Karen L Neander
  • Karen L Neander

  • Professor
  • Philosophy
  • 210 West Duke Building
  • Campus Box 90743
  • Phone: 919-660-2427 (919) 660-3050
  • Homepage
  • Specialties

    • Philosophy of Mind
    • Philosophy of Biology
    • Cognitive Science
  • Research Description

    Karen Neander (Ph.D. 1983, La Trobe University) joined the Duke faculty in 2006. Previously she was at the University of California, Davis, Johns Hopkins University and the Australian National University.

    Neander is the author of numerous papers, including:

  • “Pictorial Representation: A Matter of Resemblance” in the British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 27, No. 3, Summer 1987, pp. 213-226. “Functions as Selected Effects: The Conceptual Analysts Defence” in Philosophy of Science, Vol. 58, No. 2, June 1991, pp. 169-184. Reprinted in Nature’s Purpose: analyses of function and design in biology, ed., by Colin Allen, Marc Becoff, and George Lauder, MIT Press (1997).
  • “The Teleological Notion of ‘Function’” in The Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 69, No. 4, December 1991, pp. 454-468. Reprinted in Function, Selection, and Design (The State University of New York Press) ed., by David Buller (1998).

  • “Misrepresenting and Malfunctioning” in Philosophical Studies, Vol. 79, No. 2, August 1995, pp. 109-141. Excerpted in Function, Selection, and Design (The State University of New York Press) ed., by David Buller (1998).

  • “Pruning the Tree of Life” in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 46, pp. 59-80, March 1995.

  • “Swampman Meets Swampcow” in Mind & Language, Vol. 11, No. 1, March 1996, pp. 118-129.

  • “The Division of Phenomenal Labor: A Problem for Representational Theories of Consciousness” in Philosophical Perspectives, 12: Language, Mind and Ontology, A Supplement to NOUS, edited by James E. Tomberlin (Blackwells, 1998), pp. 411-434.

  • “Fitness and the Fate of Unicorns” in Biology Meets Psychology: Philosophical Essays, edited by Valerie Hardcastle (Bradford, MIT Press; Cambridge, Mass: 1999) 3-26.

  • “Types of Traits: The Importance of Functional Homologues” in Functions: New Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology and Biology, edited by Andre Ariew, Robert Cummins and Mark Perlman (Oxford University Press, 2002).

  • “Content for Cognitive Science” in Teleosemantics, edited by David Papineau and Gary McDonald (2005, Oxford University Press).

  • Recent Publications

      • K. Neander.
      • "Biological Functions."
      • Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
      • 2013.
      • Karen Neander & Alex Rosenberg.
      • "Solving the Circularity Problem for Functions."
      • Journal of Philosophy
      • (2012)
      • .
      Publication Description

      A response to the circularity objection to an etiological theory of functions and critique of the modal theory of functions.

      • K.L. Neander.
      • "Toward an Informational Teleosemantics."
      • Millikan and Her Critics.
      • Ed. J. Kingsbury and D. Ryder.
      • Wiley Blackwell,
      • 2012.
      • 21-41.
      Publication Description

      This argues against Millikan's admonishments to the contrary that a teleosemantic theory of mental content can be a causal theory of content. Objections to the effect that functions are selected effects and so are not causes are mistaken about what follows from an etiological theory of functions. There can be information carrying functions on an appropriate understanding of natural functions and natural information.

      • K.L. Neander.
      • ""Teleological theories of mental content"."
      • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
      • December, 2011.
      • K.L. Neander.
      • ""Comment les traits sont-ils types dans le but leur attribuuer des fonctions?" (How are traits typed for the purpose of ascribing functions to them?)."
      • Les Fonctions: des organismes aux Artifacts.
      • Ed. Jean Gayon.
      • Press Universitaires France,
      • 2010.
      • 99-124.
      Publication Description

      This paper discusses how traits are to be classified, not by functions, but for the purpose of ascribing functions to them.

  • View All Publications
  • PhD Students

    • Whitney Kane
      • Status: PostPrelim
    • Aryn Conrad
    • Adela Deanova
    • Stephen Martin
    • Gordon Steenbergen
      • 2011 - present
      • Status: PostQual
    • David Barack
      • 2011 - present
    • Kyle L. Motsinger
    • Daniel M Kraemer
      • 2006 - 2012
  • Teaching

    • PHIL 212.01
      • PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
      • West Duke 204
      • Tu 04:40 PM-07:10 PM