Andy Clark

Andy Clark
University of Sussex · Department of Philosophy

About

172
Publications
54,338
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
26,671
Citations

Publications

Publications (172)
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Abstract deadline: June 1, 2021. Paper deadline: October 1, 2021. Please see: https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/20474/bio-ai---from-embodied-cognition-to-enactive-robotics
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents an active inference based simulation study of visual foraging. The goal of the simulation is to show the effect of the acquisition of culturally patterned attention styles on cognitive task performance, under active inference. We show how cultural artefacts like antique vase decorations drive cognitive functions such as percepti...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last 30 years, representationalist and dynamicist positions in the philosophy of cognitive science have argued over whether neurocognitive processes should be viewed as representational or not. Major scientific and technological developments over the years have furnished both parties with ever more sophisticated conceptual weaponry. In rec...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper presents an active inference based simulation study of visual foraging and transfer learning. The goal of the simulation is to show the effect of the acquisition of culturally patterned attention styles on cognitive task performance, under active inference. We show how cultural artifacts like antique vase decorations drive cognitive func...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper presents an active inference based simulation study of visual foraging and transfer learning. The goal of the simulation is to show the effect of the acquisition of culturally patterned attention styles on cognitive task performance, under active inference. We show how cultural artifacts like antique vase decorations drive cognitive func...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive niche construction is construed as a form of instrumental intelligence, whereby organisms create and maintain cause–effect models of their niche as guides for fitness influencing behavior. Extended mind theory claims that cognitive processes extend beyond the brain to include predictable states of the world – that function as cognitive ex...
Preprint
Full-text available
Over the last 30 years, intellectualist and dynamicist positions in the philosophy of cognitive science have been arguing over whether neurocognitive processes should be viewed as representational or not. Major scientific and technological developments over the years have furnished both parties with ever more sophisticated conceptual weaponry. In r...
Article
Over the last 30 years, intellectualist and dynamicist positions in the philosophy of cognitive science have been arguing over whether neurocognitive processes should be viewed as representational or not. Major scientific and technological developments over the years have furnished both parties with ever more sophisticated conceptual weaponry. In r...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are nature’s most intelligent and prolific users of external props and aids (such as written texts, slide-rules and software packages). Here we introduce a method for investigating how people make active use of their task environment during problem-solving and apply this approach to the non-verbal Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices test for...
Article
Full-text available
Recent work in cognitive and computational neuroscience depicts human brains as devices that minimize prediction error signals: signals that encode the difference between actual and expected sensory stimulations. This raises a series of puzzles whose common theme concerns a potential misfit between this bedrock informationtheoretic vision and famil...
Article
Full-text available
Recent work in cognitive and computational neuroscience depicts the human cortex as a multi-level prediction engine. This ‘predictive processing’ framework shows great promise as a means of both understanding and integrating the core information processing strategies underlying perception, reasoning, and action. But how, if at all, do emotions and...
Article
Full-text available
The emerging neurocomputational vision of humans as embodied, ecologically embedded, social agents—who shape and are shaped by their environment—offers a golden opportunity to revisit and revise ideas about the physical and information-theoretic underpinnings of life, mind, and consciousness itself. In particular, the active inference framework (AI...
Article
Ransom, Fazelpour, and Mole (this journal - 2017) raise an important puzzle for the ‘prediction error minimization’ account of cognitive processing. That account depicts all cognitive processing as fundamentally in the business of minimizing prediction errors concerning the evolving flow of sensory information. One of the cornerstones of these high...
Article
Biological brains are increasingly cast as 'prediction machines': evolved organs whose core operating principle is to learn about the world by trying to predict their own patterns of sensory stimulation. This, some argue, should lead us to embrace a brain-bound 'neurocentric' vision of the mind. The mind, such views suggest, consists entirely in th...
Article
Firestone & Scholl (F&S) bracket many attentional effects as “peripheral,” altering the inputs to a cognitive process without altering the processing itself. By way of contrast, I highlight an emerging class of neurocomputational models that imply profound, pervasive, nonperipheral influences of attention on perception. This transforms the landscap...
Article
Recent work in computational and cognitive neuroscience depicts the brain as an ever-active prediction machine: an inner engine continuously striving to anticipate the incoming sensory barrage. I briefly introduce this class of models before contrasting two ways of understanding the implied vision of mind. One way (Conservative Predictive Processin...
Article
Can what we know change what we see? Does language affect cognition and perception? The last few years have seen increased attention to these seemingly disparate questions, but with little theoretical advance. We argue that substantial clarity can be gained by considering these questions through the lens of predictive processing, a framework in whi...
Article
Arguments for the ‘extended mind’ seem to suggest the possibility of ‘extended knowers’—agents whose specifically epistemic virtues may depend on systems whose boundaries are not those of the brain or the biological organism. Recent discussions of this possibility invoke insights from virtue epistemology, according to which knowledge is the result...
Article
The use of forward models (mechanisms that predict the future state of a system) is well established in cognitive and computational neuroscience. We compare and contrast two recent, but interestingly divergent, accounts of the place of forward models in the human cognitive architecture. On the Auxiliary Forward Model (AFM) account, forward models a...
Article
The target article sketched and explored a mechanism (action-oriented predictive processing) most plausibly associated with core forms of cortical processing. In assessing the attractions and pitfalls of the proposal we should keep that element distinct from larger, though interlocking, issues concerning the nature of adaptive organization in gener...
Article
Full-text available
An appreciation of the many roles of "precision-weighting" (upping the gain on select populations of prediction error units) opens the door to better accounts of planning and "offline simulation," makes suggestive contact with large bodies of work on embodied and situated cognition, and offers new perspectives on the "active brain". Combined with t...
Article
Full-text available
Brains, it has recently been argued, are essentially prediction machines. They are bundles of cells that support perception and action by constantly attempting to match incoming sensory inputs with top-down expectations or predictions. This is achieved using a hierarchical generative model that aims to minimize prediction error within a bidirection...
Article
Full-text available
We describe the motivations behind the E-Sense project which will investigate augmented perception by building a range of novel tactile interfaces. As well as exploring the practical utility of these systems for real world tasks, we are particularly interested in the following question: how can we design tactile interfaces to mediate novel sensory...
Article
Full-text available
Recent years have seen the emergence of an important new fundamental theory of brain function. This theory brings information-theoretic, Bayesian, neuroscientific, and machine learning approaches into a single framework whose overarching principle is the minimization of surprise (or, equivalently, the maximization of expectation). The most comprehe...
Article
Does the material basis of conscious experience extend beyond the boundaries of the brain and central nervous system? In Clark 2009 I reviewed a number of 'enactivist' arguments for such a view and found none of them compelling. Ward (2012) rejects my analysis on the grounds that the enactivist deploys an essentially world-involving concept of expe...
Article
In the movie, Memento, the hero, Leonard, suffers from a form of anterograde amnesia that results in an inability to lay down new memories. Nonetheless, he sets out on a quest to find his wife's killer, aided by the use of notes, annotated polaroids, and (for the most important pieces of information obtained) body tattoos. Using these resources he...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter focuses on the effort of Adams and Aizawa to refute the arguments presented by Clark and Chalmers regarding the extended mind. Using the famous example of the pencil, Adams and Aizawa show that the extended mind theory falls victim to the “coupling-constitution fallacy,” one often evident in the pervading literature for the extended mi...
Article
Where are the borders of mind and where does the rest of the world begin? There are two standard answers possible: Some philosophers argue that these borders are defined by our scull and skin. Everything outside the body is also outside the mind. The others argue that the meanings of our words "simply are not in our heads" and insist that this mean...
Article
Full-text available
How do questions concerning consciousness and phenomenal experience relate to, or interface with, questions concerning plans, knowledge and intentions? At least in the case of visual experience the relation, we shall argue, is tight. Visual perceptual experience, we shall argue, is fixed by an agent’s direct unmediated knowledge concerning her pois...
Article
We present some initial forays into the questions that under-lie the philosophy of the Web around the notions of repre-sentation, enactive search, the extended mind, and collective intelligence. Keywords philosophy, representations, enaction, collective intelligence There is an emerging vision of the human mind as essen-tially a social organ apt to...
Article
Is consciousness all in the head, or might the minimal physical substrate for some forms of conscious experience include the goings on in the (rest of the) body and the world? Such a view might be dubbed (by analogy with Clark and Chalmers’s (1998) claims concerning ‘the extended mind’) ‘the extended conscious mind’. In this article, I review a var...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Musical harmony is considered to be one of the most abstract and technically difficult parts of music. It is generally taught formally via abstract, domain-specific concepts, principles, rules and heuristics. By contrast, when harmony is represented using an existing interactive desktop tool, Harmony Space, a new, parsimonious, but equivalently exp...
Article
Much of our human mental life looks to involve a seamless unfolding of perception, action and experience: a golden braid in which each element twines intimately with the rest. We see the very world we act in and we act in the world we see. But more than this, visual experience presents us with the world in a way apt for the control and fine guidanc...
Book
When historian Charles Weiner found pages of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman's notes, he saw it as a "record" of Feynman's work. Feynman himself, however, insisted that the notes were not a record but the work itself. In Supersizing the Mind, Andy Clark argues that our thinking doesn't happen only in our heads but that "certain forms...
Article
Full-text available
Much recent work stresses the role of embodiment and action in thought and reason, and celebrates the power of transmitted cultural and environmental structures to transform the problem-solving activity required of individual brains. By apparent contrast, much work in evolutionary psychology has stressed the selective fit of the biological brain to...
Article
Selinger and Engstrom, A moratorium on cyborgs: Computation, cognition and commerce, 2008 (this issue) urge upon us a moratorium on ‘cyborg discourse’. But the argument underestimates the richness and complexity of our ongoing communal explorations. It leans on a somewhat outdated version of the machine metaphor (exemplified perhaps by a frozen 197...
Article
Full-text available
The key question in this three way debate is the role of the collectivity and of agency. Collins and Shrager debate whether cognitive psychology has, like the sociology of knowledge, always taken the mind to extend beyond the individual. They agree that irrespective of the history, socialization is key to understanding the mind and that this is com...
Article
Bio of Dr. Clark: Dr. Andy Clark is a professor of philosophy and chair in logic and metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Previously, he taught at Washington University at St. Louis and the University of Sussex in England. Clark is one of the founding members of the Contact collaborative research project, whose aim is to investig...
Article
Full-text available
After offering a brief account of how we understand the shared circuits model (SCM), we divide our response into four sections. First, in section R1, we assess to what extent SCM is committed to an account of the ontogeny and phylogeny of shared circuits. In section R2, we examine doubts raised by several commentators as to whether SCM might be exp...
Article
Mind, it is increasingly fashionable to assert, is an intrinsically embodied and environmentally embedded phenomenon. But there is a potential tension between two strands of thought prominent in this recent literature. One of those strands depicts the body as special, and the fine details of a creature’s embodiment as a major constraint on the natu...
Chapter
Pulling a ThreadThe Core Idea, Classically MorphedThe Core Idea, Non-classically MorphedRobotics: Beyond the Core?Emotions and ReasonGlobal ReasoningFast and Frugal HeuristicsConclusions: Moving Targets and Multiple Technologies
Article
Can we really make sense of the idea (implied by Block's treatment) that there can be isolated islets of experience that are not even potentially available as fodder for a creature's conscious choices and decisions? The links between experience and the availability of information to guide conscious choice and inform reasoned action may be deeper th...
Article
Full-text available
What is the role of conscious visual experience in the control and guidance of human behaviour? According to some recent treatments, the role is surprisingly indirect. Conscious visual experience, on these accounts, serves the formation of plans and the selection of action types and targets, while the control of ‘online’ visually guided action proc...
Article
En reponse a tous les commentaires qu'a suscites leur article «The Cognizer's Innards», les AA. se proposent de delimiter et de preciser les themes majeurs du debat sur la redescription representationnelle, en se referant a Dennett
Article
We should like to thank Ned Block, Martin Davies, Julia Grant, Graeme Halford, Hans van de Koot, Mark Johnson, Wendy Lehnert, Dan Lloyd, Jean Mandler, Jay McClelland, Christopher Peacocke, Joseph Pemer, and Mike Sharples for comments on earlier drafts, and the University College London Cognitive Science Wednesday Group for their lively discussion o...
Article
There is a school of thought which links connectionist models of cognition to eliminativism-the thesis that the constructs of commonsense psychology (principally, beliefs and desires) do not exist. This way of construing the impact of connectionist modelling is, I argue, deeply mistaken and depends crucially on a shallow analysis of the notion of e...
Article
Full-text available
Recent advances in cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience open up new vistas for human enhancement. Central to much of this work is the idea of new human-machine interfaces (in general) and new brain-machine interfaces (in particular). But despite the increasing prominence of such ideas, the very idea of such an interface remains surprisingly...
Article
Does human creativity stem from a process that turns arbitrary ideas into goals like food and sex?
Article
Full-text available
Article
Embodied agents use bodily actions and environmental interventions to make the world a better place to think in. Where does language fit into this emerging picture of the embodied, ecologically efficient agent? One useful way to approach this question is to consider language itself as a cognition-enhancing animal-built structure. To take this persp...
Article
Full-text available
What is the relation between the material, conventional symbol structures that we encounter in the spoken and written word, and human thought? A common assumption, that structures a wide variety of otherwise competing views, is that the way in which 10 these material, conventional symbol-structures do their work is by being translated into some kin...
Article
ABSTRACT What is the relation between perceptual experience and the suite of sensorimotor skills that enable us to act in the very world we perceive? The relation, according to ‘sensorimotor models’ (O'Regan and Noë 2001, Noë 2004) is tight indeed. Perceptual experience, on these accounts, is enacted via skilled sensorimotor activity, and gains its...
Article
What is the relation between perceptual experience and the suite of sensorimotor skills that enable us to act in the very world we perceive? The relation, according to 'sensorimotor models' (O'Regan and Noe¨ 2001, Noe¨ 2004) is tight indeed. Perceptual experience, on these accounts, is enacted via skilled sensorimotor activity, and gains its conten...
Article
Full-text available
What do linguistic symbols do for minds like ours, and how (if at all) can basic embodied, dynamical, and situated approaches do justice to high-level human thought and reason? These two questions are best addressed together, since our answers to the first may inform the second. The key move in scaling up simple embodied cognitive science is, I arg...
Article
Full-text available
How does language (spoken or written) impact thought? One useful way to approach this important but elusive question may be to consider language itself as a cognition-enhancing animal-built structure. To take this perspective is to view language as a kind of self-constructed cognitive niche. These self-constructed cognitive niches play, I suggest,...
Article
Is language special? I consider some arguments, culled mainly from the papers by Christensen, Love, Ross, and Wheeler, that may shed light on this slippery topic. In particular, I examine some issues concerning the computational underpinnings of linguistic ability, the role of language in thought, and the dual existence of language as a public and...
Article
Full-text available
In his new commentary, Damper re-emphasises his claim that parity is not a generalisation problem. But when proper account is taken of the arguments he puts forward, we find that the proposed conclusion is not the only one that can be drawn.
Article
Fodor's theory makes thinking prior to doing. It allows for an inactive agent or pure reflector, and for agents whose actions in various ways seem to float free of their own conceptual repertoires. We show that naturally evolved creatures are not like that. In the real world, thinking is always and everywhere about doing. The point of having a brai...
Article
Full-text available
1 This paper grew out of an invited commentary on papers by Adrian Cussins and Brian Cantwell-Smith, presented in a session on nonconceptual content at the Eastern APA, Washington, January 1998.Thanks to Adrian Cussins for encouraging me in this project and for granting permission to refer to his unpublished ms. Thanks also to various anonymous ref...
Article
Full-text available
It is widely appreciated (e.g. 1) that the difficulty of a particular computation varies according to how the input data are presented. What is less well understood is the effect of this computation/representation tradeoff within familiar learning paradigms. We argue that existing learning algorithms are often poorly equipped to solve problems invo...
Article
Peter Carruthers correctly argues for a cognitive conception of the role of language. But such a story need not include the excess baggage of compositional inner codes, mental modules, mentalese, or translation into logical form (LF).
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we discuss the thesis of selective representing –- the idea that the contents of the mental representations had by organisms are highly constrained by the biological niches within which the organisms evolved. While such a thesis has been defended by several authors elsewhere, our primary concern here is to take up the issue of the co...
Article
Full-text available
We seem, or so it seems to some theorists, to experience a rich stream of highly detailed information concerning an extensive part of our current visual surroundings. But this appearance, it has been suggested, is in some way illusory. Our brains do not command richly detailed internal models of the current scene. Our seeings, it seems, are not all...

Projects

Projects (5)
Project
ERC-funded project, led by Andy Clark, investigating the structure, function and mechanisms of conscious experience in the predictive brain.
Project
The project aims to leverage recent work on the predictive brain as a way of shedding new light on the nature and possibility of conscious experience. A secondary, but crucial, aim is to relate the resulting story to existing conjectures concerning the neural correlates of conscious experience.
Project
The project aims to leverage recent work on the predictive brain as a way of shedding new light on the nature and possibility of conscious experience. A secondary, but crucial, aim is to relate the resulting story to existing conjectures concerning the neural correlates of conscious experience.