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John Collins [5]John M. Collins [2]
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John Collins
University of East Anglia
John Collins
Columbia University
John Collins
East Carolina University
  1. Unsharpenable Vagueness.John Collins & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Philosophical Topics 28 (1):1-10.
    A plausible thought about vagueness is that it involves semantic incompleteness. To say that a predicate is vague is to say (at the very least) that its extension is incompletely specified. Where there is incomplete specification of extension there is indeterminacy, an indeterminacy between various ways in which the specification of the predicate might be completed or sharpened. In this paper we show that this idea is bound to founder by presenting an argument to the effect that there are vague (...)
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  2. Supposition and Choice: Why 'Causal Decision Theory' is a Misnomer.John Collins - unknown
    This paper has as its topic two recent philosophical disputes. One of these disputes is internal to the project known as decision theory, and while by now familiar to many, may well seem to be of pressing concern only to specialists. It has been carried on over the last twenty years or so, but by now the two opposing camps are pretty well entrenched in their respective positions, and the situation appears to many observers (as well as to some of (...)
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  3. Counterfactuals, Causation, and Preemption.John Collins - unknown
    A counterfactual is a conditional statement in the subjunctive mood. For example: If Suzy hadn’t thrown the rock, then the bottle wouldn’t have shattered. The philosophical importance of counterfactuals stems from the fact that they seem to be closely connected to the concept of causation. Thus it seems that the truth of the above conditional is just what is required for Suzy’s throw to count as a cause of the bottle’s shattering. If philosophers were reluctant to exploit this idea prior (...)
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  4. Newcomb's Problem.John Collins - unknown
    Newcomb’s problem is a decision puzzle whose difficulty and interest stem from the fact that the possible outcomes are probabilistically dependent on, yet causally independent of, the agent’s options. The problem is named for its inventor, the physicist William Newcomb, but first appeared in print in a 1969 paper by Robert Nozick [12]. Closely related to, though less well-known than, the Prisoners’ Dilemma, it has been the subject of intense debate in the philosophical literature. After three decades, the issues remain (...)
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  5. Why the Debate Between Originalists and Evolutionists Rests on a Semantic Mistake.John M. Collins - 2011 - Law and Philosophy 30 (6):645-684.
    I argue that the dispute between two leading theories of interpretation of legal texts, textual originalism and textual evolutionism, depends on the false presupposition that changes in the way a word is used necessarily require a change in the word’s meaning. Semantic externalism goes a long way towards reconciling these views by showing how a word’s semantic properties can be stable over time, even through vicissitudes of usage. I argue that temporal externalism can account for even more semantic stability, however. (...)
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  6. How We Can Agree to Disagree.John Collins - unknown
    Knowledge entails the truth of the proposition known; that which is merely believed may be false. If I have beliefs about your beliefs, then I may believe that some of your beliefs are false. I may believe, for example, that you mistakenly believe that it is now raining outside. This is a coherent belief for me, though not for you. You cannot coherently believe that you believe falsely that it is raining, and this despite the fact that your having that (...)
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  7.  89
    Epistemic Closure Principles.John M. Collins - 2006 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is an encyclopedia article about epistemic closure principles. The article explains what they are, their various philosophical uses, how they are argued for or against, and provides an overview of the related literature.
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