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The Predictive Mind$
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Jakob Hohwy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682737

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682737.001.0001

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Perceptual unity in action

Perceptual unity in action

(p.207) 10 Perceptual unity in action
The Predictive Mind

Jakob Hohwy

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the link between prediction error minimization and conscious perception that the previous chapter put on the table. It then goes on to discuss a special property of conscious perception, namely its unity. This is an important but evasive part of our phenomenology. To explain it one needs to deal with at least two aspects: (1) why the elements of conscious unity are united; (2) why conscious unity is unitary. The answer to this issue begins by setting out a key theory consciousness, namely the global neuronal workspace theory, and by noting how its key notion of ‘ignition’ is in need of explanation. By appealing to prediction error minimization, and in particular the notion of active inference, an interesting explanation of ignition, and in turn of perceptual unity becomes available. The chapter ends with a more general discussion of the implications of this appeal to action for our conception of the mind in the world.

Keywords:   unity of consciousness, active inference, global neuronal workspace theory, ignition, mind-world relation

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