[SydPhil] Agora Speaker Series - Dr Michael Kirchhoff, Thursday 26 May

Sally Cole cole at uow.edu.au
Wed May 25 11:32:39 AEST 2022

The School of Liberal Arts, University of Wollongong invites you to attend the
Agora Speaker Series
Thursday 26 May, 3.30 to 5.00pm
This is an in-person event at the University of Wollongong - Register here<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/30BCCROND2urR0zppf9ajRg?domain=uow.au1.qualtrics.com>

Dr Michael Kirchhoff (University of Wollongong)

The Literalist Fallacy and the Free Energy Principle: Model-building, Scientific Realism, and Instrumentalism

Disagreement about how best to think of the relation between theories and the realities they represent has a longstanding and venerable history. We take up this debate in relation to active inference models based on the free energy principle (FEP) - a contemporary framework in computational neuroscience, theoretical biology and the philosophy of cognitive science. Active inference under the FEP is a very ambitious form of model-based science, being applied to explain everything from neurobiological structure and function to the biology of self-organization. In this context, some find apparent discrepancies between the map (active inference models based on the FEP) and the territory (target systems) a compelling reason to defend instrumentalism about such models. We take this to be misguided. We identify an important fallacy made by those defending instrumentalism about active inference models. We call it the literalist fallacy: this is the fallacy of accepting or affirming instrumentalism based on the claim that the properties of active inference models based on the FEP do not literally map onto real-world, target systems. We conclude that a version of scientific realism about active inference models under the FEP is a live and tenable option.

The Agora Speaker Series is proudly hosted by
The School of Liberal Arts
Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
University of Wollongong
NSW 2522 Australia
SOLA Enquiries sola-enquiries at uow.edu.au<mailto:sola-enquiries at uow.edu.au>
T +61 2 4221 4160

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman.sydney.edu.au/pipermail/sydphil/attachments/20220525/24d16e68/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the SydPhil mailing list