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Publication details

Document type
Book chapters

Predictive Processing and Metaphysical Views of the Self

Participants in the publication
Klaus Gärtner (Author)
Dep. História e Filosofia das Ciências
CFCUL - Centro de Filosofia das Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
Robert Clowes (Author)


In recent years we have seen the rise of a new framework within the study of the mind, namely Predictive Processing (PP). This framework essentially holds that the brain is a prediction machine constantly postulating perceptual models which are tested against incoming (sensory) information. At the same time, the notion of the minimal or core self has become very influential as a way of explaining, or explaining away, pre-reflective self-awareness. The four most widely discussed alternatives for thinking through the metaphysical implications the pre-reflective sense of self are the standard phenomenological view, the substance view, the no-self view and by now the relational view. \n In this paper, it is our objective to rethink the notion of the sense of self in the context of PP. Now, PP is often held to be a unifying framework that offers a new integrated account of perception, cognition, imagination, and indeed the pre-reflective sense of self. We will show, however, that PP has been taken to endorse rather too many different metaphysical accounts of self: that is, views about how we should regard the ultimate nature of self. What we need to do, if possible, is to use PP to constrain the theories on offer. Here we focus upon two central constraints that we think PP implies. These are, the mutability constraint and the multi-layereredness constraint. We argue that self-views laid out in terms of the PP framework are usually – to some degree – located within the four standard metaphysical accounts of self. However, we think that realist versions of self-accounts seem to have more trouble in respecting the PP constraints or requirements. The reason, or so we believe, is PP’s mutability constraint. This does not have to be the case and we, therefore, propose an alternative realist view – namely the pre-reflective situational self view – which is more adequate to fit the PP framework.

Dina Mendonça, Manuel Curado, Steven Gouveia

Date of Publication

Where published
The Philosophy and Science of Predictive Processing

Publication Identifiers

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

1st Edition

Document Identifiers


Klaus Gärtner, Robert Clowes, (2020). Predictive Processing and Metaphysical Views of the Self. The Philosophy and Science of Predictive Processing, -

Klaus Gärtner, Robert Clowes, "Predictive Processing and Metaphysical Views of the Self" in The Philosophy and Science of Predictive Processing, 2020, pp. -

@incollection{48118, author = {Klaus Gärtner and Robert Clowes}, title = {Predictive Processing and Metaphysical Views of the Self}, booktitle = {The Philosophy and Science of Predictive Processing}, year = 2020, pages = {-}, address = {}, publisher = {Bloomsbury Publishing Plc} }