97 found
Order:
See also:
Profile: John Collier (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  1.  72
    Argyris Arnellos, Luis Emilio Bruni, Charbel Niño El-Hani & John Collier (2012). Anticipatory Functions, Digital-Analog Forms and Biosemiotics: Integrating the Tools to Model Information and Normativity in Autonomous Biological Agents. Biosemiotics 5 (3):331-367.
    We argue that living systems process information such that functionality emerges in them on a continuous basis. We then provide a framework that can explain and model the normativity of biological functionality. In addition we offer an explanation of the anticipatory nature of functionality within our overall approach. We adopt a Peircean approach to Biosemiotics, and a dynamical approach to Digital-Analog relations and to the interplay between different levels of functionality in autonomous systems, taking an integrative approach. We then apply (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   3 citations  
  2. John Collier & Michael Stingl (2013). Evolutionary Moral Realism. Biological Theory 7 (3):218-226.
    Evolutionary moral realism is the view that there are moral values with roots in evolution that are both specifically moral and exist independently of human belief systems. In beginning to sketch the outlines of such a view, we examine moral goods like fairness and empathetic caring as valuable and real aspects of the environments of species that are intelligent and social, or at least developing along an evolutionary trajectory that could lead to a level of intelligence that would enable individual (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  3. Christian Fuchs & John Collier (2007). A Dynamic Systems View of Economic and Political Theory. Theoria 54 (113):23-52.
    Economic logic impinges on contemporary political theory through both economic reductionism and economic methodology applied to political decision-making (through game theory). The authors argue that the sort of models used are based on mechanistic and linear methodologies that have now been found wanting in physics. They further argue that complexity based self-organization methods are better suited to model the complexities of economy and polity and their interactions with the overall social system.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  4. John Collier & Cliff Hooker (1999). Complexly Organised Dynamical Systems. Open Systems and Information Dynamics 6 (3):241–302.
    Both natural and engineered systems are fundamentally dynamical in nature: their defining properties are causal, and their functional capacities are causally grounded. Among dynamical systems, an interesting and important sub-class are those that are autonomous, anticipative and adaptive (AAA). Living systems, intelligent systems, sophisticated robots and social systems belong to this class, and the use of these terms has recently spread rapidly through the scientific literature. Central to understanding these dynamical systems is their complicated organisation and their consequent capacities for (...)
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   10 citations  
  5. John Collier, Simulating Autonomous Anticipation: The Importance of Dubois' Conjecture.
    Anticipation allows a system to adapt to conditions that have not yet come to be, either externally to the system or internally. Autonomous systems actively control their own conditions so as to increase their functionality (they self-regulate). Living systems self-regulate in order to increase their own viability. These increasingly stronger conditions, anticipation, autonomy and viability, can give an insight into progressively stronger classes of models of autonomy. I will argue that stronger forms are the relevant ones for Artificial Life. This (...)
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   4 citations  
  6.  50
    John Collier (1986). Entropy in Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 1 (1):5-24.
    Daniel R. Brooks and E. O. Wiley have proposed a theory of evolution in which fitness is merely a rate determining factor. Evolution is driven by non-equilibrium processes which increase the entropy and information content of species together. Evolution can occur without environmental selection, since increased complexity and organization result from the likely capture at the species level of random variations produced at the chemical level. Speciation can occur as the result of variation within the species which decreases the probability (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   12 citations  
  7.  52
    John Collier & Michael Stingl (1993). Evolutionary Naturalism and the Objectivity of Morality. Biology and Philosophy 8 (1):47-60.
    We propose an objective and justifiable ethics that is contingent on the truth of evolutionary theory. We do not argue for the truth of this position, which depends on the empirical question of whether moral functions form a natural class, but for its cogency and possibility. The position we propose combines the advantages of Kantian objectivity with the explanatory and motivational advantages of moral naturalism. It avoids problems with the epistemological inaccessibility of transcendent values, while avoiding the relativism or subjectivism (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   8 citations  
  8. Don Ross, James Ladyman & John Collier (2007). Rainforest Realism and the Unity of Science. In James Ladyman (ed.), Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press
  9. John Collier (1990). Two Faces of Maxwell's Demon Reveal the Nature of Irreversibility. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 21 (2):257-268.
    demon thought experiment remains ambiguous even today. One of the most delightful thought It seems that Maxwell originally invoked experiments in the history of physical science is..
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  10.  31
    Daniel R. Brooks, John Collier, Brian A. Maurer, Jonathan D. H. Smith & E. O. Wiley (1989). Entropy and Information in Evolving Biological Systems. Biology and Philosophy 4 (4):407-432.
    Integrating concepts of maintenance and of origins is essential to explaining biological diversity. The unified theory of evolution attempts to find a common theme linking production rules inherent in biological systems, explaining the origin of biological order as a manifestation of the flow of energy and the flow of information on various spatial and temporal scales, with the recognition that natural selection is an evolutionarily relevant process. Biological systems persist in space and time by transfor ming energy from one state (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   6 citations  
  11. John Collier, Information Increase in Biological Systems: How Does Adaptation Fit?
    Progress has become a suspect concept in evolutionary biology, not the least because the core concepts of neo-Darwinism do not support the idea that evolution is progressive. There have been a number of attempts to account for directionality in evolution through additions to the core hypotheses of neo-Darwinism, but they do not establish progressiveness, and they are somewhat of an ad hoc collection. The standard account of fitness and adaptation can be rephrased in terms of information theory. From this, an (...)
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  12. John Collier, The Dynamical Basis of Information and the Origins of Semiosis.
    Every manifestation of information, semiosis and meaning we have been able to study experimentally has a physical form. Neglect of their dynamical (energetic) ground tends towards dualism or idealism, leaving the causal basis of semiosis and the causal powers of representations mysterious. Consideration of the necessary physical requirements for the embodiment of semiotic categories imposes a discipline on semiotics required for its integration into the rest of science, especially for the emerging field of biosemiotics, as well as any future extensions (...)
    No categories
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  13.  65
    John Collier (2005). Pragmatist Pragmatics: The Functional Context of Utterances. Philosophica 75.
    Formal pragmatics plays an important, though secondary, role in modern analytical philosophy of language: its aim is to explain how context can affect the meaning of certain special kinds of utterances. During recent years, the adequacy of formal tools has come under attack, often leading to one or another form of relativism or antirealism.1 Our aim will be to extend the critique to formal pragmatics while showing that sceptical conclusions can be avoided by developing a different approach to the issues. (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  14. John Collier, Interactively Open Autonomy Unifies Two Approaches to Function.
    Functionality is essential to any form of anticipation beyond simple directedness at an end. In the literature on function in biology, there are two distinct approaches. One, the etiological view, places the origin of function in selection, while the other, the organizational view, individuates function by organizational role. Both approaches have well-known advantages and disadvantages. I propose a reconciliation of the two approaches, based in an interactivist approach to the individuation and stability of organisms. The approach was suggested by Kant (...)
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  15.  21
    John D. Collier (1990). Intrinsic Information. In Philip P. Hanson (ed.), Information, Language and Cognition. University of British Columbia Press 1--390.
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   5 citations  
  16.  67
    John Collier (2002). What is Autonomy? Philosophical Explorations.
    A system is autonomous if it uses its own information to modify itself and its environment to enhance its survival, responding to both environmental and internal stimuli to modify its basic functions to increase its viability. Autonomy is the foundation of functionality, intentionality and meaning. Autonomous systems accommodate the unexpected through self-organizing processes, together with some constraints that maintain autonomy. Early versions of autonomy, such as autopoiesis and closure to efficient cause, made autonomous systems dynamically closed to information. This contrasts (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  17.  43
    Werner Callebaut & John Collier (2006). Biological Information. Biological Theory 1 (3):221-223.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  18.  28
    John Collier (1986). Against Miracles. Dialogue 25 (02):349-.
    ROBERT LARMER ARGUED THAT EVEN IF ALL PHYSICAL EVENTS ARE SUBJECT TO DETERMINISTIC NATURAL LAWS, MIRACLES ARE POSSIBLE. HE CONCLUDED THAT BECAUSE MIRACLES AND NATURAL LAWS ARE COMPATIBLE, HUME’S ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE RATIONALITY OF BELIEF IN MIRACLES IS FALLACIOUS. I FIRST SHOW THAT EVEN IF LARMER’S ARGUMENT FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF MIRACLES IS CORRECT, IT DOES NOT TOUCH HUME’S ARGUMENT. I THEN ARGUE THAT LARMER’S ARGUMENT IS MISTAKEN.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   4 citations  
  19.  54
    John D. Collier (1990). Could I Conceive Being a Brain in a Vat? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (4):413 – 419.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  20.  59
    John D. Collier & Scott J. Muller (1998). The Dynamical Basis of Emergence in Natural Hierarchies. In G. L. Farre & T. Oksala (eds.), Emergence, Complexity, Hierarchy, Organization, Selected and Edited Papers From the Echo Iii Conference. Acta Polytechnica Scandinavica
    Since the origins of the notion of emergence in attempts to recover the content of vitalistic anti-reductionism without its questionable metaphysics, emergence has been treated in terms of logical properties. This approach was doomed to failure, because logical properties are either sui generis or they are constructions from other logical properties. If the former, they do not explain on their own and are inevitably somewhat arbitrary (the problem with the related concept of supervenience, Collier, 1988a), but if the latter, reducibility (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  21.  2
    John Collier (1993). Whence the Motive for Collaboration? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (3):517.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   4 citations  
  22.  22
    John Collier (1986). How Not to Defend Metaphysical Realism. Southwest Philosophy Review 3:19-27.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  23.  70
    John Collier, Change and Identity in Complex Systems.
    Complex systems are dynamic and may show high levels of variability in both space and time. It is often difficult to decide on what constitutes a given complex system, i.e., where system boundaries should be set, and what amounts to substantial change within the system. We discuss two central themes: the nature of system definitions and their ability to cope with change, and the importance of system definitions for the mental metamodels that we use to describe and order ideas about (...)
    Translate
      Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  24. John Collier (1988). Supervenience and Reduction in Biological Hierarchies. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 14:209.
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   5 citations  
  25.  37
    John Collier, Autonomy in Anticipatory Systems: Significance for Functionality, Intentionality and Meaning.
    Abstract Many anticipatory systems cannot in themselves act meaningfully or represent intentionally. This stems largely from the derivative nature of their functionality. All current artificial control systems, and many living systems such as organs and cellular parts of organisms derive any intentionality they might have from their designers or possessors. Derivative functionality requires reference to some external autonomously functional system, and derivative intentionality similarly requires reference to an external autonomous intentional system. The importance of autonomy can be summed up in (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  26. John Collier (2008). A Dynamical Account of Emergence. Cybernetics and Human Knowing 15 (3-4):75-86.
    Emergence has traditionally been described as satisfying specific properties, notably nonreducibility of the emergent object or properties to their substrate, novelty, and unpredictability from the properties of the substrate. Sometimes more mysterious properties such as independence from the substrate, separate substances and teleological properties are invoked. I will argue that the latter are both unnecessary and unwarranted. The descriptive properties can be analyzed in more detail in logical terms, but the logical conditions alone do not tell us how to identify (...)
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  27.  69
    John D. Collier (2011). Holism and Emergence: Dynamical Complexity Defeats Laplace's Demon. South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):229-243.
    The paradigm of Laplacean determinism combines three regulative principles: determinism, predictability, and the explanatory adequacy of universal laws together with purely local conditions. Historically, it applied to celestial mechanics, but it has been expanded into an ideal for scientific theories whose cogency is often not questioned. Laplace’s demon is an idealization of mechanistic scientific method. Its principles together imply reducibility, and rule out holism and emergence. I will argue that Laplacean determinism fails even in the realm of planetary dynamics, and (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  28.  60
    John Collier, A Brief Introduction to Distributed Cognition©.
    Distributed Cognition is a hybrid approach to studying all aspects of cognition, from a cognitive, social and organisational perspective. The most well known level of analysis is to account for complex socially distributed cognitive activities, of which a diversity of technological artefacts and other tools and representations are an indispensable part.
    No categories
    Translate
      Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  29.  27
    Michael Stingl & John Collier (2005). Reasonable Partiality From a Biological Point of View. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (1-2):11 - 24.
    Speculation about the evolutionary origins of morality has yet to show how a biologically based capacity for morality might be connected to moral reasoning. Applying an evolutionary approach to three kinds of cases where partiality may or may not be morally reasonable, this paper explores a possible connection between a psychological capacity for morality and processes of wide reflective moral equilibrium. The central hypothesis is that while we might expect a capacity for morality to include aspects of partiality, we might (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  30.  10
    John Collier (1996). Looking Beyond the Veil of Natural Selection. Biology and Philosophy 12 (1):89-99.
  31.  18
    John D. Collier (1999). Causation is the Transfer of Information. In Howard Sankey (ed.), Causation and Laws of Nature. Kluwer 215--245.
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  32. John Collier, Bridging the Gap Between Pattern and Process.
    Systematics, along with the other comparative biological sciences and certain astronomical disciplines, is much more concerned with form and organization than other biological and physical sciences, in which dynamics plays the central role. Within the biological sciences, Nelson (1970) characterizes disciplines that study diversity and patterns “comparative” and those that search for process and dynamics “general.” The goal of “general” science is to uncover the mechanisms that unify observed phenomena. Whether the physicist sees herself, like Newton (1953: 3-5), to be (...)
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  33.  22
    Michael Stingl & John Collier (2004). After the Fall: Religious Capacities and the Error Theory of Morality. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):751-752.
    The target article proposes an error theory for religious belief. In contrast, moral beliefs are typically not counterintuitive, and some moral cognition and motivation is functional. Error theories for moral belief try to reduce morality to nonmoral psychological capacities because objective moral beliefs seem too fragile in a competitive environment. An error theory for religious belief makes this unnecessary.
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  34. John Collier, Order From Rhythmic Entrainment and the Origin of Levels Through Dissipation.
    Rhythmic entrainment is the formation of regular, predictable patterns in time and/or space through interactions within or between systems that manifest potential symmetries. We contend that this process is a major source of symmetries in specific systems, whether passive physical systems or active adaptive and/or voluntary/intentional systems, except that active systems have more control over accepting or avoiding rhythmic entrainment. The result of rhythmic entrainment is a simplification of the entrained system, in the sense that the information required to describe (...)
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  35.  11
    John Collier (1991). The Biology of Moral Systems. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):195-210.
  36.  18
    John Collier (2004). Self-organization, Individuation and Identity. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 2:151-172.
    Translate
      Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  37.  50
    John Collier (1996). On the Necessity of Natural Kinds. In P. Riggs (ed.), Natural Kinds, Laws of Nature and Scientific Methodology. Kluwer Academic Publishers 1-10.
    Natural kinds are central to most might decide to restrict systematisation just to scientific reasoning about the world. For that..
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  38.  7
    John D. Collier (1992). The Structure of Biological Theories. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22 (2):287-298.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  39.  12
    John Collier (1984). Pragmatic Incommensurability. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:146 - 153.
    Kuhn's incommensurability thesis has generally been interpreted by friends and foes alike so as to preclude direct rational communication across revolutionary divides in science. In this paper, a weaker form of incommensurability is sketched which allows eventual comparison of incommensurable theories, but is consistent with Kuhn's model of science. Incommensurability occurs whenever the knowledge or ability to translate from the language of one theory to that of another is lacking. It can be resolved by acquiring the necessary knowledge or ability.
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  40.  30
    John Collier, Formalism, Foundations, and Forecast.
    Goodman’s account of the ‘grue’ paradox stands at a crossroads in the history of twentieth century epistemology. Published in 1954, Fact, Fiction, and Forecast is a reaction to the logical empiricist views that held sway in the first half of the last century and anticipates many of the conventionalist and/or relativist moves popular throughout the second half. Through his evaluation of Hume’s problem of induction, as well as his own novel reformulation of it, Goodman comes to reject a number of (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  41.  1
    John Collier (2014). Informal Pragmatics and Linguistic Creativity. South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):121-129.
    Examples of successful linguistic communication give rise to two important insights: it should be understood most fundamentally in terms of the pragmatic success of each individual utterance, and linguistic conventions need to be understood as on a par with the non-linguistic regularities that competent language users rely upon to refer. Syntax and semantics are part of what Barwise and Perry call the context of the utterance, contributing to the pragmatics of the utterance. This full and distributed multichannel context determines meaning (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  42.  27
    John Collier, Saving the Distinctions: Distinctions as the Epistemologically Significant Content of Experience.
    Published in: Johann Christian Marek, Maria Elisabeth Reicher (ed.) Contributions of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society XII (Austrian L. Wittgenstein Society, Kirchberg, 2004) pp. 373-375..
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  43.  26
    John Collier (2000). Is There Any Virtue in Modern Science? Biology and Philosophy 15 (5):773-784.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  44.  14
    John D. Collier (1988). Letter to the Editor. Biology and Philosophy 3 (4):501-503.
  45.  16
    John Collier (1983). Frequency-Dependent Causation: A Defense of Giere. Philosophy of Science 50 (4):618-625.
    Ronald Giere's analysis of causal effectiveness in populations involves the comparison of two hypothetical populations, one in which every individual has the suspected causal factor, and the other in which none do. Elliott Sober has argued that in cases where causal effectiveness depends on relative population sizes, Giere's analysis breaks down. I take issue with this claim, and argue to the contrary that Giere's analysis can help provide insight into these cases.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  46.  32
    John Collier (2004). Reduction, Supervenience, and Physical Emergence. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):629-630.
    After distinguishing reductive explanability in principle from ontological deflation, I give a case of an obviously physical property that is reductively inexplicable in principle. I argue that biological systems often have this character, and that, if we make certain assumptions about the cohesion and dynamics of the mind and its physical substrate, then it is emergent according to Broad's criteria.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  47.  1
    John Collier (1988). Supervenience and Reduction in Biological Hierarchies. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 18 (sup1):209-234.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  48.  29
    Konrad Talmont-Kaminski & John D. Collier (2004). Saving the Distinctions: Distinctions as the Epistemologically Significant Content of Experience. In Johann Christian Marek & Maria Elisabeth Reicher (eds.), Contributions of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society Xii. Austrian L. Wittgenstein Society, Kirchberg
    To account for a perceived distinction it is necessary to postulate a real distinction. Our process of experiencing the world is one of, mostly unconscious, interpretation of observed distinctions to provide us with a partial world-picture that is sufficient to guide action. The distinctions, themselves, are acorrigible (they do not have a truth value), directly perceived, structured, and capable of being interpreted. Interpreted experience is corrigible, representational and capable of guiding action. Since interpretation is carried out mostly unconsciously and in (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  49.  4
    John Collier (1997). Review. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (2):287-289.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  50. John Collier, The Prospects for Reconciling Sellars' Images: Forty Years Later.
    Wilfrid Sellars described his Manifest Image and Scientific Image as idealizations of our common sense and scientific views of the world, including our own special role in the world as humans. If, as Sellars suggested, there is an irreconcilable conflict between these images, it may not be possible to reconcile science with common sense. The Scientific Image, as we have inherited it, has a strong reductionist element that seems to imply that things are not really as they appear to common (...)
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
1 — 50 / 97