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 (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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  3. Sara Bernstein (2014). Two Problems for Proportionality About Omissions. Dialectica 68 (3):429-441.
    Theories of causation grounded in counterfactual dependence face the problem of profligate omissions: numerous irrelevant omissions count as causes of an outcome. A recent purported solution to this problem is proportionality, which selects one omission among many candidates as the cause of an outcome. This paper argues that proportionality cannot solve the problem of profligate omissions for two reasons. First: the determinate/determinable relationship that holds between properties like aqua and blue does not hold between negative properties like not aqua and (...)
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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 (2014). What Causally Insensitive Events Tell Us About Overdetermination. Philosophia 1:1-18.
    Suppose that Billy and Suzy each throw a rock at window, and either rock is sufficient to shatter the window. While some consider this a paradigmatic case of causal overdetermination, in which multiple cases are sufficient for an outcome, others consider it a case of joint causation, in which multiple causes are necessary to bring about an effect. Some hold that every case of overdetermination is a case of joint causation underdescribed: at a maximal level of description, every cause is (...)
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  6. 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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  7. 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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