Prof. William Cornwell

Dean / Professor, College of Education

Area of Research interest

  1. Epistemology (theory of knowledge)
  2. Philosophy of mind
  3. Ethics and applied ethics (including just war theory and business ethics)
  4. Social and political philosophy
  5. History of philosophy
  6. Philosophy of language
  7. Philosophy of technology

Projects & Grants



Journal Articles

  1. Cornwell, W. “Human Nature Unbound: Why Becoming Cyborgs and Taking Drugs Could Make Us More Human.” In Values & Technology, Religion & Public Life vol. 37, ed. Gabriel Ricci (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2011): 65-92.
  2. Cornwell, W. “Wisdom and Knowledge.” ASpect (March 2008): 8.
  3. Cornwell, W. “Online Courses and Text Considerations.” ASpect (May 2007): 14.
  4. Cornwell, W. “The Burden of Autonomy: Non-combatant Immunity and Humanitarian Intervention.” Ethical Perspectives3 (September 2005): 341-355.
  5. Cornwell, W. “Where Ethics and Epistemology Meet: Michael R. DePaul’s Balance and Refinement.” Journal of Value Inquiry3 (September 1997): 399-406.

Conference Proceedings

  1. Cornwell W. “Virtue Ethics, Technology, and Sustainability.” In: Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility—Volume 2. Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation, Al-Masri A., Al-Assaf Y. IEREK Interdisciplinary Series for Sustainable Development. (Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2020): 399-404.
  2. Cornwell, W. “Epistemological Holism and Semantic Holism.” In Perspectives on Coherentism: Proceedings of the Symposium ‘Coherentism in Contemporary Epistemology,’ Held at the Dominican College of Philosophy and Theology in Ottawa on September 27-28, 2001, ed. Yves Bouchard (Aylmer: Éditions du Scribe, 2002): 17-33.
  3. Cornwell, W. “Is Perception Inferential?” In Experience and Analysis: Papers of the 27th International Wittgenstein Symposium: August 8-14, 2004: Kirchberg am Wechsel, Vol. XII, ed. Johann Christian Marek and Maria Elisabeth Reicher (Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria: Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, 2004): 80-82.
  4. Cornwell, W. “Making Sense of the Other: Husserl, Carnap, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein.” In The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy.

Special Projects

  1. Blog editor for the World Complexity Science Academy Journal,, 2020.
  2. Organizer and Director for the 38th Conference on Value Inquiry in Salem, Mass., 04/18/2012-04/20/2012. The theme of the conference was “Free Will, Responsibility, and Science.” The program included the world-renowned philosophers Daniel Dennett and Robert Audi.
  3. Referee in philosophy for journals, publishers, and conferences.

Select Philosophical Presentations

  1. “Retooling Ancient Virtues for Fulfillment in an Age of Information and Communication Technologies,” American Society for Value Inquiry Meeting at the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Meeting (New York, NY). Forthcoming in 01/2019.
  2. "Opposing the Kinder Morgan Pipeline: The Moral Significance of Environmental Protection Awareness, Involved Citizenry, and Eminent Domain,” panelist, Salem State U. (Salem, MA). 04/2015.
  3. “Puzzles in the Philosophy of Time,” Salem Explorers Lifelong Learning Institute, Salem, MA. 03/2015
  4. “Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words?” Conference of Philosophical Societies Meeting at the American Philosophical Association Central Division Meeting. Chicago, IL. 02/2014.
  5. “What is Science? A Philosophical and Historical Perspective.” Darwin Festival lecture sponsored by the Charles Albert Read Trust, Salem State U. 04/2012.
  6. “The Ethics of Cognitive Augmentation.” Philosophical Psychology Lab Workshop at Gordon College (Wenham, MA). 01/2010.
  7. “Should Corporations Have Rights as Persons?” Liberty, Equality, and Business: The 37th Annual Conference on Value Inquiry, Creighton University. 04/2011.
  8. “Dirty Hands Syndrome and the Waning of Trust in Government.” Oxford Round Table, Oxford University. 08/2007.
  9. “The Burden of Autonomy: Noncombatant Immunity and Humanitarian Intervention.” Jus in Bello: The Ethics and Conduct of War. Institute of Applied Ethics at the University of Hull in England. 09/2004. The talk also was delivered as part of Salem State’s First Lecture Series in 03/2006.
  10. “Philosophical Lens on Disabilities.” Understanding Disabilities: Visible and Invisible. Salem State College (Salem, MA). 11/2005.
  11. “Can Fregean Senses Save the Ethical Naturalist from Moore’s Open-Question Argument?” American Society for Value Inquiry Session in conjunction with the American Philosophical Association Central Division Meeting (Chicago, IL). 04/2005.
  12. “Can the Ethical Naturalist Respond to Moore’s Open-Question Objection?” Society of Value Inquiry in conjunction with the American Philosophical Association Central Division Meeting. Chicago, IL. 04/2005.
  13. “Some Problems with Peter Abelard’s Moral Theory.” International Conference on Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. Fordham University in New York, NY. 10/2004.
  14. “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly: Hobbes and the State of Nature.” 28th Conference on Value Inquiry. Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. 04/2000.
  15. “The Organism as Servant of Many Masters.” American Philosophical Association Central Division Meeting. Chicago, IL. 05/1998.
  16. “Are There Any Immoral Acts? A Study of Abelard’s Ethics.” Representation and Interpretation in the 12th Century: An Interdisciplinary Conference. D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. 04/1995.
  17. “Pragmatism, Naturalism, and Political Philosophy.” 22nd Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. Waltham, MA. 03/1995.
  18. “Ethical Nonobjectivism and Social Pluralism.” 22nd Conference on Value Inquiry. Drew University in Madison, NJ. 04/1994.