•  4
    Free-energy pragmatics: Markov blankets don't prescribe objective ontology, and that's okay
    with Thomas van Es
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45. 2022.
    We target the ontological and epistemological ramifications of the proposed distinction between Friston and Pearl blankets. We emphasize the need for empirical testing next to computational modeling. A peculiar aspect of the free energy principle (FEP) is its purported support of radically opposed ontologies of the mind. In our view, the objective ontological aspiration itself should be rejected for a pragmatic instrumentalist view.
  •  8
    Enactive-Dynamic Social Cognition and Active Inference
    with Thomas van Es
    Frontiers in Psychology 13. 2022.
    This aim of this paper is two-fold: it critically analyses and rejects accounts blending active inference as theory of mind and enactivism; and it advances an enactivist-dynamic understanding of social cognition that is compatible with active inference. While some social cognition theories seemingly take an enactive perspective on social cognition, they explain it as the attribution of mental states to other people, by assuming representational structures, in line with the classic Theory of Mind…Read more
  •  14
    This paper proposes an account of neurocognitive activity without leveraging the notion of neural representation. Neural representation is a concept that results from assuming that the properties of the models used in computational cognitive neuroscience must literally exist the system being modelled. Computational models are important tools to test a theory about how the collected data has been generated. While the usefulness of computational models is unquestionable, it does not follow that ne…Read more
  •  7
    We are living through a new phase in human development where much of everyday life – at least in the most technologically developed parts of the world – has come to depend upon our interaction with “smart” artefacts. Alongside this increasing adoption and ever-deepening reliance on intelligent machines, important changes have been taking place, often in the background, as to how we think of ourselves and how we conceptualize our relationship with technology. As we design, create and learn to liv…Read more
  •  22
    Predictive Processing and Some Disillusions about Illusions
    with Shaun Gallagher and Daniel Hutto
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (4): 999-1017. 2022.
    A number of perceptual (exteroceptive and proprioceptive) illusions present problems for predictive processing accounts. In this chapter we’ll review explanations of the Müller-Lyer Illusion (MLI), the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) and the Alien Hand Illusion (AHI) based on the idea of Prediction Error Minimization (PEM), and show why they fail. In spite of the relatively open communicative processes which, on many accounts, are posited between hierarchical levels of the cognitive system in order t…Read more
  •  119
    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…Read more
  •  5
  •  323
    Culture in Mind - An Enactivist Account: Not Cognitive Penetration But Cultural Permeation
    In Laurence J. Kirmayer, Carol M. Worthman, Shinobu Kitayama, Robert Lemelson & Constance Cummings (eds.), Culture, mind, and brain: Emerging concepts, models, applications., . forthcoming.
    Advancing a radically enactive account of cognition, we provide arguments in favour of the possibility that cultural factors permeate rather than penetrate cognition, such that cognition extensively and transactionally incorporates cultural factors rather than there being any question of cultural factors having to break into the restricted confines of cognition. The paper reviews the limitations of two classical cognitivist, modularist accounts of cognition and a revisionary, new order variant o…Read more
  •  608
    A Simple Theory of Every 'Thing'
    Physics of Life Reviews 1. 2019.
    One of the criteria to a strong principle in natural sciences is simplicity. This paper claims that the Free Energy Principle (FEP), by virtue of unifying particles with mind, is the simplest. Motivated by Hilbert’s 24th problem of simplicity, the argument is made that the FEP takes a seemingly mathematical complex domain and reduces it to something simple. More specifically, it is attempted to show that every ‘thing’, from particles to mind, can be partitioned into systemic states by virtue of …Read more
  •  9
    Predictive engagement and motor intentionality
    Esercizi Filosofici 11 (2). 2016.
    In this paper we aim to show that motor intentionality, as the underlying ground for social cognition, can be explained through the predictive engagement model. Sensorimotor processes seem to play central roles in social interaction, cognition and language. We question the phenomenological role of the body in social cognition and further investigate a causal neural explanation. We will adopt a different perspective by linking the role of the body and intercorporeality with recent findings in phi…Read more
  •  220
    Perception Is Not Always and Everywhere Inferential
    Australasian Philosophical Review 2 (2): 184-188. 2018.
    This paper argues that it is possible to embrace the predictive processing framework without reducing affordances to inferential perception. The cognitivist account of PP contends that it can capture relational perception, such as affordances. The rationale for this claim is that over time, sensory data becomes highly-weighted. This paper, however, will show the inconsistency of this claim in the face of the cognitivist premise that ‘encapsulated’ models can throw away ‘the body, the world, or o…Read more
  • Schizophrenia is usually described as a fragmentation of subjective experience and the impossibility to engage in meaningful cultural and intersubjective practices. Although the term schizophrenia is less than 100 years old, madness is generally believed to have accompanied mankind through its historical and cultural ontogeny. What does it mean to be “mad”? The failure to adopt social practices or to internalize cultural values of common sense? Despite the vast amount of literature and research,…Read more
  • Hilbert 24th problem
    with Reinhard Kahle
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 1 (Notion of Simple Proof). 2019.
    In 2000, Rüdiger Thiele [1] found in a notebook of David Hilbert, kept in Hilbert's Nachlass at the University of Göttingen, a small note concerning a 24th problem. As Hilbert wrote, he had considered including this problem in his famous problem list for the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris in 1900
  • The notion of ‘simple proof’​.
    with Reinhard Kahle
    Philosophical Transactions. 2019.
    In 2000, Rüdiger Thiele [1] found in a notebook of David Hilbert, kept in Hilbert's Nachlass at the University of Göttingen, a small note concerning a 24th problem. As Hilbert wrote, he had considered including this problem in his famous problem list for the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris in 1900
  • Studies in Brain and Mind, Volume 12 (edited book)
    with J. Gonçalves and J. G. Pereira
    Springer. 2018.
  •  8
    The Mind-Technology Problem : Investigating Minds, Selves and 21st Century Artefacts (edited book)
    with Robert William Clowes and Klaus Gärtner
    Springer Verlag. 2021.
    This edited book deepens the engagement between 21st century philosophy of mind and the emerging technologies which are transforming our environment. Many new technologies appear to have important implications for the human mind, the nature of our cognition, our sense of identity and even perhaps what we think human beings are. They prompt questions such as: Would an uploaded mind be 'me'? Does our reliance on smart phones, or wearable gadgets enhance or diminish the human mind? and: How does ou…Read more
  •  510
    Mind-life continuity: a qualitative study of conscious experience
    with J. Martins
    Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 131 432-444. 2017.
    There are two fundamental models to understanding the phenomenon of natural life. One is thecomputational model, which is based on the symbolic thinking paradigm. The other is the biologicalorganism model. The common difficulty attributed to these paradigms is that their reductive tools allowthe phenomenological aspects of experience to remain hidden behind yes/no responses (behavioraltests), or brain ‘pictures’ (neuroimaging). Hence, one of the problems regards how to overcome meth-odological di…Read more
  •  470
    A second-person model to anomalous social cognition
    with Jorge Martins
    In J. Gonçalves, J. G. Pereira & Inês Hipólito (eds.), Studies in Brain and Mind, Springer Verlag. pp. 55-69. 2018.
    Reports of patients with schizophrenia show a fragmented and anomalous subjective experience. This pathological subjective experience, we suggest, can be related to the fact that disembodiment inhibits the possibility of intersubjective experience, and more importantly of common sense. In this paper, we ask how to investigate the anomalous experience both from qualitative and quantitative viewpoints. To our knowledge, few studies have focused on a clinical combination of both first- phenomenolog…Read more
  •  450
    Schizophrenia, social practices and cultural values: A conceptual introduction
    with J. Pereira and J. Gonçalves
    In Inês Hipólito, Jorge Gonçalves & João G. Pereira (eds.), Studies in Brain and Mind, Springer Verlag. pp. 1-15. 2018.
    Schizophrenia is usually described as a fragmentation of subjective experience and the impossibility to engage in meaningful cultural and intersubjective practices. Although the term schizophrenia is less than 100 years old, madness is generally believed to have accompanied mankind through its historical and cultural ontogeny. What does it mean to be “mad”? The failure to adopt social practices or to internalize cultural values of common sense? Despite the vast amount of literature and research,…Read more
  •  19
    This book explores the relationship between schizophrenia and common sense. It approaches this theme from a multidisciplinary perspective. Coverage features contributions from phenomenology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy of mind, psychology, and social cognition. The contributors address the following questions: How relevant is the loss of common sense in schizophrenia? How can the study of schizophrenia contribute to the study of common sense? How to understand and explain this loss of com…Read more
  •  7
    There is today much interest in research of neuronal substrata in metaphor processing. It has been suggested that the right hemisphere yields a key role in the comprehension of figurative language and, particularly, in metaphors. Figurative language is included in pragmatics, a branch of linguistics that researches the use of language, in opposition to the study of the system of language. There lingers, though, an open debate in respect to the identification of the specific aspects concerning se…Read more
  •  117
    Mind and Brain States
    Epistemology and Philosophy of Science 44 (2): 102-111. 2015.
    With neurons emergence, life alters itself in a remarkable way. This embodied neurons become carriers of signals, and processing devices: it begins an inexorable progression of functional complexity, from increasingly drawn behaviors to the mind and eventually to consciousness [Damasio, 2010]. In which moment has awareness arisen in the history of life? The emergence of human consciousness is associated with evolutionary developments in brain, behavior and mind, which ultimately lead to the crea…Read more
  •  487
    Proof phenomenon as a function of the phenomenology of proving
    Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 119 360-367. 2015.
    Kurt Gödel wrote (1964, p. 272), after he had read Husserl, that the notion of objectivity raises a question: “the question of the objective existence of the objects of mathematical intuition (which, incidentally, is an exact replica of the question of the objective existence of the outer world)”. This “exact replica” brings to mind the close analogy Husserl saw between our intuition of essences in Wesensschau and of physical objects in perception. What is it like to experience a mathematical pr…Read more