About

I’m pursuing a PhD in philosophy at Syracuse University. I got my BA in philosophy and theatre studies from the University of Ottawa and my MA in philosophy from Queen’s University. My research is primarily in metaphysics. I’m also interested in ancient philosophy and environmental ethics.

I am most drawn to questions about existence. What could it mean to say that “there is a light that never goes out”, or “there are no unicorns”? Do all existential statements mean the same thing? Can things exist in virtue of other things? Can discerning what exists tell us anything about existence? The view I find most promising is simple: for material things, existence is best understood as a kind of relation. This is neither mysterious nor contrived. To exist is to be well-integrated into the fabric of the world, to be around, relating to other things, to be available for comment, to grab a coffee, or willing to help move a couch.

I’m passionate about teaching philosophy. I also like hiking, skiing, world history, and having my heart broken by my favourite hockey team.

Contact

jaswider[at]syr[dot]edu

jan[dot]a[dot]swiderski[at]gmail[dot]com

541 Hall of Languages, Syracuse University, Syracuse NY, 13244