Metaphysical Mayhem is a week-long, bi-annual graduate student workshop in metaphysics, which consists of a mix of professor and student presentations, and is hosted by the Rutgers Philosophy Department. A history of the conference from 1996 to the present can be found here.

After a hiatus due to the pandemic, we are pleased to announce that Mayhem will resume July 31st - August 4th, 2023. Mayhem is held in the Rutgers Philosophy seminar room, on the 5th floor of the Gateway Transit Building, 106 Somerset Street, New Brunswick, NJ. Our 2023 participating professors will be Shieva Kleinschmidt, Brian LeftowKris McDaniel, Carolina Sartorio, Brad Skow, and Dean Zimmerman. Other Rutgers professors in the mix include Karen BennettJonathan Schaffer, Ted Sider, and Alex Skiles

Mayhem is open to all local graduate students (those enrolled in a philosophy Ph.D. program located in New Jersey or New York City), and to those non-local graduate students who have applied and been admitted to the conference. Here is our schedule, with links to recommended readings:

Monday, July 31st

9:00 - 10:00: breakfast/coffee (catered by Gerlanda's)

10:00 - 1:00: Carolina Sartorio, "The grounds of free will" (read: Frankfurt, Sartorio)

1:00 - 2:00: lunch (catered by Mamoun's)

2:00 - 5:00: Noga Gratvol, Anthony Nguyen, and Ryan Olsen on grounding and social ontology

Tuesday, August 1st

9:00 - 10:00: breakfast/coffee (catered by Gerlanda’s)

10:00 - 1:00: Kris McDaniel, "Being and value" (read: McDaniel1, McDaniel2)

1:00 - 2:00: lunch (catered by Honeygrow)

2:00 - 5:00: Joanna Lawson, Casey Rufener, and Levy Wang on identity and the self

Wednesday, August 2nd

9:00 - 10:00: breakfast/coffee (catered by Gerlanda’s)

10:00 - 1:00: Brad Skow, "Acts, events, and causation" (read: Skow)

1:00 - 2:00: lunch (catered by Sal's)

2:00 - 5:00: Rhys Borchert, Mack Sullivan, and Qiong Wu on action and modality

Thursday, August 3rd

9:00 - 10:00: breakfast/coffee (catered by Gerlanda’s)

10:00 - 1:00: Shieva Kleinschmidt, "Mereology: fusion and decomposition" (no reading)

1:00 - 2:00: lunch (catered by Joe's)

2:00 - 5:00: Robert Bassett, Jaime Gamboa, and Alice van’t Hoff on ontology and vagueness

Friday, August 4th

9:00 - 10:00: breakfast/coffee (catered by Gerlanda’s)

10:00 - 1:00: Brian Leftow & Dean Zimmerman, "Presentism, time-series, and timelessness" (no reading)

1:00 - 2:00: lunch (catered by Joe's)

2:00 - 5:00: Thiago DeMelo, Jessica Heine, and Seungil Lee on properties, relations, and superpositions

6:00 - ????: farewell dinner (held at Sahara, 165 Easton Avenue)

Credits: Mayhem was first unleashed by Dean Zimmerman. Our current co-organizers are Jonathan Schaffer and Alex Skiles, along with our grad student co-organizers Diego Arana and Jordan Bridges. Website credit to Peter van Elswyk. History website credit to Ted Sider.