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The Predictive Mind$
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Jakob Hohwy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682737

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682737.001.0001

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The fragile mirror of nature

The fragile mirror of nature

(p.224) 11 The fragile mirror of nature
The Predictive Mind

Jakob Hohwy

Oxford University Press

This chapter pursues some subtle aspects of the mind’s fragility and its indirect relation to the world, which arise from the way in which prediction error minimization must proceed. In particular, the chapter looks at challenges to our seemingly robust background beliefs about the nature of our own body. This section appeals to out of body experiences, and to research on full body illusions. The idea here is that there is a surprisingly wide range of hypotheses that the mind can entertain, many of which seem relatively impervious to prior learning. Having established this very general outlook on us as fundamentally fragile prediction error minimizing machines, the chapter then explores some challenging notions about how we relate to the world in perception; these issues relate to the fundamental situation for the brain, namely that it must infer and act solely on the basis of its expected sensory input.

Keywords:   mind-world relation, out of body experience, bodily self-awareness, full body illusions, veil of sensory input

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