Publication 5067

Clark A. (2017) Busting out: Predictive brains, embodied minds, and the puzzle of the evidentiary veil. Noûs 51(4): 727–753. Fulltext at
Biological brains are increasingly cast as ‘prediction machines’: evolved organs whose core operating principle is to learn about the world by trying to predict their own patterns of sensory stimulation. This, some argue, should lead us to embrace a brain‐bound ‘neurocentric’ vision of the mind. The mind, such views suggest, consists entirely in the skull‐bound activity of the predictive brain. In this paper I reject the inference from predictive brains to skull‐bound minds. Predictive brains, I hope to show, can be apt participants in larger cognitive circuits. The path is thus cleared for a new synthesis in which predictive brains act as entry‐points for ‘extended minds’, and embodiment and action contribute constitutively to knowing contact with the world.

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