Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind

ISBN : 9780190933210

Andy Clark
424 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
May 2019
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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.


Preface: Meat That Predicts
Introduction: Guessing Games
Part I: The Power of Prediction
Chapter 1: Prediction Machines
Chapter 2: Adjusting The Volume (Noise, Signal, Attention)
Chapter 3: The Imaginarium
Part II: Embodying Prediction
Chapter 4: Prediction for Action
Chapter 5: Sculpting the Flow
Chapter 6: Engaging the world
Chapter 7: Expecting Ourselves
Part III: Scaffolding Prediction
Chapter 8: The Lazy Predictive Brain
Chapter 9: Being Human
Chapter 10: The Future of Prediction
Appendix 1: Bare Bayes
Appendix 2: The Free Energy Formulation

About the author: 

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: Putting Brain, Body And World Together Again (1997), Mindware (OUP, 2nd Edition 2014), Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies and the Future of Human Intelligence (OUP, 2003), and Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension (OUP, 2008). His interests include artificial intelligence, embodied cognition, robotics, and the predictive mind.

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