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Profile: John Collins (University of East Anglia)
Profile: John Collins (East Carolina University)
  1. John M. Collins (2011). Why the Debate Between Originalists and Evolutionists Rests on a Semantic Mistake. Law and Philosophy 30 (6):645-684.
  2. John M. Collins (2008). Content Externalism and Brute Logical Error. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):pp. 549-574.
    Most content externalists concede that even if externalism is compatible with the thesis that one has authoritative self-knowledge of thought contents, it is incompatible with the stronger claim that one is always able to tell by introspection whether two of one’s thought tokens have the same, or different, content. If one lacks such authoritative discriminative self-knowledge of thought contents, it would seem that brute logical error – non-culpable logical error – is possible. Some philosophers, such as Paul Boghossian, have argued (...)
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  3. John M. Collins, Epistemic Closure Principles. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  4. John M. Collins (2006). Proxytypes and Linguistic Nativism. Synthese 153 (1):69-104.
    Prinz (Perceptual the Mind: Concepts and Their Perceptual Basis, MIT Press, 2002) presents a new species of concept empiricism, under which concepts are off-line long-term memory networks of representations that are ‘copies’ of perceptual representations – proxytypes. An apparent obstacle to any such empiricism is the prevailing nativism of generative linguistics. The paper critically assesses Prinz’s attempt to overcome this obstacle. The paper argues that, prima facie, proxytypes are as incapable of accounting for the structure of the linguistic mind as (...)
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  5. John M. Collins (2006). Temporal Externalism, Natural Kind Terms, and Scientifically Ignorant Communities. Philosophical Papers 35 (1):55-68.
    Temporal externalism (TE) is the thesis (defended by Jackman (1999)) that the contents of some of an individual’s thoughts and utterances at time t may be determined by linguistic developments subsequent to t. TE has received little discussion so far, Brown 2000 and Stoneham 2002 being exceptions. I defend TE by arguing that it solves several related problems concerning the extension of natural kind terms in scientifically ignorant communities. Gary Ebbs (2000) argues that no theory can reconcile our ordinary, practical (...)
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  6. John M. Collins (2005). Feldman's Account of Death's Badness, and Life-Death Comparatives. Southwest Philosophy Review 21 (2):83-99.
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  7. John M. Collins (2005). Faculty Disputes. Mind and Language 19 (5):503-33.
    Jerry Fodor, among others, has maintained that Chomsky's language faculty hypothesis is an epistemological proposal, i.e. the faculty comprises propositional structures known (cognized) by the speaker/hearer. Fodor contrasts this notion of a faculty with an architectural (directly causally efficacious) notion of a module. The paper offers an independent characterisation of the language faculty as an abstractly specified nonpropositional structure of the mind/brain that mediates between sound and meaning—a function in intension that maps to a pair of structures that determine soundmeaning (...)
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  8. John M. Collins (2005). Nativism: In Defense of a Biological Understanding. Philosophical Psychology 18 (2):157-177.
    In recent years, a number of philosophers have argued against a biological understanding of the innate in favor of a narrowly psychological notion. On the other hand, Ariew ((1996). Innateness and canalization. Philosophy of Science, 63, S19-S27. (1999). Innateness is canalization: in defense of a developmental account of innateness. In V. Hardcastle (Ed.), Where biology meets psychology: Philosophical essays (pp. 117-138). Cambridge, MA: MIT.) has developed a novel substantial account of innateness based on developmental biology: canalization. The governing thought of (...)
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  9. John M. Collins (2005). On the Input Problem for Massive Modularity. Minds and Machines 15 (1):1-22.
    Jerry Fodor argues that the massive modularity thesis – the claim that (human) cognition is wholly served by domain specific, autonomous computational devices, i.e., modules – is a priori incoherent, self-defeating. The thesis suffers from what Fodor dubs the input problem: the function of a given module (proprietarily understood) in a wholly modular system presupposes non-modular processes. It will be argued that massive modularity suffers from no such a priori problem. Fodor, however, also offers what he describes as a really (...)
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  10. John M. Collins (2003). Cowie on the Poverty of Stimulus. Synthese 136 (2):159-190.
    My paper defends the use of the poverty of stimulus argument (POSA) for linguistic nativism against Cowie's (1999) counter-claim that it leaves empiricism untouched. I first present the linguistic POSA as arising from a reflection on the generality of the child's initial state in comparison with the specific complexity of its final state. I then show that Cowie misconstrues the POSA as a direct argument about the character of the pld. In this light, I first argue that the data Cowie (...)
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  11. John M. Collins (2002). Ryan on Epistemic Closure Principles. Philosophia 29 (1-4):371-376.
  12. John M. Collins (2000). Theory of Mind, Logical Form and Eliminativism. Philosophical Psychology 13 (4):465-490.
    I argue for a cognitive architecture in which folk psychology is supported by an interface of a ToM module and the language faculty, the latter providing the former with interpreted LF structures which form the content representations of ToM states. I show that LF structures satisfy a range of key features asked of contents. I confront this account of ToM with eliminativism and diagnose and combat the thought that "success" and innateness are inconsistent with the falsity of folk psychology. I (...)
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  13. John M. Collins (1969). The Labour Party and the Public Schools: A Conflict of Principles. British Journal of Educational Studies 17 (3):301 - 311.
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