• Keele University
    School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations & Environment
University of Essex
School of Philosophy and Art History
PhD, 1995
PhilPapers Editorships
Explanation of Action
  •  201
    Idealism and the philosophy of mind
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 48 (5): 395-412. 2005.
    This paper defends an idealist form of non-reductivism in the philosophy of mind. I refer to it as a kind of conceptual dualism without substance dualism. I contrast this idealist alternative with the two most widespread forms of non-reductivism: multiple realisability functionalism and anomalous monism. I argue first, that functionalism fails to challenge seriously the claim for methodological unity since it is quite comfortable with the idea that it is possible to articulate a descriptive theo…Read more
  •  164
    Two dogmas of contemporary philosophy of action
    Journal of the Philosophy of History 1 (1): 10-24. 2007.
    Davidson's seminal essay "Actions, Reasons and Causes" brought about a paradigm shift in the theory of action. Before Davidson the consensus was that the fundamental task of a theory of action was to elucidate the concept of action and event explanation. The debate concerning the nature of action explanation thus took place primarily in the philosophy of history and social science and was focussed on purely methodological issues. After Davidson it has been assumed that the fundamental challenge …Read more
  •  113
    Collingwood's solution to the problem of mind-body dualism
    Philosophia 32 (1-4): 349-368. 2005.
    This paper contrasts two approaches to the mind-body problem and the possibility of mental causation: the conceptual approach advocated by Collingwood/Dray and the metaphysical approach advocated by Davidson. On the conceptual approach to show that mental causation is possible is equivalent to demonstrating that mentalistic explanations possess a different logical structure from naturalistic explanations. On the metaphysical approach to show that mental causation is possible entails explaining h…Read more
  •  76
    Reasons and Causes: The Philosophical Battle and The Meta-philosophical War
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2). 2012.
    ?Are the reasons for acting also the causes of action?? When this question was asked in the early 1960s it received by and large a negative reply: ?No, reasons are not causes?. Yet, when the same question ?Are the reasons for acting the causes of action?? is posed some twenty years later, the predominant answer is ?Yes, reasons are causes?. How could one and the same question receive such diverging answers in the space of only a couple of decades? This paper argues that the shift from an anti-ca…Read more
  •  55
    Collingwood and Ryle on the concept of mind
    Philosophical Explorations 6 (1). 2003.
    This paper argues that Collingwood's philosophy of mind offers an interesting and compelling account of the nature of the mind and of the irreducibility of the mental, an account whose viability and relevance to contemporary debates ought to be given serious consideration. I suggest that the reason why Collingwood's contribution to the philosophy of mind has been neglected is due to the fact that his philosophy of mind is widely, even if mistakenly, regarded as the target of Ryle's attacks on th…Read more
  •  52
    This paper seeks to explain why mainstream analytic philosophy lost interest in the philosophy of history. It suggests that the reasons why the philosophy of history no longer commands the attention of mainstream analytical philosophy may be explained by the success of an ontological backlash against the linguistic turn and a view of philosophy as a form of conceptual analysis. In brief I argue that in the 1950s and 1960s the philosophy of history attracted the interest of mainstream analytical …Read more
  •  49
    Giuseppina D'Oro explores Collingwood's work in epistemology and metaphysics, uncovering his importance beyond his better known work in philosophy of history and aesthetics. This major contribution to our understanding of one of the most important figures in history of philosophy will be essential reading for scholars of Collingwood and all students of metaphysics and the history of philosophy.
  •  48
    The Myth of Collingwood's Historicism
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53 (6): 627-641. 2010.
    This paper seeks to clarify the precise sense in which Collingwood's “metaphysics without ontology” is a descriptive metaphysics. It locates Collingwood's metaphysics against the background of Strawson's distinction between descriptive and revisionary metaphysics and then defends it against the claim that Collingwood reduced metaphysics to a form of cultural anthropology. Collingwood's metaphysics is descriptive not because it is some sort of historicised psychology that describes temporally par…Read more
  •  47
    Collingwood, psychologism and internalism
    European Journal of Philosophy 12 (2). 2004.
    The paper defends Collingwood's account of rational explanation against two objections. The first is that he psychologizes the concept of practical reason. The second is that he fails to distinguish mere rationalizations from rationalizations that have causal power. I argue that Collingwood endorses a form of nonpsychologizing internalism which rests on the view that the appropriate explanans for actions are neither empirical facts (as externalists claim), nor psychological facts (as some intern…Read more
  •  44
    Collingwood has failed to make a significant impact in the history of twentieth century philosophy either because he has been dismissed as a dusty old idealist committed to the very metaphysics the analytical school was trying to leave behind, or because his later work has been interpreted as advocating the dissolution of philosophy into history. I argue that Collingwood's key philosophical works are a sustained attempt to defend the view that philosophy is an autonomous discipline with a distin…Read more
  •  43
    Re-enactment and radical interpretation
    History and Theory 43 (2). 2004.
    This article discusses R. G. Collingwood’s account of re-enactment and Donald Davidson’s account of radical translation. Both Collingwood and Davidson are concerned with the question “how is understanding possible?” and both seek to answer the question transcendentally by asking after the heuristic principles that guide the historian and the radical translator. Further, they both agree that the possibility of understanding rests on the presumption of rationality. But whereas Davidson’s principle…Read more
  •  41
  •  33
    Collingwood, Metaphysics, and Historicism
    Dialogue 41 (1): 71. 2002.
    RÉSUMÉ: Cet article discute l'idée que la philosophie tardive de Collingwood soit d'orientation historiciste et relativiste. Je soutiens que cette accusation de relativisme historique est basée sur deux erreurs, l'une exégétique et l'autre philosophique. L'erreur exégétique est le résultat de l'hypothèse d'une prétendue «conversion radicale». L'erreur philosophique repose sur la conception selon laquelle il n'y a pas de différences substantielles entre le projet d'une métaphysique descriptive et…Read more
  •  32
    Collingwood on philosophical knowledge and the enduring nature of philosophical problems
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 12 (1). 2004.
    No abstract
  •  30
    Reclaiming the ancestors of simulation theory
    History and Theory 48 (1): 129-139. 2009.
  •  28
    Unlikely Bedfellows? Collingwood, Carnap and the Internal/External Distinction
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (4): 802-817. 2015.
    Idealism is often associated with the kind of metaphysical system building which was successfully disposed of by logical positivism. As Hume's fork was intended to deliver a serious blow to Leibnizian metaphysics so logical positivism invoked the verificationist principle against the reawakening of metaphysics, in the tradition of German and British idealism. In the light of this one might reasonably wonder what Carnap's pragmatism could possibly have in common with Collingwood's idealism. After…Read more
  •  27
    The Philosopher and the Grapes: On Descriptive Metaphysics and Why It Is Not 'Sour Metaphysics'
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (4). 2013.
    There is a widespread view according to which descriptive metaphysics is not ?real? metaphysics. This paper argues that first-order philosophical disagreements cannot be settled without re-opening the debate about the nature of philosophical enquiry and that failure to scrutinize and justify one?s own metaphilosophical stance leads to arguments which are circular or question begging
  •  23
    The touch of King Midas: Collingwood on why actions are not events
    Philosophical Explorations 21 (1): 160-169. 2018.
    It is the ambition of natural science to provide complete explanations of reality. Collingwood argues that science can only explain events, not actions. The latter is the distinctive subject matter of history and can be described as actions only if they are explained historically. This paper explains Collingwood’s claim that the distinctive subject matter of history is actions and why the attempt to capture this subject matter through the method of science inevitably ends in failure because scie…Read more
  •  20
    On Collingwood's Rehabilitation of the Ontological Argument
    Idealistic Studies 30 (3): 173-188. 2000.
    The paper is divided in two parts. In the first I consider the nature of Ryle's attack on Collingwood's appropriation of the ontological argument and Collingwood's defence in the unpublished correspondence. In the second, I go beyond the confines of the Ryle-Collingwood exchange in the mid 'thirties to say something much more general about the nature of Collingwood's metaphysics as well as to advance an explanation of the compatibility of Collingwood's combined defence of descriptive metaphysics…Read more
  •  16
    To mark the 50th anniversary of Donald Davidson's 'Actions, reasons and causes', eight philosophers with distinctive and contrasting views revisit and update the reasons/causes debate.Their essays are preceded by a historical introduction which traces current debates to their roots in the philosophy of history and social science, linking the rise of causalism to a metaphysical backlash against the linguistic turn. Both historically grounded and topical, this volume will be of great interest to b…Read more
  •  9
    Collingwood, Psychologism and Internalism
    European Journal of Philosophy 12 (2): 163-177. 2004.
  •  9
    Between ontological hubris and epistemic humility: Collingwood, Kant and the role of transcendental arguments
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (2): 336-357. 2018.
    ABSTRACTThis paper explores and defends a form of transcendental argument that is neither bold in its attempt to answer the sceptic, as ambitious transcendental strategies, nor epistemically humble, as modest transcendental strategies. While ambitious transcendental strategies seek to meet the sceptical challenge, and modest transcendental strategies accept the validity of the challenge but retreat to a position of epistemic humility, this form of transcendental argument denies the assumption th…Read more
  •  7
    Defending Humanistic Reasoning
    Philosophy Now 123 31-33. 2017.
  •  7
    Cet article explore une solution de rechange au physicalisme qui n’est ni le défi métaphysique de Jackson et de Kripke, ni le défi épistémologique de Nagel, Levine et McGinn. D’après cette autre thèse, le fossé entre l’esprit et le corps n’est ni ontologique ni épistémologique, mais sémantique. Je soutiens que c’est parce que le fossé est sémantique que le problème corps-esprit est par essence un problème philosophique qui ne disparaîtra vraisemblablement pas avec le progrès de nos connaissances…Read more
  •  6
    This chapter explores the kind of nonreductivism defended by Davidson and compares it with that which predominated in mid-century. Davidson’s argument for the autonomy of the human sciences is contrasted with the one developed by R. G. Collingwood as presented through the interpretative efforts of W. H. Dray. It is argued here that Davidson’s arguments against the anticausalist consensus that dominated the first half of the twentieth century were not conclusive and that the success of causalism …Read more