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  1. Mark Collier (2013). The Humean Approach to Moral Diversity. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 11 (1):41-52.
    In ‘A Dialogue’, Hume offers an important reply to the moral skeptic. Skeptics traditionally point to instances of moral diversity in support of the claim that our core values are fixed by enculturation. Hume argues that the skeptic exaggerates the amount of variation in moral codes, however, and fails to adopt an indulgent stance toward attitudes different from ours. Hume proposes a charitable interpretation of moral disagreement, moreover, which traces it back to shared principles of human nature. Contemporary philosophers attempt (...)
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  2. Mark Collier (2013). The Natural Foundations of Religion. Philosophical Psychology:1-16.
    In the Natural history of religion, Hume attempts to understand the origin of our folk belief in gods and spirits. These investigations are not, however, purely descriptive. Hume demonstrates that ontological commitment to supernatural agents depends on motivated reasoning and illusions of control. These beliefs cannot, then, be reflectively endorsed. This proposal must be taken seriously because it receives support from recent work on our psychological responses to uncertainty. It also compares quite favorably with its main competitors in the cognitive (...)
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  3. Mark Collier (2012). Hume's Science of Emotions. Hume Studies 37 (1):3-18.
    We must rethink the status of Hume’s science of emotions. Contemporary philosophers typically dismiss Hume’s account on the grounds that he mistakenly identifies emotions with feelings. But the traditional objections to Hume’s feeling theory are not as strong as commonly thought. Hume makes several important contributions, moreover, to our understanding of the operations of the emotions. His claims about the causal antecedents of the indirect passions receive support from studies in appraisal theory, for example, and his suggestions concerning the social (...)
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  4. Mark Collier (2011). Hume's Natural History of Justice. In C. Taylor & S. Buckle (eds.), Hume and the Enlightenment.
    In Book III, Part 2 of the Treatise, Hume presents a natural history of justice. Self-interest clearly plays a central role in his account; our ancestors invented justice conventions, he maintains, for the sake of reciprocal advantage. But this is not what makes his approach so novel and attractive. Hume recognizes that prudential considerations are not sufficient to explain how human beings – with our propensities towards temporal discounting and free-riding – could have established conventions for social exchange and collective (...)
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  5. Mark Collier (2011). Hume's Science of Emotions: Feeling Theory Without Tears. Hume Studies 37 (1):3-18.
    We must rethink the status of Hume’s science of emotions. Contemporary philosophers typically dismiss Hume’s account on the grounds that he mistakenly identifies emotions with feelings. But the traditional objections to Hume’s feeling theory are not as strong as commonly thought. Hume makes several important contributions, moreover, to our understanding of the operations of the emotions. His claims about the causal antecedents of the indirect passions receive support from studies in appraisal theory, for example, and his suggestions concerning the social (...)
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  6. Mark Collier (2010). Death & Character: Further Reflections on Hume. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (2):pp. 247-248.
    The first half of Annette Baier's book opens up a fascinating new area of Hume scholarship. We all know that Hume wore two hats, as a philosopher and a historian. But what exactly is the relationship between his general philosophical writings and his History of England? In particular, what can his portrayals of influential monarchs and religious leaders, such as Oliver Cromwell or Bishop Tunstal, teach us about his philosophical commitments?
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  7. Mark Collier (2010). Filling the Gaps. Hume Studies 25 (1/2):155-170.
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  8. Mark Collier (2010). Hume's Theory of Moral Imagination. History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (3):255-273.
    David Hume endorses three claims that are difficult to reconcile: (1) sympathy with those in distress is sufficient to produce compassion towards their plight, (2) adopting the general point of view often requires us to sympathize with the pain and suffering of distant strangers, but (3) our care and concern is limited to those in our close circle. Hume manages to resolve this tension, however, by distinguishing two types of sympathy. We feel compassion towards those around us because associative sympathy (...)
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  9. Mark Collier (2008). Two Puzzles in Hume's Epistemology. History of Philosophy Quarterly 25 (4):301 - 314.
    There are two major puzzles in Hume’s epistemology. The first involves Hume’s fall into despair in the conclusion of Book One of the Treatise. When Hume reflects back upon the results of his research, he becomes so alarmed that he nearly throws his books and papers into the fire. Why did his investigations push him towards such intense skeptical sentiments? What dark discoveries did he make? The second puzzle concerns the way in which Hume emerges from this skeptical crisis and (...)
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  10. Mark Collier (2007). Why History Matters: Associations and Causal Judgment in Hume and Cognitive Science. Journal of Mind and Behavior 28 (3):175-188.
    It is commonly thought that Hume endorses the claim that causal cognition can be fully explained in terms of nothing but custom and habit. Associative learning does, of course, play a major role in the cognitive psychology of the Treatise. But Hume recognizes that associations cannot provide a complete account of causal thought. If human beings lacked the capacity to reflect on rules for judging causes and effects, then we could not (as we do) distinguish between accidental and genuine regularities, (...)
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  11. Mark Collier (2005). A New Look at Hume's Theory of Probabilistic Inference. Hume Studies 31 (1):21-36.
    We must rethink our assessment of Hume’s theory of probabilistic inference. Hume scholars have traditionally dismissed his naturalistic explanation of how we make inferences under conditions of uncertainty; however, psychological experiments and computer models from cognitive science provide substantial support for Hume’s account. Hume’s theory of probabilistic inference is far from obsolete or outdated; on the contrary, it stands at the leading edge of our contemporary science of the mind.
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  12. Mark Collier (2005). Hume and Cognitive Science: The Current Status of the Controversy Over Abstract Ideas. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (2):197-207.
    In Book I, Part I, Section VII of the Treatise, Hume sets out to settle, once and for all, the early modern controversy over abstract ideas. In order to do so, he tries to accomplish two tasks: (1) he attempts to defend an exemplar-based theory of general language and thought, and (2) he sets out to refute the rival abstraction-based account. This paper examines the successes and failures of these two projects. I argue that Hume manages to articulate a plausible (...)
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  13. Mark Collier (1999). Filling the Gaps: Hume and Connectionism on the Continued Existence of Unperceived Objects&Quot;. Hume Studies 25 (1 and 2):155-170.