- A commentary on: Whatever next? Predictive brains, situated agents, and the future of cognitive science by Andy Clark (in press). Behav. Brain Sci.
- In the target article, Andy Clark addresses the question of how a probabilistic predictive coding model of the mind relates to our personal level mental lives. This question, he suggests, is “potentially the most important” (MS46).
- The question is important indeed, but Clark’s answer fails to capitalize on another possible advantage of this approach. Clark suggests that there is a disconnect between the way the world appears to us, on one hand, and the way that it is represented in the brain, on the other. He deals with this disconnect by limiting the scope of the theory, by pointing out that he is discussing a theory of how brains encode and process information, not a theory about how things seem to organisms with such brains.
- The shortcoming of this strategy is that there may not be a disconnect to begin with. That is, perhaps the world does appear to us as if it were “encoded as an intertwined set of probability density distributions” (MS47). If such is the case, then explanations which appeal to a probabilistic predictive model gain even more scope and power.
- Here I will offer a sketch of both a priori and empirical support for my claim.
For the full text, see Madary - How would the world look ….
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