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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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Into the predictive mind

Into the predictive mind

(p.242) 12 Into the predictive mind
The Predictive Mind

Jakob Hohwy

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the prediction error mechanism is extended deep into matters of the mind. It considers what to say about emotions, introspection, privacy of mind, and the self. These are certainly aspects where the application of prediction error minimization becomes more tenuous. However, since the theory has extreme explanatory ambition it is worthwhile exploring what it can contribute. It turns out that interesting approaches to these deep matters of mind emerge. Emotion is dealt with as a matter of explaining away internally generated arousal states; this supports a James-Lange type account. Introspection emerges as just a kind of perceptual inference, since introspected mental states are themselves causes in the world. The privacy of conscious experience is explained in terms of the benefits of conditional independence in social interaction. The self is dealt with as nothing but a representation of a causal trajectory throughout the world, and its expected sensory input.

Keywords:   emotion, James-Lange theory, introspection, privacy of conscious experience, conditional independence, causal inference, the self

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