Karen S. Lewis
Assistant Professor • Department of Philosophy
Barnard College, Columbia University
I got my PhD from Rutgers, along with a graduate certificate in cognitive science, in 2011. I wrote my dissertation, Understanding Dynamic Discourse, under the direction of Jeffrey C. King. Before joining the Barnard-Columbia department, I was an assistant professor in the school of philosophy at USC. My research is mainly in the philosophy of language, though it often brings me into the realms of metaphysics, epistemology, cognitive science, philosophy of mind, and linguistics. Broadly constued, all my projects have something to do with the interaction of context and content. I am currently working on several projects. One stems from my dissertation work, on the differences between dynamic and static semantics, and examining whether discourse dynamics are best accounted for by semantics or pragmatics, which also leads to me to think about the nature of semantic and pragmatic explanations. I also work on counterfactual conditionals, dealing the puzzle of counterfactual skepticism, the worry that nearly all counterfactual conditionals are false. I've also recently started thinking about the metasemantics of context-sensitivity. For more about my research, and some drafts of papers, see my research page.
Recent and upcoming talks and events:
- "Heim Sequences in Static Semantics" at the 1st Belgrade Conference on Conditionals, Belgrade, Serbia, May 2015.
- "Objectivity and the metasemantics of context-sensitivity" at a workshop on Context-Relativity in Semantics, Salzburg, Austria, July 2015.
- "Counterfactual Discourse in Context" (formerly "Heim Sequences in Static Semantics")
- at the Mid-Atlantic Philosophy of Language Workshop, Morgantown, West Virgina, August 2015
- at the Dubrovnik Philosophy of Linguistics and Language Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia September 2015
- at a conference on David Lewis in Hamburg, Germany, September 2015
- "Anaphora and Negation" at the Dartmouth Language Workshop, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 2015.