The reward of unification: A realist reading of the predictive processing theory


NEW IDEAS IN PSYCHOLOGY, vol.48, pp.21-26, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.newideapsych.2017.10.001
  • Title of Journal : NEW IDEAS IN PSYCHOLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.21-26


In a recent paper, Colombo and Wright (C & W for short) built on their neat assessment of the activity of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) systems to argue that hierarchical predictive processing theory of the brain (PTB) is not the grand unifying theory that has been claimed by its advocates. To the contrary, they argued that the scientific practice is consistent with a pluralist reading (Colombo & Wright, 2016). Despite its reliance on solid experimental resources, C & W's defence of explanatory pluralism is adorned with sophisticated philosophical assumptions. Of course, this provides all the more reason to admire C & Ws enterprise on account of its tasteful combination of scientific and philosophical insights. However, despite being conscious about the relation of their works to the philosophy of science, C & W have presented their pluralistic construal as if it is a direct consequence of the scientific status quo.