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The Markov Blanket Trick: On the Scope of the Free Energy Principle and Active Inference

Raja, Vicente and Valluri, Dinesh and Baggs, Edward and Chemero, Anthony and Anderson, Michael L. (2021) The Markov Blanket Trick: On the Scope of the Free Energy Principle and Active Inference. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The free energy principle (FEP) has been presented as a unified brain theory, as a general principle for the self-organization of biological systems, and most recently as a principle for a theory of every thing. Additionally, active inference has been proposed as the process theory entailed by FEP that is able to model the full range of biological and cognitive events. In this paper, we challenge these two claims. We argue that FEP is not the general principle it is claimed to be, and that active inference is not the all-encompassing process theory it is purported to be either. The core aspects of our argumentation are that (i) FEP is just a way to generalize Bayesian inference to all domains by the use of a Markov blanket formalism, a generalization we call the Markov blanket trick; and that (ii) active inference presupposes successful perception and action instead of explaining them.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Raja, Vicentevgalian@uwo.ca
Valluri, Dinesh
Baggs, Edward
Chemero, Anthony
Anderson, Michael L.
Keywords: free energy principle, active inference, philosophy of cognitive science
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Action
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Cognitive Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Perception
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Systems Neuroscience
Depositing User: Dr. Vicente Raja
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2021 03:02
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2021 03:02
Item ID: 18843
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Action
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Cognitive Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Perception
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Systems Neuroscience
Date: 19 March 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18843

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