last updated January 29, 2018

Curriculum Vitae – Mark Steen

  • email: marksteen{at-symbol}gmail{dot}com
  • Work address: Boğaziçi University | Department of Philosophy | Bebek, Istanbul | 34342 Turkey
  • (+90.212) 359.6558


  • Syracuse University, Ph.D. in Philosophy, December 2005
  • San Francisco State University, B.A. in Philosophy, 1997
  • San Francisco State University, B.A. in History, 1993
Area of Specialization: Metaphysics
Areas of Competence: Ancient Philosophy, Ethics, Early Modern Philosophy, Epistemology, Medieval Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Political Philosophy
Employment/Teaching Experience
  • Spring 2012 and on: Assistant Professor (Yardımcı Doçent) at Boğaziçi University
  • Spring 2009 – Fall 2011: Instructor at St. Louis University (Philosophy), and occasionally at Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis Community College, St. Louis University’s School of Professional Studies, and St. Louis University’s Political Science Department
  • Fall 2007 – Spring 2009: Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, St. Louis University
  • Fall 2005 – Spring 2007: Assistant Professor, Bilkent University (Ankara, Turkey)
  • Fall 2000 – Summer 2004: Teaching Associate (full responsibility for course), Syracuse University
  • Fall 1999 – Spring 2000: Teaching Assistant, Syracuse University
Detailed Version:
Assistant Professor: Boğaziçi University
2016 Spring
  • Phil 481: The Metaphysics of Fictional Characters
  • Phil 214: Medieval Philosophy
2015 Fall
  • Seminar: Ethics Without Exceptionless Rules: Virtue Ethics, Intuitionism, and Moral Particularism
  • Phil 341: Ethics
2015 Spring
2014 Spring
2013 Fall
2013 Spring
2012 Fall
  • PHI 313 Early Modern Philosophy
  • Seminar: The Metaphysics of Events
2012 Spring
  • PHI 382 Ontology
  • PHI 400 (Current Issues in Philosophy): Matter and Object

Instructor: St. Louis University (SLU), SLU School of Professional Studies (SPS)

2011 Fall
  • Introduction to Ethics (2 sections, SLU)
  • Introduction to Political Theory (1 section, Political Science course, SLU)
  • Introduction to Philosophy (SPS)

Instructor: St. Louis University (SLU), SLU School of Professional Studies (SPS), and St. Louis Community College (STLCC)

2011 Spring

  • Introduction to Philosophy (STLCC, 2 sections)
  • Ethics (SPS, online)
  • Human Nature (SLU)

2010 Fall

  • Introduction to Ethics (SLU, 2 sections)
  • Introduction to Ethics (SPS, 2 sections, one online)
Instructor: St. Louis University (SLU) and Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
2010 Spring
  • Great Philosophers (WU)
  • Introduction to Ethics (SLU) (2 sections)

2009 Fall

  • Great Philosophers (WU)
  • Present Moral Problems (WU)
  • Historical Introduction to Philosophy (SLU)
Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow: St. Louis University
2009 Spring
  • Introduction to Ethics (3 sections)

2008 Fall

  • Introduction to Ethics (3 sections)

2008 Spring

  • Introduction to Ethics (3 sections)

2007 Fall

  • Historical Introduction to Philosophy (emphasis on Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, and Descartes) (3 sections)

Assistant Professor: Bilkent University (Ankara, Turkey)

2007 Spring
  • Social and Political Philosophy II: Hobbes to Mill (2 sections)
  • Philosophy of Math

2006 Fall

  • Metaphysics (3rd-year undergraduate course)
  • Social and Political Philosophy I: Plato to Machiavelli (2 sections)

2006 Spring

  • Introduction to Philosophy II: Ethics
  • Social and Political Philosophy II: Hobbes to Mill (2 sections)

2005 Fall

  • Metaphysics
  • Social and Political Philosophy I: Plato to Machiavelli (2 sections)
Instructor: Onondaga Community College
2005 Spring
  • Ethics
Teaching Associate or Instructor (full responsibility for course): Syracuse University
2004 Summer
  • Introduction to Ethics and Value Theory

2004 Spring

  • Introduction to Ethics and Value Theory

Fall 2000-2003

  • Theories of Knowledge and Reality (seven semesters, 1-3 sections per semester)
Teaching Assistant: Syracuse University
1999 – Spring 2000
  • Introduction to Ethics and Value Theory (three semesters)


Presentations and Commentary (* = refereed)

  • Presentation at University of Manitoba, title tba, February 9, 2017.
  • Commentary on Amy Kind’s “What Imagination Teaches” at the Pacific APA ‘pre-conference’ on Transformative Experience, April 11, 2017
  • Commentary on Sean McAleer’s “What Kind of Fool Am I? Foolishness, Character, and the Unity of Virtue,” at the Fourth Annual William Alston Lecture, Syracuse University, October 22, 2016.
  • Presentation, “God’s Consciousness of Our Consciousness: Why Theists Should Be Physicalists About the Human Person,” Istanbul Technical University, December 8, 2015.
  • Presentation, “Why Theists and Christians Should Not Believe in Qualia,” Grand Valley State University, Kaufmann Interfaith Institute Workshop on Islam and Science: Grand Dialogue Conference on Science. Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 10, 2015.
  • Commentary: on Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins’ “What Is Love? An Incomplete Map of the Metaphysics,”  Duke Metaphysics Workshop (together with Irem Kurtsal). Tucson, Arizona, January 29, 2015.
  • Presentation: “Fiction, the Special Composition Question, and Video Games,” Metaphysicstanbul14, Bogazici University, August 4, 2014.
  • Commentary: on Dan Zahavi’s chapter 2 (“Consciousness, Self-Consciousness and Selfhood”) of his forthcoming book, Self and Other: Exploring Subjectivity, Empathy, and Shame, June 16, 2014. (at this book symposium I organized).
  • Commentary on Preston Greene and Meghan Sullivan’s “Against Time Bias,” Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference, “Metaphysics on the Mountain,” Sun Valley, Idaho, March 20, 2014.
  • Presentation: “Vague Stuff,” Eidos Centre in Metaphysics of the University of Geneva, Geneva, June 7, 2013 (Workshop on Mixtures and Stuff).
  • *Presentation: “Temporally Restricted Mereology,” Joint Indiana/Illinois Philosophical Associations Meeting, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, November 6, 2010.
  • *Presentation: “Jesus and Mary: Why Christians Should Not Believe in Qualia,” Central States Philosophical Association, Detroit, September 25, 2010.
  • Presentation: “Jesus and Mary: Why Christians Should Not Believe in Qualia,” Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, April 23, 2010.
  • Presentation: “Why a Table is a Tabling, and a Tree a Treeing,” St. Louis University, St. Louis, 1/16/09.
  • Presentation: “Why a Table is a Tabling, and a Tree a Treeing,” University of Missouri, St. Louis, 3/7/08.
  • Presentation: “More Problems for MaxCon: Contingent Particularity and ‘Stoincidence’,” Istanbul Technical University, 5/11/07.
  • Presentation: “More Problems for MaxCon: Contingent Particularity and ‘Stoincidence’,” Bogazici University, 5/10/07.
  • Presentation: “Sherlock Holmes, Mickey Mouse, and Slithey Toves; Problems for Truth in Fiction,” presented at the 2nd annual Bilkent ‘Philosophy Day’ 11/17/06.
  • Presentation: “Critiquing Noneism and Oneism, or, How to Get Something for Nothing, or Everything for the Price of One,” Bogazici University conference, Things and Thoughts, 10/20/06.
  • Presentation: “Ontological Nihilisms and Their Problems,” Bilkent University colloquium, 9/29/06 (same content as the above, different title).
  • Presentation: “How to be a Stuff Theorist; or, How to Have Your Cake Without Eating a Thing,” Syracuse University, for the Graduate Speaker Series, 10/10/03.
  • Commentary on “The Clay and the Copper: A Critique of Burke’s Metaphysics of One Object to a Place”, Catherine Schmutz (University of Virginia), Syracuse University Graduate Conference, 3/2/2002.

Works in Progress

  • Temporally Restricted Mereology” In this brief paper I develop and defend a novel answer to Peter Van Inwagen’s Special Composition Question (SCQ), namely, under what conditions do some things compose an object? My answer is that things will compose an object when and only when they exist simultaneously, relative to a reference frame (I call this ‘Temporally Restricted Mereology, or TREM). I then show how this view wards off objections frequently given by the Unrestricted Mereologists to any restriction on composition. TREM does not succumb to arguments from vagueness, anthropocentricism, or arbitrariness. TREM also has advantages over rival restrictions on composition, such as Nihilism, Organicism, and Intuitivism. Lastly, TREM has significant advantages over Unrestricted Mereology in not admitting a bevy of cross-time fusions, and helps support Three Dimensionalism.
  • Bare Objects, Ordinary Objects and Mereological Essentialism” I develop and defend a multiple category account of ordinary objects. I show how this account solves all the major puzzles of material constitution and hence is supported by inference to the best explanation. The ontology has two main types of entities—masses of matter and processes. Processes, on this (non-Whiteheadian) account, are three-dimensionalistic, and are the activities of masses of matter (i.e., mereological sums). A cat, for instance, is shown to be a ‘catting’ process that migrates through distinct portions of matter, much like how a wave passes through distinct portions of water. I show how the account solves the paradox of coincidence, fission cases (e.g. the Ship of Theseus) and fusion cases (e.g. Tib/Tibbles). I also deal with some objections to the view.
  • “Jesus and Mary: Why Christians Should Not Believe in Qualia” From a Christian perspective Jesus’ praiseworthiness for becoming incarnate and suffering should not be understood only in terms of what he has temporarily given up (e.g. omniscience, perhaps sempiternality, etc.), but also in terms of what he has gained by becoming human. The most salient thing he has gained through incarnation is knowledge of what it is like to be an embodied conscious human. But, here’s the rub. Pre-incarnation, dogma holds that the Son is omniscient. If ‘knowing what it is like’ is a species of knowledge which goes beyond physical facts, then, pre-Incarnation, Jesus knew exactly what living his Incarnated life would be like. If this is so, then experientially Jesus could gain nothing by being incarnated. A nice way to maintain both Jesus’ pre-incarnation omniscience and his phenomenal epistemic gain from incarnation is to hold the ability hypothesis, namely, that ‘knowing what it is like’ is not propositional knowledge, but merely the possession of a set of skills. On the ability hypothesis we can plausibly maintain that the Son knew everything before being incarnated, but did not know what it would be like to be incarnated. I then ward off objections by arguing that omnipotence does not entail possession of all abilities, and that it is logically impossible for the Son to have these abilities pre-incarnation. Lastly, I explain why the ability hypothesis is better suited to solving this puzzle than other qualia-phobic positions.

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Stuff, Process, and Object:An Examination of Substance and its Alternatives. Committee: Andre Gallois (Director), Mark Heller, Kris McDaniel, Thomas McKay, Dean Zimmerman.
  • Dissertation abstract available here.
  • Syracuse University Outstanding Dissertation Award, ($500), April 2006
  • Syracuse University Graduate Scholarships (2), 2001-2003
  • Syracuse University Summer Research Fellowship, 2001
  • Syracuse University Graduate Scholarships (2), 1999-2001
  • Syracuse University Graduate Scholarship, Spring 1999.


  • Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Erkenntnis, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly


  • Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Oxford University Press


  • Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Oxford University Press, Theoria


  • Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Synthese


  • Australasian Journal of Philosophy
  • Erkenntnis, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language
  • Australasian Journal of Philosophy, European Journal of Analytic Philosophy
  • Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Erkenntnis, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Synthese
Administrative Service
  • Member, Library Committee (collection improvement), Bilkent University, 2006-2007
  • Member, Senior Thesis Committee, Bilkent University, 2006

Master’s Thesis and Dissertation Committee Work

  • As Committee Member
    • Haakı Kaan Arıkan, Master’s Thesis, “A Defense of Moderate Cognitive Phenomenology,” August 2014
    • Cem Şişkolar, Dissertation, “Rigidity and Common Nouns,” May 2014

Miscellaneous Service and Outreach

  • “Philosophy of Fiction and Video Games,” Feb 3, 2016, talk at GIST 2016 (Gaming Istanbul 2016), a video games conference.
  • Three part seminar on Dignity, part I. – Persons vs. Things,  March 7, 2014, Union Church of Istanbul (together with Irem Kurtsal).
  • Three part seminar on Dignity, part II. – Dignity and the Good Life, March 14, 2014, Union Church of Istanbul (together with Irem Kurtsal).
  • Three part seminar on Dignity, part III. – Dignity and Free Will, March 28, 2014, Union Church of Istanbul (together with Irem Kurtsal).
Graduate Seminars Taken: List available here.
  • André Gallois: Professor of Philosophy, Syracuse University,(315) 443-5825 email: agallois AT syr DOT edu
  • Tom McKay: Professor of Philosophy, Syracuse University(315) 443-2536, email: tjmkcay AT syr DOT edu
  • Robert Van Gulick: Professor of Philosophy and Director of CognitiveScience Program, Syracuse University (315) 443-5828, email: rnvangul AT syr DOT edu
  • Peter van Inwagen: John Cardinal O’Hara Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, (574) 631-5910, email: vaninwagen.1 AT nd DOT edu
  • Fr. Theodore Vitali, C.P.: Chair, Dept. of Philosophy, St. Louis University(314) 977-3149, email: sluphilo AT slu DOT edu
  • William Wringe: Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Bilkent University 00-90-312-290-3139, email: wringe AT bilkent DOT edu DOT tr
  • Dean Zimmerman, Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University(732) 932-9861 x156, email: dwzimmer AT rci DOT rutgers DOT edu