Contact info:
Email me: klewis [at] barnard [dot] edu
Mail: Barnard College
Department of Philosophy
3009 Broadway
New York, New York, 10027
Office: Milbank Hall, Rm 326E


My Columbia department profile


Karen S. Lewis

Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
Barnard College, Columbia University






I am an associate professor in the Barnard-Columbia philosophy department. My research is mainly in the philosophy of language and philosophical linguistics. A common theme in my work is the interaction between context and content. I work on topics in dynamic vs. static semantics, the nature of semantic vs. pragmatic explanations, pronominal anaphora, counterfactual conditionals, gradable adjectives, and context-sensitivity. More recently, I have started to work on conversations on social media. I am also a member of an interdisciplinary team working on an updated golden record, a message to intelligent extra-terrestrials. Before coming to Barnard, I was a graduate student at Rutgers, where I wrote my dissertation, Understanding Dynamic Discourse, under the direction of Jeffrey C. King, and an assistant professor in the school of philosophy at USC. I live in Brooklyn with my husband, two daughters, and two one-eyed cats.


Pronouns, Descriptions, and Uniqueness
2022.  Linguistics and Philosophy. Volume 45, pp. 559-617
Published version

Metasemantics without semantics intentions
2022.  Inquiry. Volume 65, pp.991-1019
Published version

Anaphora and Negation
2021. Philosophical Studies. Vol. 178, pp. 1403-1440
Published version

The speaker authority problem for context-sensitivity (or: you can't always mean what you want)
2020. Erkenntnis. Vol. 85, pp.1527-1555
Published version

Counterfactual Discourse in Context
2018. Noûs. Vol. 52, Issue 3, pp. 481-507
Published version

Dynamic Semantics
2017. Oxford Handbooks Online.
Published version

Counterfactuals and Knowledge
2017.The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism. Ed. Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa. pp.411-424

2016. (with Jeffrey C. King) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2016 Edition) Ed. Edward N. Zalta.

Elusive Counterfactuals
2016. Noûs. Vol. 50 Issue 2, pp. 286-313.
Published version

Do we need dynamic semantics?
2014. Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning, Eds. Alexis Burgess and Brett Sherman, OUP, pp. 231-258

Speaker's Reference and Anaphoric Pronouns
2013. Philosophical Perspectives: Philosophy of Language. Vol. 27, Issue 1, pp. 404-437
Published version

Discourse dynamics, pragmatics, and indefinites
2012. Philosophical Studies. Vol. 158, Issue 2, pp. 313-342
Published version


Review of François Recanati, Truth-Conditional Pragmatics, Oxford University Press, 2010.
2014. Mind 123 (492), pp.1234-1238.
Published version


Fall 2022:
Introduction to Philosophy of Language
Senior Seminar: Truth, Lies, Bullshit

Spring 2023:
Introduction to Philosophy
Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Language: Ordinary Language Philosophy (Graduate seminar with Wolfgang Mann)




Updated 11/18/2022