An integrative explanation of action

Benı, Majıd Davoody
The Predictive Processing Theory (PP) and its foundational Free Energy Principle (FEP) provide a unifying theoretical groundwork that subsumes theories of perception, cognition, and action. Recently Colin Klein (2018) contends that PP-FEP cannot explain adaptive action with the same force that they deal with perceptions. In his answer to the objection, Clark (2020) points out that FEP explains action, desire and motivation on the basis of minimisation of energy. I argue that this answer begs the question of the unifying framework of FEP. I assume that FEP-PP alone cannot provide an ultimately compelling explanation of action. However, I argue that when paired with a high level theory of psychology, such as Theriault et al.'s (2020) theory of social conformation in terms of the sense of should, the coupled theories provide an inclusive, symmetrical explanation of action. The symmetry of explanations is not a gap but a feature, on this specific occasion.


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Citation Formats
M. D. Benı, “An integrative explanation of action,” BIOSYSTEMS, pp. 0–0, 2020, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: