pp 1–17

What do predictive coders want?

S.I. : Predictive Brains

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-016-1250-6

Cite this article as:
Klein, C. Synthese (2016). doi:10.1007/s11229-016-1250-6


The so-called “dark room problem” makes vivd the challenges that purely predictive models face in accounting for motivation. I argue that the problem is a serious one. Proposals for solving the dark room problem via predictive coding architectures are either empirically inadequate or computationally intractable. The Free Energy principle might avoid the problem, but only at the cost of setting itself up as a highly idealized model, which is then literally false to the world. I draw at least one optimistic conclusion, however. Real-world, real-time systems may embody motivational states in a variety of ways consistent with idealized principles like FEP, including ways that are intuitively embodied and extended. This may allow predictive coding theorists to reconcile their account with embodied principles, even if it ultimately undermines loftier ambitions.


Predictive coding Free energy principle Homeostasis Good regulator theorem Extended mind Explanation 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Australian Research Council
  • FT140100422

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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