Sam Cowling
CV | cowlings[at]denison[dot]edu

I'm a professor in the Department of Philosophy at Denison University. I work mainly in metaphysics and the philosophy of comics with a focus on ontology (what exists), modality (how things could have been), fiction (stories we make up), and cartooning (how comics convey information). I also teach logic and the philosophy of science.

I was born and raised on Vancouver Island, home of the Nanaimo Bar.


Philosophy of Comics with Wesley D. Cray (2022)

Abstract Entities (2017)


Omnipresence and Mathematical Reality (forthcoming) Oxford Handbook of Omnipresence

Hume's Razor (forthcoming) Philosophical Methodology after Carnap

Portraits as Parts of Comics (forthcoming) Essays on the Comics of Alex Ross

Speech Balloons (2024) Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics

Self-Defense for Superheroes in The Hawk and the Dove (2024) BOOM! Splat! Comics and Violence

Are Properties Abstract Entities? (2024) Routledge Handbook of Properties

Naturalism and Non-Qualitative Properties (2021) Common Sense Metaphysics

Recombining Non-Qualitative Reality (2021) Synthese

Rethinking Racial Ontology through McDuffie's Deathlok (2020) Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society

Ideology and Ontology (2020) Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics

Prioritizing Platonism (w/ Kelly Trogdon) (2019) Philosophical Studies

Universals (2019) Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Conceivability Arguments for Haecceitism (2017) Synthese

Intrinsic Properties of Properties (2017) Philosophical Quarterly

How to be Omnipresent (w/ Wesley D. Cray) (2017) American Philosophical Quarterly

Resemblance (2017) Philosophy Compass

Haecceitism (2015) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Advice for Eleatics (2015) Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods

Non-Qualitative Properties (2015) Erkenntnis

No Simples, No Gunk, No Nothing (2014) Pacific Philosophical Quarterly

The Way of Actuality (2014) Australasian Journal of Philosophy

Instantiation as Location (2014) Philosophical Studies

The Modal View of Essence (2013) Canadian Journal of Philosophy

Ideological Parsimony (2013) Synthese

Haecceitism for Modal Realists (2012) Erkenntnis

The Limits of Modality (2011) Philosophical Quarterly

Kantian Humility and Ontological Categories (2010) Analysis

Selected Reviews

Essence and Existence by Bob Hale, NDPR

Ontology without Borders by Jody Azzouni, Mind

Superhero Thought Experiments: Comic Book Philosophy by Gavaler & Goldberg, Teaching Philosophy

Ontology & the Ambitions of Metaphysics by Thomas Hofweber, Philosophical Quarterly

God and Necessity by Brian Leftow, Australasian Journal of Philosophy