Karen Detlefsen

[image of Prof. Detlefsen]
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Education
Contact Information
Office Address: 
466 Cohen Hall
Phone: 
(215) 898-5560
Email Address: 
detlefse@phil.upenn.edu
Office Hours: 
On leave 2011-12
Research and Teaching Interests: 

Early Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Education, Women in Philosophy

Selected Publications: 

“Explanation and Demonstration in the Wolff-Haller Debate Surrounding Generation.” In The Problem of Generation in Early Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Kant, edited by Justin Smith. Series: Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology (2006).

“Atomism, Monism, and Causation in Margaret Cavendish's Natural Philosophy.” Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy. Vol. 3, 2005.

“Supernaturalism, Occasionalism, and Preformation in Malebranche.” Perspectives on Science, 11 (4), Winter 2003, pp. 443-483.

“Diversity and the Individual in Dewey's Philosophy of Democratic Education.'' Educational Theory, 48 (3), Summer 1998, pp. 309-329

Work in Progress: 

I am currently working on a project on the relation between the life sciences and metaphysics in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Specifically, I am tracing the evolution of the concepts of mechanism, teleology, individuation, and laws in the metaphysics of Descartes, Malebranche, Leibniz, Albrecht von Haller, and Caspar Friedrich Wolff as each tries to explain the generation of new organisms. I am also working on a number of papers on early modern women philosophers, including Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, Mary Astell, and Émilie Du Châtelet.