Skip to main content
placeholder image

Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action and the Embodied Mind, by Andy Clark

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Brains do not sit back and receive information from the world, form truth evaluable

    representations of it, and only then work out and implement action plans. Instead, tirelessly

    and proactively, our brains are forever trying to look ahead in order to ensure

    that we have an adequate practical grip on the world in the here and now. Focused primarily

    on action and intervention, their basic work is to make the best possible predictions

    about what the world is throwing at us. The job of brains is to aid the organisms

    that they inhabit, in ways that are sensitive to the regularities of the situations that

    those organisms inhabit. Brains achieve this by driving activity that is dynamically

    and interactively bound up with, and sensitive to, the causal structure of the world on

    multiple spatial and temporal scales. Understanding brains as doing fundamentally predictive

    work of this sort—as ‘action oriented engagement machines’ [300]—is perfectly

    in tune with the recent trends of conceiving of cognition as embodied, ecologically

    situated, extended, and enculturated. These are the main messages of Surfing Uncertainty.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Hutto, D. D. (2018). Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action and the Embodied Mind, by Andy Clark. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 96 (1), 186-189.

Number Of Pages


  • 3

Start Page


  • 186

End Page


  • 189

Volume


  • 96

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • Brains do not sit back and receive information from the world, form truth evaluable

    representations of it, and only then work out and implement action plans. Instead, tirelessly

    and proactively, our brains are forever trying to look ahead in order to ensure

    that we have an adequate practical grip on the world in the here and now. Focused primarily

    on action and intervention, their basic work is to make the best possible predictions

    about what the world is throwing at us. The job of brains is to aid the organisms

    that they inhabit, in ways that are sensitive to the regularities of the situations that

    those organisms inhabit. Brains achieve this by driving activity that is dynamically

    and interactively bound up with, and sensitive to, the causal structure of the world on

    multiple spatial and temporal scales. Understanding brains as doing fundamentally predictive

    work of this sort—as ‘action oriented engagement machines’ [300]—is perfectly

    in tune with the recent trends of conceiving of cognition as embodied, ecologically

    situated, extended, and enculturated. These are the main messages of Surfing Uncertainty.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Hutto, D. D. (2018). Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action and the Embodied Mind, by Andy Clark. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 96 (1), 186-189.

Number Of Pages


  • 3

Start Page


  • 186

End Page


  • 189

Volume


  • 96

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom