BBS commentary on predictive coding

The latest issue of Behavioral and Brain Sciences is dedicated to Clark’s “hierarchical prediction machine” approach.

In our commentary Takashi Ikegami and I tried to highlight that this approach only makes sense if we accept Clark’s theoretical commitments to internalism and representationalism, and that even on its own terms its generalization to a unified theory of mind entails bizarre consequences.

The brain is not an isolated “black box,” nor is its goal to become one

Tom Froese and Takashi Ikegami

In important ways, Clark’s “hierarchical prediction machine” (HPM) approach parallels the research agenda we have been pursuing. Nevertheless, we remain unconvinced that the HPM offers the best clue yet to the shape of a unified science of mind and action. The apparent convergence of research interests is offset by a profound divergence of theoretical starting points and ideal goals.

Clark’s target article and his response to this and many other commentaries can be found here:

Clark, A. (2013). Whatever next? Predictive brains, situated agents, and the future of cognitive science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36(3): 1-73

More commentaries and another response by Clark can be found in Frontiers in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, which hosted a Research Topic on Forethought as an evolutionary doorway to emotions and consciousness.

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