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Karen Bennett [29]Karen A. Bennett [1]
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Profile: Karen Bennett (Cornell University)
  1. Karen Bennett, “Perfectly Understood, Unproblematic, and Certain”: Lewis on Mereology.
    David Lewis famously takes mereology “to be perfectly understood, unproblematic, and certain” (1991, 75). It is central to his thought, appearing in his discussions of set theory, modality, vagueness, structural universals, and elsewhere. He held views not only about how composition works and when it occurs, but also about the role of mereology in philosophy. In this essay, I will proceed by articulating four theses that Lewis holds about composition. (I would call them the four U’s, if only ‘unguilty’ were (...)
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  2. Karen Bennett, Why I Am Not a Dualist.
    Dualists think that not all the facts are physical facts. They think that there are facts about phenomenal consciousness that cannot be explained in purely physical terms—facts about what it’s like to see red, what it’s like to feel sandpaper, what it’s like to run 10 miles when it’s 15° F out, and so on. These phenomenal facts are genuine ‘extras’, not fixed by the physical facts and the physical laws. To use the standard metaphor: even after God settled the (...)
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  3. Karen Bennett (2013). Having a Part Twice Over. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):83 - 103.
    I argue that it is intuitive and useful to think about composition in the light of the familiar functionalist distinction between role and occupant. This involves factoring the standard notion of parthood into two related notions: being a parthood slot and occupying a parthood slot. One thing is part of another just in case it fills one of that thing's parthood slots. This move opens room to rethink mereology in various ways, and, in particular, to see the mereological structure of (...)
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  4. Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.) (2013). Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Vol. 8. Oxford University Press.
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics is the forum for the best new work in this flourishing field. Much of the most interesting work in philosophy today is metaphysical in character: this series is a much-needed focus for it.
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  5. Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.) (2012). Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 7. OUP Oxford.
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics is the forum for the best new work in this flourishing field. Much of the most interesting work in philosophy today is metaphysical in character: this series is a much-needed focus for it.
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  6. Karen Bennett (2011). By Our Bootstraps. Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):27-41.
    Recently much has been made of the grounding relation, and of the idea that it is intimately tied to fundamentality. If A grounds B, then A is more fundamental than B (though not vice versa ), and A is ungrounded if and only if it is fundamental full stop—absolutely fundamental. But here is a puzzle: is grounding itself absolutely fundamental?
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  7. Karen Bennett (2011). Koslicki on Formal Proper Parts. Analysis 71 (2):286-290.
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  8. Karen Bennett (2011). Construction Area (No Hard Hat Required). Philosophical Studies 154 (1):79-104.
    A variety of relations widely invoked by philosophers—composition, constitution, realization, micro-basing, emergence, and many others—are species of what I call ‘building relations’. I argue that they are conceptually intertwined, articulate what it takes for a relation to count as a building relation, and argue that—contra appearances—it is an open possibility that these relations are all determinates of a common determinable, or even that there is really only one building relation.
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  9. Karen Bennett (2011). Truthmaking and Case-Making. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):187-195.
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  10. Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.) (2011). Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysicsis the forum for the best new work in this flourishing field.OSMoffers a broad view of the subject, featuring not only the ...
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  11. Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.) (2011). Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 6. OUP Oxford.
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics is the forum for the best new work in this flourishing field. OSM offers a broad view of the subject, featuring not only the traditionally central topics such as existence, identity, modality, time, and causation, but also the rich clusters of metaphysical questions in neighbouring fields, such as philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. Besides independent essays, volumes will often contain a critical essay on a recent book, or a symposium that allows participants to respond (...)
     
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  12. Karen Bennett, Stephen Biggs, Ross Cameron, David Chalmers & Ranpal Dosanjh (2010). What is Hume's Dictum, and Why Believe It? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3).
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  13. Karen Bennett (2009). And Metaontology1. In D. Chalmers, D. Manley & R. Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. 38.
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  14. Karen Bennett (2009). Composition, Colocation, and Metaontology. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
    The paper is an extended discussion of what I call the ‘dismissive attitude’ towards metaphysical questions. It has three parts. In the first part, I distinguish three quite different versions of dismissivism. I also argue that there is little reason to think that any of these positions is correct about the discipline of metaphysics as a whole; it is entirely possible that some metaphysical disputes should be dismissed and others should not be. Doing metametaphysics properly requires doing metaphysics first. I (...)
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  15. Karen Bennett (2009). What You Don't Know Can Hurt You. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):766-774.
    This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom... —Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.
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  16. Lawrence J. Niles, Jonathan Bart, Humphrey P. Sitters, Amanda D. Dey, Kathleen E. Clark, Phillip W. Atkinson, Allan J. Baker, Karen A. Bennett, Kevin S. Kalasz & Nigel A. Clark (2009). Effects of Horseshoe Crab Harvest in Delaware Bay on Red Knots: Are Harvest Restrictions Working? BioScience 59 (2):153-164.
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  17. Karen Bennett (2008). Exclusion Again. In Jakob Hohwy & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation. Oxford University Press.
    I think that there is an awful lot wrong with the exclusion problem. So, it seems, does just about everybody else. But of course everyone disagrees about exactly _what_ is wrong with it, and I think there is more to be said about that. So I propose to say a few more words about why the exclusion problem is not really a problem after all—at least, not for the nonreductive physicalist. The genuine _dualist_ is still in trouble. Indeed, one of (...)
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  18. Karen Bennett (2007). Mental Causation. Philosophy Compass 2 (2):316–337.
    Concerns about ‘mental causation’ are concerns about how it is possible for mental states to cause anything to happen. How does what we believe, want, see, feel, hope, or dread manage to cause us to act? Certain positions on the mind-body problem—including some forms of physicalism—make such causation look highly problematic. This entry sketches several of the main reasons to worry, and raises some questions for further investigation.
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  19. Karen Bennett (2006). Proxy “Actualism”. Philosophical Studies 129 (2):263 - 294.
    Bernard Linsky and Edward Zalta have recently proposed a new form of actualism. I characterize the general form of their view and the motivations behind it. I argue that it is not quite new – it bears interesting similarities to Alvin Plantinga’s view – and that it definitely isn’t actualist.
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  20. Karen Bennett, Zombies Everywhere!
    Case 1: Perhaps the phenomenal facts—facts about what it’s like to see red, or to taste freshly made pesto—do not supervene with metaphysical necessity on the physical facts and physical laws. This might be because the connections between the physical and the phenomenal are entirely unprincipled. Alternatively, it might be because whatever psychophysical laws do govern those connections are contingent. Either way, the claim is that there are metaphysically possible worlds that are just like the actual world in terms of (...)
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  21. Karen Bennett (2005). Book Review. Possible Worlds. John Divers. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):282-85.
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  22. Karen Bennett (2005). Two Axes of Actualism. Philosophical Review 114 (3):297-326.
    Actualists routinely characterize their view by means of the slogan, “Everything is actual.” They say that there aren’t any things that exist but do not actually exist—there aren’t any “mere possibilia.” If there are any things that deserve the label ‘possible world’, they are just actually existing entities of some kind—maximally consistent sets of sentences, or maximal uninstantiated properties, or maximal possible states of affairs, or something along those lines. Possibilists, in contrast, do think that there are mere possibilia, that (...)
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  23. Karen Bennett & Brian McLaughlin, Supervenience. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  24. Karen Bennett (2004). Global Supervenience and Dependence. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):501-529.
    Two versions of global supervenience have recently been distinguished from each other. I introduce a third version, which is more likely what people had in mind all along. However, I argue that one of the three versions is equivalent to strong supervenience in every sense that matters, and that neither of the other two versions counts as a genuine determination relation. I conclude that global supervenience has little metaphysically distinctive value.
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  25. Karen Bennett (2004). Book Review. How Things Persist. Katherine Hawley. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (1):230-33.
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  26. Karen Bennett (2004). How Things Persist. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (1):230-233.
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  27. Karen Bennett (2004). Spatio-Temporal Coincidence and the Grounding Problem. Philosophical Studies 118 (3):339-371.
    A lot of people believe that distinct objectscan occupy precisely the same place for theentire time during which they exist. Suchpeople have to provide an answer to the`grounding problem' – they have to explain howsuch things, alike in so many ways, nonethelessmanage to fall under different sortals, or havedifferent modal properties. I argue in detailthat they cannot say that there is anything invirtue of which spatio-temporally coincidentthings have those properties. However, I alsoargue that this may not be as bad as (...)
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  28. Karen Bennett (2003). Book Review. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale. James B. South (Ed.). [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2003 (10).
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  29. Karen Bennett (2003). Why the Exclusion Problem Seems Intractable and How, Just Maybe, to Tract It. Noûs 37 (3):471-97.
    The basic form of the exclusion problem is by now very, very familiar. 2 Start with the claim that the physical realm is causally complete: every physical thing that happens has a sufficient physical cause. Add in the claim that the mental and the physical are distinct. Toss in some claims about overdetermination, give it a stir, and voilá—suddenly it looks as though the mental never causes anything, at least nothing physical. As it is often put, the physical does all (...)
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