about our implicit notions of representation.Matthew Sims & Giovanni Pezzulo - 2021 - Synthese 1 (1):30.
    Predictive processing theories are increasingly popular in philosophy of mind; such process theories often gain support from the Free Energy Principle (FEP)—a nor- mative principle for adaptive self-organized systems. Yet there is a current and much discussed debate about conflicting philosophical interpretations of FEP, e.g., repre- sentational versus non-representational. Here we argue that these different interpre- tations depend on implicit assumptions about what qualifies (or fails to qualify) as representational. We deploy the Free Energy Principle (FEP) instrumentally to dis- tinguish (...)
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    Correction to: How to count biological minds: symbiosis, the free energy principle, and reciprocal multiscale integration.Matthew Sims - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2181-2181.
  12. Final Causes and Actions.Matthew Sims - 2016 - Philosophy Pathways 203 (1).
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  13. Limiting the Self -- Extended Cognition and Standing States.Matthew Sims - 2015 - Philosophy Pathways 196 (1).
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  14. What the Ability Hypothesis Teaches -- The Conceptual basis of Moralizing.Matthew Sims - 2014 - Philosophy Pathways 189 (1).
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