Jakob Hohwy: The Predictive Mind
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The Predictive Mind by Jakob Hohwy is the first monograph to address the philosophical significance of what Hohwy calls the prediction error minimization framework (henceforth: PEM). The central claim of the book is that, on a conceptual level, perception, action, and cognition can be understood by reference to a single principle: prediction error minimization (p. 1; unless indicated otherwise, all page numbers refer to Hohwy 2013). The corresponding empirical hypothesis is that the brain implements a hierarchical generative model that generates predictions about sensory inputs and their hidden causes (it is called generative model because it models the causes of sensory data). When sensory signals arrive, only their divergence from the predictions has to be further processed. The general strategy of using predictions derived from generative models to compress and transmit information is also known as predictive coding.
Perception is thus not construed as a purely bottom–up process,...
The author is grateful to David Baßler, Regina Fabry, Michael Madary, Thomas Metzinger, and Lisa Quadt for comments on a draft of this review.
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