I am a PhD student in Philosophy at the University of Geneva where I work on the philosophy of time within the SNSF-funded project The Metaphysics of Time and its Occupants, under the supervision of Fabrice Correia. I am also a member of eidos, the Genevan centre for metaphysics.

My broader research touches most things metaphysical – in particular time, modality, fundamentality, and meta-metaphysics. It spans also the philosophy of physics – in particular the metaphysics of spacetime physics and quantum mechanics – and social ontology – in particular theories of money and of speech acts, collective attitudes and emotions.

I teach or have taught logic, philosophy of language and metaphysics in Geneva and Neuchâtel.

I spent a year visiting in New York (NYU and Rutgers, 2018-19). Before starting in Geneva in 2017, I was a PhD student at the University of Neuchâtel (2015-17, within the same project). Before still, I completed a Master (2012-15, Geneva) and a Bachelor (2009-12, Geneva and Neuchâtel, with a minor in Cultural Anthropology) in Philosophy.

Benjamin Neeser hiking in Canada, June 2017.
Photo:  Bleu Baleine. Drawing: Marie van Loon.

Research

Philosophy of Time

In the philosophy of time, I mostly work on metaphysical issues surrounding persistence, tense, and temporal ontology, as well as related questions in the philosophy of spacetime physics.

My work-in-progress PhD dissertation – entitled Every Thing Changes, Everything Stands Still. Dynamics and Persistence in a Relativistic Spacetime – is about the persistence of ordinary objects over time and through change in a relativistic spacetime. I propose a novel account of the problem in a relativistic setting, and of the nature of persistence theories in general, and defend a version of the stage theory of persistence.

Social Ontology

I work on two different problems in social ontology. One is the ontology of money, where I defend that money is always a form of deontic power – a normative property of social agents – and never a concrete object. The other is the nature of incantatives, a novel class of speech acts intimately tied to collective emotions and to the constitution of some social groups (this is joint work with Constant Bonard).

Varia

I have been an active member of Cooloque, an association of young Swiss researchers in the humanities devoted to the study of concepts like coolchilllose and yolo. We organised public outreach events and we published their proceedings.


Papers

In peer-reviewed journals

  • Bonard C. & Neeser B. (2019). Les incantatifs. Actes de langage, évaluations collectives et groupes sociaux [in French]. Implications Philosophiques (special issue: Émotions et Collectifs Sociaux). Read online.
    Abstract

    While different kinds of speech acts can contribute to the construction of social reality, contemporary philosophers have focused on declarations. We defend that there is another kind of speech act that is operative in the construction and the maintenance of social facts: the incantatives. The main function of incantatives is to express and generate collective emotions(and other evaluative attitudes) about shared values (or other normative objects), and to thus contribute to the existence of social groups such as communities.

In student journals

  • van Loon M., Sarzano M., Bonard C. & Neeser B (2016). Les vices épistémiques de Sam: un homme de ressentiment, suffisent, bête et complaisant [in French]. iPhilo 9 (special issue in honour of Kevin Mulligan): 6–20. Read online.
  • Bonard C. & Neeser B. (2011). Ebauche d’une théorie du cool [in French]. iPhilo 4: 18–24. Read online.

Self-published

  • Bonard C. & Neeser B. (2016). Perdre sa vie à la gagner: entre ur-loøse et schm-wïn. Une analyse conceptuelle, normative et généralogie de l’apparence et de la nature des perdants [in French]. In Collective (Ed.), Loøseloque: Perdants et autres boloss, rejetés, Actes du Colloque du 8 Octobre 2016 (pp. 5–13). Lausanne: Kissling. Read online.
  • Bonard C. & Neeser B. (2014). L’art de ne rien faire: les normes du chill [in French]. In Collective (Ed.), De la Skholè au Chill: repenser le temps libre, Actes du Colloque 3-4 Octobre 2013 (pp. 6–18). Lausanne: Fisher & Piguet. Read online.
  • Bonard C. & Neeser B. (2012). C’est quoi un hipster? Essai d’ontologie sociale [in French]. In Collective (Ed.), C’est cool un livre? Coolloque: Instances et propriétés d’être cool. Actes des interventions (pp. 82–112). Lausanne: Fisher & Piguet. Read online.

Contact

Postal address

Université de Genève
Département de philosophie
5, Rue de Candolle
1211 Genève-4

Office

Bâtiment Landolt
2, Rue de Candolle, 1205 Genève
4th floor, Office L 402
Office hours by appointment.