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Anton Killin
Mount Allison University
  1.  29
    From Things to Thinking: Cognitive Archaeology.Adrian Currie & Anton Killin - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (2):263-279.
    Cognitive archaeologists infer from material remains to the cognitive features of past societies. We characterize cognitive archaeology in terms of trace-based reasoning, which in the case of cognitive archaeology involves inferences drawing upon background theory linking objects from the archaeological record to cognitive features. We analyse such practices, examining work on cognitive evolution, language, and musicality. We argue that the central epistemic challenge for cognitive archaeology is often not a paucity of material remains, but insufficient constraint from cognitive theories. However, (...)
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  2.  14
    Plio-Pleistocene Foundations of Hominin Musicality: Coevolution of Cognition, Sociality, and Music.Anton Killin - 2017 - Biological Theory 12 (4):222-235.
    Today, music is ubiquitous, highly valued in all known cultures, playing many roles in human daily life. The ethnographic study of the music of extant human foragers makes this quite apparent. Moreover, music is ancient. Sophisticated bird-bone and ivory flutes dated from 40 kya reveal an even earlier musical-technological tradition. So is music likely to be an entrenched feature of human social life during the long passage to behavioral modernity—say, by 150 kya—or earlier? In this article I sketch an evolutionary (...)
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  3.  10
    The Polysemy Theory of Sound.Anton Killin - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    Theorists have recently defended rival analyses of sound. The leading analyses reduce sound to sensations or mental representations, longitudinal compression waves, or sounding objects or events. Participants in the debate presuppose that because the features of the world targeted by these reductive strategies are distinct, at most one of the analyses is correct. In this article I argue that this presupposition is mistaken, endorsing a polysemy analysis of ‘sound’. Thus the ‘What is sound?’ debate is largely merely verbal, or so (...)
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  4.  42
    Musical Pluralism and the Science of Music.Adrian Currie & Anton Killin - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (1):9-30.
    The scientific investigation of music requires contributions from a diverse array of disciplines. Given the diverse methodologies, interests and research targets of the disciplines involved, we argue that there is a plurality of legitimate research questions about music, necessitating a focus on integration. In light of this we recommend a pluralistic conception of music—that there is no unitary definition divorced from some discipline, research question or context. This has important implications for how the scientific study of music ought to proceed: (...)
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  5.  80
    The Arts and Human Nature: Evolutionary Aesthetics and the Evolutionary Status of Art Behaviours: Stephen Davies: The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012.Anton Killin - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):703-718.
    This essay reviews one of the most recent books in a trend of new publications proffering evolutionary theorising about aesthetics and the arts—themes within an increasing literature on aspects of human life and human nature in terms of evolutionary theory. Stephen Davies’ The Artful Species links some of our aesthetic sensibilities with our evolved human nature and critically surveys the interdisciplinary debate regarding the evolutionary status of the arts. Davies’ engaging and accessible writing succeeds in demonstrating the maturity and scope (...)
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  6.  25
    Musicality and the Evolution of Mind, Mimesis, and Entrainment: Gary Tomlinson: A Million Years of Music: The Emergence of Human Modernity. Zone, New York, 2015.Anton Killin - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (3):421-434.
    In A Million Years of Music, Gary Tomlinson develops an extensive evolutionary narrative that emphasises several important components of human musicality and proposes a theory of the coalescence of these components. In this essay I tie some of Tomlinson’s ideas to five constraints on theories of music’s evolution. This provides the framework for organising my reconstruction of his model. Thereafter I focus on Tomlinson’s description of ‘entraining’ Acheulean toolmakers and offer several criticisms. I close with some tentative proposals for further (...)
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  7.  22
    Where Did Language Come From? Connecting Sign, Song, and Speech in Hominin Evolution.Anton Killin - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):759-778.
    Recently theorists have developed competing accounts of the origins and nature of protolanguage and the subsequent evolution of language. Debate over these accounts is lively. Participants ask: Is music a direct precursor of language? Were the first languages gestural? Or is language continuous with primate vocalizations, such as the alarm calls of vervets? In this article I survey the leading hypotheses and lines of evidence, favouring a largely gestural conception of protolanguage. However, the “sticking point” of gestural accounts, to use (...)
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  8.  19
    Analyzing Antiqueness: A Response to Curtis and Baines.Anton Killin - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (2):195-197.
    Aestheticians should be excited by the prospects of a philosophy of antiques. It is to their merit that Curtis and Baines (2016) ignite philosophical discussion about this aesthetically and historically important category, so far overlooked by philosophers. And I agree with much they have to say on the topic. For one, I think the Adjectival Thesis they proffer is sound. That is, the term ‘antique’ does not denote a kind of object (it is not a kind sortal); rather, it modifies (...)
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  9.  23
    Not Music, but Musics: A Case for Conceptual Pluralism in Aesthetics.Adrian Currie & Anton Killin - 2017 - Estetika 54 (2):151-174.
    We argue for conceptual pluralism about music. In our view, there is no right answer to the question ‘What is music?’ divorced from some context or interest. Instead, there are several, non-equivalent music concepts suited to different interests – from within some tradition or practice, or by way of some research question or field of inquiry. We argue that unitary definitions of music are problematic, that the role music concepts play in various research questions should motivate conceptual pluralism about music, (...)
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  10.  4
    Music Pluralism, Music Realism, and Music Archaeology.Anton Killin - forthcoming - Topoi:1-12.
    According to pluralism about some concept, there are multiple non-equivalent, legitimate concepts pertaining to the ontological category in question. It is an open question whether conceptual pluralism implies anti-realism about that category. In this article, I argue that at least for the case of music, it does not. To undermine the application of an influential move from pluralism to anti-realism, then, I provide an argument in support of indifference realism about music, by appeal to music archaeological research, via an analogy (...)
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  11.  54
    Fictionalism About Musical Works.Anton Killin - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):266-291.
    The debate concerning the ontological status of musical works is perhaps the most animated debate in contemporary analytic philosophy of music. In my view, progress requires a piecemeal approach. So in this article I hone in on one particular musical work concept – that of the classical Western art musical work; that is, the work concept that regulates classical art-musical practice. I defend a fictionalist analysis – a strategy recently suggested by Andrew Kania as potentially fruitful – and I develop (...)
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  12.  40
    How Biology Shapes Philosophy: New Foundations for Naturalism. [REVIEW]Anton Killin - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):635-638.
    How Biology Shapes Philosophy: New Foundations for Naturalism. Edited By Smith David Livingstone.
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  13.  24
    Thought in Action: Expertise and the Conscious Mind. [REVIEW]Anton Killin - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (1):95-98.
    Thought in Action: Expertise and the Conscious MindMonteroBarbara Gailoup. 2016. pp. 304. £35.00.
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  14.  24
    Rethinking Music's Status as Adaptation Versus Technology: A Niche Construction Perspective.Anton Killin - 2016 - Ethnomusicology Forum 25 (2):210-233.
    In this article I critique F. R. S. Lawson's evolutionary theorising about music that appeared in a recent issue of Ethnomusicology Forum. Moreover, I argue that asking whether music is an adaptation or technology, as Lawson does, artificially splits the interwoven, dynamic co-evolutionary forces at work. In my view, in cases of complex, dynamic co-evolution, the distinction between the ‘biological’ and the ‘cultural’ is undermined. I suggest that human musicality is one such example, calling into question the adaptation/technology distinction that (...)
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  15.  22
    Reflections on Imitation, Vocal Mimicry, and Entrainment.Anton Killin - 2016 - Aisthesis: Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 9 (2):81-87.
    It is my contention that understanding natural phenomena such as vocal mimicry can bolster theories of the evolution of language and music as well as inform evolutionary and naturalistic aesthetics more generally. In this commentary I present this phenomena as a case study in order to stimulate further aesthetic theorising.
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  16. Book Review of 'Institutions, Emotions, and Group Agents: Contributions to Social Ontology'. [REVIEW]Anton Killin - 2015 - Studies in Social and Political Thought 25:265-270.
    Book review of Institutions, Emotions, and Group Agents: Contributions to Social Ontology, edited by Anita Konzelmann Ziv & Hans Bernhard Schmid. Springer, 2013.
     
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  17.  23
    Musicality in Human Evolution, Archaeology and Ethnography: Iain Morley: The Prehistory of Music: Human Evolution, Archaeology, and the Origins of Musicality. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013.Anton Killin - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (4):597-609.
    This essay reviews Iain Morley’s The Prehistory of Music, an up-to-date and authoritative overview of recent research on evolution and cognition of musicality from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. Given the diversity of the project explored, integration of evidence from multiple fields is particularly pressing, required for any novel evolutionary account to be persuasive, and for the project’s continued progress. Moreover, Morley convincingly demonstrates that there is much more to understanding musicality than is supposed by some theorists. I outline Morley’s review of (...)
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  18.  17
    Works, Authors, Co‐Authorship, and Power: A Response to Hick.Anton Killin - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (3):334-337.
    Darren Hudson Hick has recently presented a fascinating puzzle case for theories of co-authorship: Micro. However, contrary to his goal, Hick fails to establish Michael Crichton as a co-author of Micro. Here, I explain why. Consequently, Micro is not a counterexample to the theories of co-authorship.
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  19. The Polysemy Theory of Sound.Anton Killin - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    Theorists have recently defended rival analyses of sound. The leading analyses reduce sound to sensations or mental representations, longitudinal compression waves, or sounding objects or events. Participants in the debate presuppose that because the features of the world targeted by these reductive strategies are distinct, at most one of the analyses is correct. In this article I argue that this presupposition is mistaken, endorsing a polysemy analysis of ‘sound’. Thus the ‘What is sound?’ debate is largely merely verbal, or so (...)
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