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Title: The mind as a predictive modelling engine : generative models, structural similarity, and mental representation
Author: Williams, Daniel George
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 613X
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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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.
Supervisor: Holton, Richard Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: mental representation ; predictive coding ; predictive processing ; philosophy ; generative models ; structural resemblance ; structural similarity