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dc.contributor.authorPisano, Niccolo Aimone
dc.identifier.citationPisano , N A 2023 , ' An instrumentalist take on the models of the Free-Energy Principle ' , Synthese , vol. 201 , 126 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 283860130
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 0b22d5e4-364f-4297-ba54-35b85322f919
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85151128056
dc.description.abstractIn this paper, by means of a novel use of insights from the literature on scientific modelling, I will argue in favour of an instrumentalist approach to the models that are crucially involved in the study of adaptive systems within the Free-Energy Principle (FEP) framework. I will begin (§2) by offering a general, informal characterisation of FEP. Then (§3), I will argue that the models involved in FEP-theorising are plausibly intended to be isomorphic to their targets. This will allow (§4) to turn the criticisms moved against isomorphism-based accounts of representation towards the FEP modelling practice. Since failure to establish an isomorphism between model and target would result in the former’s failure to represent the latter, and given that it is highly unlikely that FEP-models are ever isomorphic to their targets, maintaining that FEP-models represent their targets as they are, in a realist sense, is unwarranted. Finally (§5), I will consider what implications my argument in favour of an instrumentalist reading of FEP-models has for attempts at making use of the FEP to elaborate an account of what cognition exactly is. My conclusion is that we should not dismiss FEP-based accounts of cognition, as they would still be informative and would further our understanding of the nature of cognition. Nonetheless, the prospects of settling the philosophical debates that sparked the interest in having a “mark of the cognitive” are not good.
dc.rightsCopyright © The Author(s) 2023 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
dc.subjectFree-Energy Principleen
dc.subjectScientific modelsen
dc.subjectScientific representationen
dc.subjectQ Science (General)en
dc.subjectBD Speculative Philosophyen
dc.titleAn instrumentalist take on the models of the Free-Energy Principleen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. University of St Andrewsen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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