Publication 5066

Clark A. (2012) Dreaming the whole cat: Generative models, predictive processing, and the enactivist conception of perceptual experience. Mind 121(483): 753–771. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/5066
Does the material basis of conscious experience extend beyond the boundaries of the brain and central nervous system? In Clark 2009 I reviewed a number of ‘enactivist’ arguments for such a view and found none of them compelling. Ward (2012) rejects my analysis on the grounds that the enactivist deploys an essentially world-involving concept of experience that transforms the argumentative landscape in a way that makes the enactivist conclusion inescapable. I present an alternative (prediction-and-generative-model-based) account that neatly accommodates all the positive evidence that Ward cites on behalf of this enactivist conception, and that (I argue) makes richer and more satisfying contact with the full sweep of human experience.

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