Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind

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Oxford University Press, Oct 2, 2015 - Philosophy - 304 pages
How is it that thoroughly physical material beings such as ourselves can think, dream, feel, create and understand ideas, theories and concepts? How does mere matter give rise to all these non-material mental states, including consciousness itself? An answer to this central question of our existence is emerging at the busy intersection of neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, and robotics. In this groundbreaking work, philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark explores exciting new theories from these fields that reveal minds like ours to be prediction machines - devices that have evolved to anticipate the incoming streams of sensory stimulation before they arrive. These predictions then initiate actions that structure our worlds and alter the very things we need to engage and predict. Clark takes us on a journey in discovering the circular causal flows and the self-structuring of the environment that define "the predictive brain." What emerges is a bold, new, cutting-edge vision that reveals the brain as our driving force in the daily surf through the waves of sensory stimulation.
 

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Contents

Guessing Games
1
The Power of Prediction
11
Embodying Prediction
109
Scaffolding Prediction
241
Bare Bayes
301
The FreeEnergy Formulation
305
Notes
307
References
329
Index
377
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About the author (2015)

Andy Clark is Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, at Edinburgh University in Scotland. He is the author of Being There (1997), Mindware (2001), Natural-Born Cyborgs (2003), and Supersizing the Mind (2008). His interests include artificial intelligence, embodied cognition, robotics, and the predictive mind. In 2018 he was profiled in The New Yorker.

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