Publication 7938

Ramstead M. J. D. & Friston K. J. (2022) Extended Plastic Inevitable. Constructivist Foundations 17(3): 238–240. Fulltext at
Open peer commentary on the article “A Moving Boundary, a Plastic Core: A Contribution to the Third Wave of Extended-Mind Research” by Timotej Prosen. Abstract: We argue that the free-energy principle (FEP) can indeed be used to articulate a conception of the boundaries of cognitive systems that meets the desiderata of third-wave extended-mind research. We point out that Markov blankets under the FEP definitionally constitute the means through which internal and external states are coupled, and so do not isolate systems from their environment. We argue that the nested, multiscale boundaries of the FEP formulation are indeed plastic and open to re-negotiation. Finally, we appeal to the formulation of niche construction under the FEP to argue that the extension of cognitive boundaries in this formulation is both synchronic and diachronic.


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