Active Inference and Abduction

Ahti Veikko Pietarinen, Majid D. Beni*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    The background target of the research going into the present article is to forge an intellectual alliance between, on the one hand, active inference and the free-energy principle (FEP), and on the other, Charles S. Peirce’s theory of semiotics and pragmatism. In the present paper, the focus is on the allegiance between the nomenclatures of active and abductive inferences as the proper place to begin reaching at that wider target. The paper outlines the key conceptual elements involved in a naturalistic rendering of Peirce’s late semiotic and logical notion of abductive reasoning. The target is a cognitive-biological model of abduction which preserves the functional integrity of an organism and fulfils the existential imperative for living beings’ evidence of existence. Such a model is an adaptation of Peirce’s late logical schema of abduction proposed in his largely unpublished works during the early 20th century. The proposed model is argued to be a feasible sketch also of recent breakthroughs in computational (sensu Bayesian) cognitive science.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)499-517
    Number of pages19
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Communication
    • Language and Linguistics
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Abduction
    • Active inference
    • Free-energy principle
    • Friston blanket
    • Peirce
    • Triadic relations


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