Sara Bernstein Duke University
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  • Faculty, Duke University
  • PhD, University of Arizona, 2010.

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  • None specified

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  1. Sara Bernstein (forthcoming). Omission Impossible. Philosophical Studies.
    This paper gives a framework for understanding causal counterpossibles, statements in which a counterfactual imbued with causal content has an antecedent that appeals to a metaphysically impossible world. Such statements are generated by omissive causal claims that appeal to metaphysically impossible events. I give an account of impossible omissions, and argue for two claims: (i) impossible omissions are causally relevant to the actual world, and (ii) the analysis of causal counterpossibles provides further evidence for the nonvacuity of counterpossibles more generally.
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  2. Sara Bernstein (forthcoming). Two Problems for Proportionality About Omissions. Dialectica 70 (1).
    The problem of profligate omissions is as follows: suppose that the gardener promises to water your plant while you are out of town, the gardener fails to water it, and the plant dies. Intuitively, the gardener's failing to water the plant is a cause of the plant's death. But the Queen of England also failed to water the plant, and the counterfactual "Had the Queen of England not failed to water the plant, the plant would not have died" is true. (...)
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  3. Sara Bernstein (2014). A Closer Look at Trumping. Acta Analytica:1-22.
    This paper argues that so-called “trumping preemption” is in fact overdetermination or early preemption, and is thus not a distinctive form of redundant causation. I draw a novel lesson from cases thought to be trumping: that the boundary between preemption and overdetermination should be reconsidered.
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  4. Sara Bernstein (2014). Time Travel and the Movable Present. In John Keller (ed.), Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes from the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen.
  5. Sara Bernstein (2013). Omissions as Possibilities. Philosophical Studies 167 (1):1-23.
    I present and develop the view that omissions are de re possibilities of actual events. Omissions do not literally fail to occur; rather, they possibly occur. An omission is a tripartite metaphysical entity composed of an actual event, a possible event, and a contextually specified counterpart relation between them. This view resolves ontological, causal, and semantic puzzles about omissions, and also accounts for important data about moral responsibility for outcomes resulting from omissions.
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  6. Sara Bernstein (2013). Review of Sophie Gibb, E. J. Lowe, and R. D. Ingthorsson (Eds.), Mental Causation and Ontology. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 1 (1):1.
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