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Authors: Wiese, Wanja
Title: Perceptual presence in the Kuhnian-Popperian Bayesian brain : a commentary on Anil K. Seth
Online publication date: 14-Nov-2016
Language: english
Abstract: Anil Seth’s target paper connects the framework of PP (predictive processing) and the FEP (free-energy principle) to cybernetic principles. Exploiting an analogy to theory of science, Seth draws a distinction between three types of active inference. The first type involves confirmatory hypothesis-testing. The other types involve seeking disconfirming and disambiguating evidence, respectively. Furthermore, Seth applies PP to various fascinating phenomena, including perceptual presence. In this commentary, I explore how far we can take the analogy between explanation in perception and explanation in science. in the first part, i draw a slightly broader analogy between pp and concepts in theory of science, by asking whether the bayesian brain is kuhnian or popperian. while many aspects of pp are in line with karl popper’s falsificationism, other aspects of pp conform to how thomas kuhn described scientific revolutions. thus, there is both a sense in which the bayesian brain is kuhnian, and a sense in which it is popperian. the upshot of these considerations is that falsification in pp can take many different forms. in particular, active inference can be used to falsify a model in more ways than identified by seth. in the second part of this commentary, i focus on seth’s ppsmct (predictive processing account of sensorimotor contingency theory) and its application to perceptual presence, which assigns a crucial role to counterfactual richness. in my discussion, i question the significance of counterfactual richness for perceptual presence. first, i highlight an ambiguity inherent in seth’s descriptions of the target phenomenon (perceptual presence vs. objecthood). then i suggest that counterfactual richness may not be the crucial underlying feature (of either perceptual presence or objecthood). giving a series of examples, i argue that the degree of represented causal integration is an equally good candidate for accounting for perceptual presence (or objecthood), although more work needs to be done.
DDC: 100 Philosophie
100 Philosophy
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 05 Philosophie und Philologie
Place: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-publ-551737
Version: Published version
Publication type: Buchbeitrag
License: in Copyright
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Citation: Open MIND
Metzinger, Thomas
Pages or article number: Kap. 35(C)
Publisher: MIND Group
Publisher place: Frankfurt am Main
Issue date: 2015
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.15502/9783958570207
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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