The Body in Action: Predictive Processing and the Embodiment Thesis

Publication Details

Kirchhoff, Michael, 'The Body in Action: Predictive Processing and the Embodiment Thesis', in Albert Newen, Leon De Bruin, and Shaun Gallagher (eds), The Oxford Handbook of 4E Cognition, Oxford Library of Psychology (2018).


This chapter considers the possible convergence of predictive processing and embodied cognition. It is argued that the embodied view of cognition comprises a subset (if not all) of the following theses: (1) the constitutive thesis, (2) the nonrepresentational thesis, (3) the cognitive-affective inseparability thesis, and (4) the metaplasticity thesis. It is then argued that predictive processing is prima facie at odds with some (if not all) of these embodied cognition theses. The reason is that predictive processing is often understood in epistemic, inferential, and representational terms, promoting an internalist and skepticism-prone view of the mind-world relation. The chapter proceeds to establish that this perceived tension between predictive processing and embodied cognition can be overcome. The chapter concludes that it is possible to accept predictive processing and endorse all four theses central to the embodied view of cognition.

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