SOPhiA 2022

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Internalist Representationalism and the Predictive Mind
(Philosophy of Mind, English)

In Perception (2021), Adam Pautz discusses the main views in the philosophy of perception and examines whether they provide an adequate answer to the external-internal puzzle. According to him, internalist representationalism can accommodate both the external directed-ness and the internal dependence of perceptual experience, but it lacks a comprehensive ac-count of experiential representation. Although externalist representationalism cannot account for internal dependence, proponents of representationalism usually still adhere to it because it provides a somewhat natural account of experiential representation in terms of tracking or detecting features in the perceiving subject's environment.

In this talk, I want to argue that the neuroscientific framework of Prediction Error Minimization (PEM) put forth in Jakob Hohwy's The Predictive Mind might provide internalist repre-sentationalism with an idea of how to give a plausible account of experiential representation. To this end, I will first show that PEM is compatible with internalist representationalism because it is both internalist and representationalist in spirit. Second, I will argue that PEM is committed to a structuralist notion of representation. My claim is that we can conceive the generative model at the core of PEM as structurally representing the perceiving subject's environment because it recapitulates the hidden causal structure of the world. Third, I will point out that we can draw on ideas familiar from inferential or functional roles semantics to better understand how individual hypotheses acquire their specific content. Finally, I will elaborate on how the resulting version of internalist representationalism accommodates both the external directedness and the internal dependence on perceptual experience and that it goes well together with empirical findings on perceptual experience.

Chair: Jakob Roloff
Time: 12:00-12:30, 08 September 2022 (Thursday)
Location: HS E.002

Daniel Weger 
(Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Germany)

Testability and Meaning deco