The Mind as a Predictive Modelling Engine: Generative Models, Structural Similarity, and Mental Representation
University of Cambridge
Faculty of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Williams, D. G. (2018). The Mind as a Predictive Modelling Engine: Generative Models, Structural Similarity, and Mental Representation (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.33386
I outline and defend a theory of mental representation based on three ideas that I extract from the work of the mid-twentieth century philosopher, psychologist, and cybernetician Kenneth Craik: first, an account of mental representation in terms of idealised models that capitalize on structural similarity to their targets; second, an appreciation of prediction as the core function of such models; and third, a regulatory understanding of brain function. I clarify and elaborate on each of these ideas, relate them to contemporary advances in neuroscience and machine learning, and favourably contrast a predictive model-based theory of mental representation with other prominent accounts of the nature, importance, and functions of mental representations in cognitive science and philosophy.
mental representation, predictive coding, predictive processing, philosophy, generative models, structural resemblance, structural similarity
This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.33386
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