Name: Dr. Cathleen Muller
Title: Teaching Associate
Office Location: Fontaine 212
Extension: (845) 575-5095
Email: cathleen.muller@marist.edu
Degrees Held:

Ph.D. in Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2012
M.A. in Philosophy, Tufts University, 2004
B.A. in English Literature, Swarthmore College, 2000

Bio:

I grew up in a small town in upstate NY, went to college for English Literature and then switched gears and went to Tufts, followed by Ohio State, to pursue advanced degrees in philosophy.  My dissertation was on the metaphysics of fictional characters, and I continue to pursue this as my primary area of research, drawing on not only contemporary work on this topic but also on my experience as a puppeteer and my love of literature.  I currently live in a small town in the Hudson Valley with my husband and our two cats.  In my spare time, I enjoy riding my bike, doing crosswords, and reading novels.  I also play accordion, perform occasional puppet shows, and walk on stilts in nearby parades and festivals.

Interests:

Areas of Specialization: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language

Areas of Interest: Aesthetics, Feminist Philosophy, Philosophy for Children

Awards & Honors:

Graduate Student Essay Prize for "Reply to Everett's "Against Fictional Realism,"" American Society for Aesthetics, Pacific Division, 2009.

Publications:

"Exercises in Empathy: Commentary on Barnbaum," forthcoming July 2014.

Research Interests:

My research concerns the ongoing debate over realism and anti-realism about fictional objects, drawing on work in contemporary metaphysics as well as philosophy of language.  I take explicit indeterminacy regarding fictional objects to be a central issue and argue that pretense theory has the best resources to capture our practices regarding such indeterminacy.  I'm also interested in the ways that we relate to and are affected by fictions, and the ways that fictions interface with reality. 

Conferences & Workshops:

"The Relation of Puppet to Character in the Work of Bread and Puppet Theater," Fifty Years Bread & Puppet: Cheap Art and Political Theater, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, September 2013.

Chair, "Getting Grounded" (Alex Skiles) and "The Case of P and P&P" (Joseph Stenberg), American Philosophical Association, Central Division, New Orleans, LA, February 2013.

Comments on Ira Newman, "Blue Tigers and Black Holes: Imagining Logical Impossibility in Borges' Fictional World," American Society for Aesthetics, Eastern Division, Philadelphia, PA, April 2012.

Comments on Esa Diaz-Leon, "What is Social Construction?," Society for Analytic Feminism Group Session, American Philosophical Association, Central Division, Minneapolis, MN, March 2011.

"A Feminist Argument against Free Choice," Women and Society Conference, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY, October 2009.

Comments on Sarah McCulley, "Davidson's Semantical Primitives and Why They Cannot Work," Kent State University Graduate Conference, Kent, OH, May 2009.

"Reply to Everett's "Against Fictional Realism,"" American Society for Aesthetics, Pacific Division, Pacific Grove, CA, April 2009.

"Reply to Everett's "Against Fictional Realism,"" UMass Metaphysics Conference, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, January 2009.

Affiliations:
  • American Society for Aesthetics
  • Society for Analytical Feminism
  • American Philosophical Association
  • American Association of Philosophy Teachers
Presentations:

"Harry Potter and the Rescue from Realism: A Novel Defense of Anti-Realism about Fictional Characters," Faculty Research Forum, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY, April 2012.

Miscellaneous:

Panel member, Ethics and Videogames Panel Discussion, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY, November 2012.

Panel member, Muggle Studies: Harry Potter and Your Major Panel Discussion, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY, April 2012.

Panel member, Women in Philosophy Panel Discussion, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY, February 2011.