Karen Bennett


The Sage School of Philosophy                                                            Office: (607) 255-3687

218 Goldwin Smith Hall                                                                         Fax: (607) 255-8177

Cornell University                                                                                    kb383@cornell.edu

Ithaca, NY  14853-3201                                                                http://courses.cit.cornell.edu/kb383/


Regular Academic Positions:

Professor, Cornell University, 2014-present

Associate Professor, Cornell University, 2007-2014

Assistant Professor, Princeton University, 2000-2007

Postdoctoral Fellow, RSSS, Australian National University, August 2001—August 2005.  (taken up in 3 semesters and the summers)


Visiting Positions:

Visiting Associate Professor (by invitation), New York University, Fall 2010



Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), 2000

M.A., Philosophy, University of Michigan, 1996

B.A., Philosophy, magna cum laude, Oberlin College, 1993 


Areas of Specialization: 

Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind 


Work in Progress

Making Things Up.  Under contract with Oxford University Press. 

Why I am not a dualist.


Edited Volumes

Co-editor (with Dean Zimmerman), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volumes 6-9 thus far


Published and Forthcoming Papers

Forthcoming.  There is no special problem with metaphysics.  Philosophical Studies.

Forthcoming.  “Perfectly understood, unproblematic, and certain”:  Lewis on mereology.  For Blackwell Companion to David Lewis, edited by Barry Loewer and Jonathan Schaffer.

2013.  Having a part twice over.  Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91: 83-103.

2011.  By our bootstraps.  Philosophical Perspectives 25: 27-41.

2011.  Truthmaking and casemaking.  Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83: 187-195.

2011.  Construction area: no hard hat required.  Philosophical Studies 154: 79-104.

2011.  Koslicki on formal proper parts.  Analysis 71: 286-290.

2009.  What you don’t know can hurt you.  Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79: 766-774.

2009.  Composition, coincidence, and metaontology.  In Metametaphysics, eds. David Chalmers, David Manley, and Ryan Wasserman, Oxford University Press.

2008.  Exclusion again.  In Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, Causation, eds. J. Kallestrup and J. Hohwy, Oxford University Press. 

To be reprinted in Consciousness: Essential Readings, edited by Torin Alter and Robert J. Howell, Oxford University Press, January 2012.

2007.  Mental causation.  Philosophy Compass 2: 316-337.

2006.  Proxy ‘actualism’.  Philosophical Studies 129:2, 263-294.

2005.  Two axes of actualism.  The Philosophical Review 114:3, 297-326.

2005.  Supervenience.  (With Brian McLaughlin).  In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

2004.  Global supervenience and dependence.  Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68:3, 501-529.

2004.  Spatio-temporal coincidence and the grounding problem.  Philosophical Studies 118:3, 339-371.

2003.  Why the exclusion problem seems intractable, and how, just maybe, to tract it.  Noěs 37:3, 471-497.


Book Reviews

2005.  Review of Possible Worlds, by John Divers.  The Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83:2, 282-285. 

2004.  Review of How Things Persist, by Katherine Hawley.  Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69:1, 230-233.

2003.  Review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy, ed. James B. South.  Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (http://ndpr.nd.edu/).


Upcoming Talks:

Networking and Mentoring Workshop for Graduate Student Women in Philosophy, Princeton University, August 2014

Keynote Speaker for Creighton Club annual conference, September 2014

Midwest Annual Workshop in Metaphysics, October 2014

Various departmental colloquia: University of Toronto, University of Georgia, University of Texas at Austin, University of Houston  


Past Talks and Conference Presentations: 

Comments on Rayo’s The Construction of Logical Space, at Logical and Modal Space Workshop, NYU, April 2014

Daylong presentation about relative fundamentality at Metaphysical Mayhem, Rutgers University, May 2014

“There is no special problem with metaphysics”

Invited symposium, Pacific APA, April 2014

41st annual Oberlin Colloquium, May 2014

“Relative Fundamentality,” Tufts University, November 2013

Chapters 1-5 of Making Things Up, Varieties of Metaphysical Priority workshop, University of Mainz, November 2013

“The Nonfundamental,” Bridging Metaphysics and Philosophy of Physics conference, University of Rochester, September 2013

“Fundamentality and What is Fundamental,” Big vs. Small Conference, University of Hamburg, Germany, June 2013

Q&A session to conclude a reading group on my book ms, Oxford University, March 2013

“There is No Special Problem about the Methodology of Metaphysics,”

Notre Dame, March 2013

University of Michigan, Spring Colloquium on the Methodology of Metaphysics, March 2013

“Building Fundamentality”, Back at the Ranch Ontology Conference, January 2013

“Making Things Up”

University of Barcelona, October 2011

University of Mississippi, November 2011

“By Our Bootstraps”

CUNY Graduate Center, September 2011

University of Memphis, November 2011

University of Kentucky, March 2012

University of Wisconsin at Madison, March 2012

Comments on Amie Thomasson’s “Modal Normativism: We Can Work it Out

45th Annual Chapel Hill Colloquium, November 2011

“Naturalism and Fundamentality”

Arché Conference on naturalism in metaphysics, October 2011

“Kripke’s Paradox”

Conference at CUNY Graduate Center celebrating the publication of Kripke’s Philosophical Troubles, September 2011

“Building and Causing”

Stanford University, April 2011

University of Rochester, April 2011

University of Missouri, March 2011

USC, February 2011

MIT, February 2011

NYU, October 2010

Rutgers, October 2010

NC State, October 2010

University of Massachuetts, November 2010

 “How Philosophers Think about the Meaning of Life”

      Public lecture at the 92nd Street Y, March 2011

Reply to Robert Brandom’s “Modal Expressivism and Modal Realism”

NYU Issues in Modern Philosophy Conference, November 2011

“Construction Area: No Hard Hat Required”

Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference, August 2010

“Flavors of Fundamentality”

Invited paper at RSSS Fundamentality Conference, ANU, July 2010


Full day seminar-style presentation at the Metaphysical Mayhem, Rutgers University, May 2010

“How Philosophers Think about the Meaning of Life”

Invited public lecture at the One Day University, April 2010

“Of Motorcycles and Mereology”

Author-meets-critics session on Kathrin Koslicki’s The Structure of Objects, Pacific APA, March 2010

“The Ordinary and the Fundamental”

Invited paper at Ordinary Objects Conference, Auburn University, February 2010

“Putting Things Together”

Perspectives on Ontology Conference, University of Leeds, UK, September 2008

Keynote Address to Columbia-NYU Graduate Conference, March 2009

Indiana University, March 2009

Notre Dame University, March 2009

Brown University, September 2009

University of Konstanz, November 2009

“Construction Area: No Hard Hat Required”

Invited symposium on ontological emergence, Central APA, February 2009

Mellon Metaphysics Workshop, May 2009

“Thomasson’s Ordinary Objects

Author meets critics session, Eastern APA, December 2008

Comments on Jonathan Schaffer’s “The Internal Relatedness of All Things”
Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference, August 2008


Invited symposium, Eidos group, University of Geneva, Switzerland, July 2008

Invited symposium, Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, March 2008

“Maybe Sometime”

University of Toronto, February 2008

Jowett Society, Oxford University, October 2007

Syracuse University, November 2007

“New Thoughts on Mental Causation”

Syracuse Mental Causation Workshop, December 2007

“Eternalist Actualism”

Keynote address at the University of Texas Graduate Conference, April 2007

Comments on Michael Nelson’s “The Contingency of Existence”

Invited symposium, Pacific APA, April 2007

Comments on Thomas Hofweber’s “Ontology as a Philosopher’s Project”

Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference, March 2007

“Two Causal –isms”

NYU Causation Conference, La Pietra, Italy, June 2006

Comments on Eric Hiddleston’s “The Reductivist’s Troubles with Mental Causation”

Invited symposium, Pacific APA, March 2006

“Why I am Not a Dualist”

Mt. Holyoke College, April 2007

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, January 2007

Cornell University, December 2006

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, December 2006

University of Utah, November 2006

Metaphysics of Science Workshop, Birmingham, UK, June 2006

UC Vermont, April 2006

UC Davis, April 2006

Columbia University, March 2006

Harvard University, October 2005

University of Pennsylvania, November 2005

Brown University, December 2005

Australasian Association of Philosophy Meetings, July 2005

“Exclusion Again”

Reed College, February 2006

Comments on Cian Dorr’s “Numbers and Electrons”

Eastern APA, December 2005

“Composition, Coincidence, and Metaontology”

University of Colorado at Boulder, December 2006

Ohio State University, October 2006

Washington University in St. Louis, October 2006

Arizona Ontology Conference, Tucson, January 2006

Metametaphysics Conference, ANU, July 2005

CUNY Graduate Center, February 2005

Oberlin College, February 2005

NYU Mind and Language Seminar, April 2005

Invited symposium on metaontology, with Stephen Yablo and Eli Hirsch

Eastern APA, Dec. 2004


University of Melbourne, October 2004

“Exclusion Again”

Conference on ‘Descrying the World in Physics’, Rutgers, April 2005

Australasian Association of Philosophy Meeting, July 2004

Macquarie University Mental Causation Workshop, September 2004

Comments on Carolina Sartorio’s “On Causing Something to Happen in a Certain Way without Causing it to Happen”

Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference, August 2004

“Exclusion Again: Poison Pills and Placebos”

NAMICONA conference on Mental Causation, Aarhus University (Denmark), May 2004

“Metametaphysics” (early version)

Brown University, March 2004

Invited symposium on Michael Jubien’s “Analyzing Modality”

Pacific APA, March 2004

Comments on Dean Zimmerman’s “Presentism and a Timelessly Eternal Deity”

Keynote session, New Jersey Regional Philosophy Conference, November 2003

“Two Axes of Actualism”

MIT, October 2003

Keynote Address at Princeton-Rutgers Graduate Student Conference, April 2003

Monash University, April 2002

Response to Jessica Wilson’s “The Many in One Problem”

Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference, August 2002:

“How Not to Be an Actualist”

RSSS, Australian National University, February 2002

“Why the Exclusion Problem Seems Intractable, and How, Just Maybe, to Tract It”

New York University, April 2001

“Token Dualism and Causal Competition (or, Mental Causation Yet Again)”

Metaphysical Mayhem V, August 2000

“On Differing Modally”

Cornell University, Stanford University, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Florida at Gainesville, Pomona College, The University of Southern California, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Arizona State University, Jan-Feb 2000.

Comments on Robert Allen’s “The Necessity of Identity”

APA Central Division Meeting, May 1999

Response to Jaegwon Kim’s “What is Naturalism?”

16th Annual University of Michigan Spring Colloquium, March 1997


Courses Taught

Undergraduate:  Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Metaphysics, Intermediate Metaphysics, Freshman Writing Seminar: Philosophy Through Science Fiction, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy and Everyday Life, undergraduate seminars on causation and constitution

Graduate: seminars on fundamentality, mereology and priority, metametaphysics, objects, modality, metaphysics of mind, contemporary dualisms


Ph.D. students (on committee or chair)

At Cornell: 

Zachary Abrahams, defended October 2012

Stephen Mahaffey, defended December 2013

In progress: David Kovacs, Ian McKay, Daniel Murphy, Eric Rowe, Andrea Viggiano

At Princeton:

Paul Audi, “Beyond Causal Theories of Mind,” 2007.  Now tenured at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Colin Klein, “Idealizing the Mind,” 2006.  Now a lecturer at Macquarie (have been tenured at the University of Illinois at Chicago).

Stephan Leuenberger, “Ceteris Absentibus Physicalism,” 2006.  Now a lecturer at the University of Glasgow.


Honors and Awards:

Robert and Helen Appel Fellowship for Humanists and Social Scientists (Cornell), 2008

For excellence in both teaching and research.

John Dewey Prize, 2000

For excellence in undergraduate teaching in the Michigan Philosophy Department

Graduate Student Mentor, 1999-2000

In charge of training first-time teaching assistants in the Michigan Philosophy Dept.

Rackham Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, 1997-1998

University-wide competition

Charles Stevenson Award, 1997

Awarded annually for the best candidacy dossier submitted to the Michigan Phil. Dept.

Mellon Fellowship, 1997

Marshall Weinberg Summer Fellowship, 1996


Service to the Profession:

One of three editors of The Philosophical Review, January 2013-present

Editorial Board, Philosophical Studies, 2005-present

Participating in a workshop at Princeton to mentor female graduate students profession-wide

Nominating Committee for the Eastern Division of the APA (elected by the members after being asked to run), 2013-2015

Referee for Mind, Noěs, Mind and Language, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, The Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosopher’s Imprint, Erkenntnis, SynthŹse, The Philosophical Quarterly, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, The Monist, Oxford University Press, Routledge, Princeton University Press, Continuum Press, Acumen Press.

Advisory Committee to APA Eastern Division Program Committee (Metaphysics), 2007-2010

Program Committee, 7th Annual Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference, 2006; guest co-editor of resulting issue of Philosophical Studies


Service to Cornell:

University Appeals Panel (appointed by President David Skorton), 2013-2017

Dean’s Advisory Committee on Appointments (elected), 2011-2014

Academic Records Committee (appointed), 2013-2015

House fellow, Hans Bethe House, 2011-

Organized Boyd-Sturgeon retirement conference, September 2012

Organized Mellon Metaphysics Workshop at Cornell, 2009 and 2012

Placement director, Cornell University, 2008-2010

The usual slate of departmental committee work, including hiring and graduate admissions, etc.