M.J.D. Ramstead, C. Hesp, L. Sandved-Smith, J. Mago, M. Lifshitz, G. Pagnoni, R. Smith, G. Dumas, A. Lutz, K. Friston, A. Constant
Review of Philosophy and Psychology
Publication year: 2021

This paper presents a version of neurophenomenology based on generative modelling techniques developed in computational neuroscience and biology. We call this approach computational phenomenology because it applies methods originally developed in computational modelling to phenomenology. The first section presents a brief review of the project to naturalize phenomenology. The second section presents and evaluates philosophical objections to that project, and situates our project with respect to these projects. The third section reviews the generative modelling framework. The following section presents our new approach to neurophenomenology based on generative modelling. We then discuss how this application of generative modelling differs from previous attempts to use it to explain consciousness. In summary, generative modelling allows us to construct a computational model of the inferential or interpretive process that best explain this or that kind of lived experience.

Keywords: computational phenomenology; naturalizing phenomenology; neurophenomenology; consciousness; generative modelling; active inference

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