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Maxwell J. D. Ramstead [10]Maxwell Ramstead [4]Maxwell James Désormeau Ramstead [1]
  1. Is the Free-Energy Principle a Formal Theory of Semantics? From Variational Density Dynamics to Neural and Phenotypic Representations.Inês Hipólito, Maxwell Ramstead & Karl Friston - 2020 - Entropy 1 (1):1-30.
    The aim of this paper is twofold: (1) to assess whether the construct of neural representations plays an explanatory role under the variational free-energy principle and its corollary process theory, active inference; and (2) if so, to assess which philosophical stance - in relation to the ontological and epistemological status of representations - is most appropriate. We focus on non-realist (deflationary and fictionalist-instrumentalist) approaches. We consider a deflationary account of mental representation, according to which the explanatorily relevant contents of neural (...)
     
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  2.  15
    Cultural Affordances: Scaffolding Local Worlds Through Shared Intentionality and Regimes of Attention.Maxwell J. D. Ramstead, Samuel P. L. Veissière & Laurence J. Kirmayer - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
  3.  51
    Thinking Through Other Minds: A Variational Approach to Cognition and Culture.Samuel P. L. Veissière, Axel Constant, Maxwell J. D. Ramstead, Karl J. Friston & Laurence J. Kirmayer - 2020 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43:1-97.
    The processes underwriting the acquisition of culture remain unclear. How are shared habits, norms, and expectations learned and maintained with precision and reliability across large-scale sociocultural ensembles? Is there a unifying account of the mechanisms involved in the acquisition of culture? Notions such as “shared expectations,” the “selective patterning of attention and behaviour,” “cultural evolution,” “cultural inheritance,” and “implicit learning” are the main candidates to underpin a unifying account of cognition and the acquisition of culture; however, their interactions require greater (...)
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  4. A Variational Approach to Niche Construction.Axel Constant, Maxwell Ramstead, Samuel Veissière, John Campbell & Karl Friston - 2018 - Journals of the Royal Society Interface 15:1-14.
    In evolutionary biology, niche construction is sometimes described as a genuine evolutionary process whereby organisms, through their activities and regulatory mechanisms, modify their environment such as to steer their own evolutionary trajectory, and that of other species. There is ongoing debate, however, on the extent to which niche construction ought to be considered a bona fide evolutionary force, on a par with natural selection. Recent formulations of the variational free-energy principle as applied to the life sciences describe the properties of (...)
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  5.  40
    Multiscale Integration: Beyond Internalism and Externalism.Maxwell J. D. Ramstead, Michael D. Kirchhoff, Axel Constant & Karl J. Friston - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):41-70.
    We present a multiscale integrationist interpretation of the boundaries of cognitive systems, using the Markov blanket formalism of the variational free energy principle. This interpretation is intended as a corrective for the philosophical debate over internalist and externalist interpretations of cognitive boundaries; we stake out a compromise position. We first survey key principles of new radical views of cognition. We then describe an internalist interpretation premised on the Markov blanket formalism. Having reviewed these accounts, we develop our positive multiscale account. (...)
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  6. A Multi-Scale View of the Emergent Complexity of Life: A Free-Energy Proposal.Casper Hesp, Maxwell Ramstead, Axel Constant, Paul Badcock, Michael David Kirchhoff & Karl Friston - forthcoming - In Michael Price & John Campbell (eds.), Evolution, Development, and Complexity: Multiscale Models in Complex Adaptive Systems.
    We review some of the main implications of the free-energy principle (FEP) for the study of the self-organization of living systems – and how the FEP can help us to understand (and model) biotic self-organization across the many temporal and spatial scales over which life exists. In order to maintain its integrity as a bounded system, any biological system - from single cells to complex organisms and societies - has to limit the disorder or dispersion (i.e., the long-run entropy) of (...)
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  7.  29
    Regimes of Expectations: An Active Inference Model of Social Conformity and Human Decision Making.Axel Constant, Maxwell J. D. Ramstead, Samuel P. L. Veissière & Karl Friston - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
  8.  13
    A World Unto Itself: Human Communication as Active Inference.Jared Vasil, Paul B. Badcock, Axel Constant, Karl Friston & Maxwell J. D. Ramstead - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
  9.  74
    Naturalizing What? Varieties of Naturalism and Transcendental Phenomenology.Maxwell J. D. Ramstead - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (4):929-971.
    This paper aims to address the relevance of the natural sciences for transcendental phenomenology, that is, the issue of naturalism. The first section distinguishes three varieties of naturalism and corresponding forms of naturalization: an ontological one, a methodological one, and an epistemological one. In light of these distinctions, in the second section, I examine the main projects aiming to “naturalize phenomenology”: neurophenomenology, front-loaded phenomenology, and formalized approaches to phenomenology. The third section then considers the commitments of Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology with (...)
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  10.  3
    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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  11.  16
    TTOM in Action: Refining the Variational Approach to Cognition and Culture.Samuel P. L. Veissière, Axel Constant, Maxwell J. D. Ramstead, Karl J. Friston & Laurence J. Kirmayer - 2020 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43.
    The target article “Thinking Through Other Minds” offered an account of the distinctively human capacity to acquire cultural knowledge, norms, and practices. To this end, we leveraged recent ideas from theoretical neurobiology to understand the human mind in social and cultural contexts. Our aim was bothsynthetic– building an integrative model adequate to account for key features of cultural learning and adaptation; andprescriptive– showing how the tools developed to explain brain dynamics can be applied to the emergence of social and cultural (...)
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  12.  4
    Immunoceptive Inference: Why Are Psychiatric Disorders and Immune Responses Intertwined?Karl Friston, Maxwell Ramstead, Thomas Parr & Anjali Bhat - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (3):1-24.
    There is a steadily growing literature on the role of the immune system in psychiatric disorders. So far, these advances have largely taken the form of correlations between specific aspects of inflammation with the development of neuropsychiatric conditions such as autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression. A fundamental question remains open: why are psychiatric disorders and immune responses intertwined? To address this would require a step back from a historical mind–body dualism that has created such a dichotomy. We propose three (...)
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  13.  10
    From Generative Models to Generative Passages: A Computational Approach to (Neuro) Phenomenology.Maxwell J. D. Ramstead, Anil K. Seth, Casper Hesp, Lars Sandved-Smith, Jonas Mago, Michael Lifshitz, Giuseppe Pagnoni, Ryan Smith, Guillaume Dumas, Antoine Lutz, Karl Friston & Axel Constant - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-29.
    This paper presents a version of neurophenomenology based on generative modelling techniques developed in computational neuroscience and biology. Our approach can be described as computational phenomenology because it applies methods originally developed in computational modelling to provide a formal model of the descriptions of lived experience in the phenomenological tradition of philosophy. The first section presents a brief review of the overall project to naturalize phenomenology. The second section presents and evaluates philosophical objections to that project and situates our version (...)
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  14.  2
    Embodied Skillful Performance: Where the Action Is.Inês Hipólito, Manuel Baltieri, Karl Friston & Maxwell J. D. Ramstead - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4457-4481.
    When someone masters a skill, their performance looks to us like second nature: it looks as if their actions are smoothly performed without explicit, knowledge-driven, online monitoring of their performance. Contemporary computational models in motor control theory, however, are instructionist: that is, they cast skillful performance as a knowledge-driven process. Optimal motor control theory, as representative par excellence of such approaches, casts skillful performance as an instruction, instantiated in the brain, that needs to be executed—a motor command. This paper aims (...)
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  15.  16
    Tinkering with Cognitive Gadgets: Cultural Evolutionary Psychology Meets Active Inference.Paul Benjamin Badcock, Axel Constant & Maxwell James Désormeau Ramstead - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42.
    Cognitive Gadgetsoffers a new, convincing perspective on the origins of our distinctive cognitive faculties, coupled with a clear, innovative research program. Although we broadly endorse Heyes’ ideas, we raise some concerns about her characterisation of evolutionary psychology and the relationship between biology and culture, before discussing the potential fruits of examining cognitive gadgets through the lens of active inference.
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