Dr David Cornell

Dr. David Cornell

Lecturer in Philosophy

School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies

Livesey House, LH315

+44 (0) 1772 89 3054


Subject Areas: Philosophy

David joined UCLan as a permanent member of staff in 2017. His teaching interests cover a wide range of philosophical topics from metaphysics, to philosophy of religion, to the philosophy of science. David’s research is focused mainly in metaphysics and he is particularly interested in the nature of material objects and mereology (the study of parts and wholes). 

Full Profile

David received a first-class BA in Philosophy from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2008, before getting an MA, with distinction, from the University of Manchester in 2009. He then completed a PhD at the University of Leeds in 2013, which was fully funded by an AHRC scholarship. David taught philosophy at all three of these institutions from 2009 onwards, before joining UCLan in 2017.

In his PhD thesis, David articulated and defended ‘Ontological Monism’, the somewhat radical-sounding view that there is only a single material object in existence – the world itself. His work has generated some new ideas and perspectives on some long-standing metaphysical problems, some of which have been published in internationally renowned philosophical journals.

Research Activities

David is actively researching in a number of areas under the general purview of metaphysics. His main project at present is writing a monograph that explains and defends a coherent and compelling theory of monism. 

Teaching activities and responsibilities

David’s current teaching at UCLan includes the modules, ‘Philosophy & Science Fiction’, ‘Philosophy of Religion’, ‘Knowledge & Freedom’, and ‘Introduction to Philosophy’.


2017 ‘Mereological Nihilism and the Problem of Emergence’, American Philosophical Quarterly, 54, 1, pp.77-87

2016 ‘Taking Monism Seriously’, Philosophical Studies, 173, 9, pp.2397-2415

2013 ‘Monism and Statespace’, Analysis, 73, 2, pp.230-236