Karen Neander

Karen Neander

Professor of Philosophy

Contact Information
201 West Duke Building, Durham, NC 27708
Duke Box 90743, Durham, NC 27708-0743
(919) 660-3050


Neander is Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Philosophy at Duke.  She joined the department in 2006, after holding positions in other philosophy departments in Australia and the US, including the University of Sydney, the University of Adelaide and the Australian National University, where she was a Post-Doctorial Fellow and then a Research Fellow in RSSS.  Her (1984) PhD from La Trobe University discussed the concept of mental illness and the application of biological concepts of function and malfunction to disorders of the mind.  Since then her work has primarily been in philosophy of mind, philosophy of biology and the conceptual foundations of cognitive science and neuroscience.  She has published numerous papers on the nature of functions and functional explanation, teleological and selectional explanation, mental representation and mental reference to content (especially teleosemantics), pictorial representation and consciousness.      

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., La Trobe University (Australia) 1984

  • B.A., La Trobe University (Australia) 1976

Neander, K. "Does biology need teleology?." In The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy, 64-76. January 1, 2017. Full Text

Neander, K. "The methodological argument for informational teleosemantics." In How Biology Shapes Philosophy: New Foundations for Naturalism, 121-140. January 1, 2016. Full Text

Neander, K. "Biological Functions." In Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. December 2013.

Neander, KL. "Toward an Informational Teleosemantics." In Millikan and Her Critics,edited by J Kingsbury and D Ryder, 21-41. Wiley Blackwell, 2012.

Neander, KL. ""Teleological theories of mental content"." In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. December 2011.

Neander, KL. ""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?)." In Les Fonctions: des organismes aux Artifacts,edited by J Gayon, 99-124. Press Universitaires France, 2010.

Neander, KL. "Les explication fonctionnelles." In Revue Philosophique,edited by MC Lorne and D Forest, 5-35. 2009.

Neander, K. "Teleological Theories of Mental Content: Can Darwin Solve the Problem of Intentionality?." In Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Biology,edited by M Ruse, 381-409. Oxford University Press, 2008.

Neander, K. "BIOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO MENTAL REPRESENTATION." In Philosophy of Biology, 549-565.: Elsevier, 2007. Full Text

Neander, K. "Content for Cognitive Science." In Teleosemantics,edited by D Papineau and G McDonald, 140-159. Oxford University Press, 2006.


Neander, K. "Functional analysis and the species design." Synthese 194, no. 4 (April 1, 2017): 1147-1168. Full Text

Neander, K, and Rosenberg, A. "Solving the circularity problem for functions: A response to Nanay." Journal of Philosophy 109, no. 10 (January 1, 2012): 613-622. Full Text

Rosenberg, A, and Neander, K. "Solving the circularity problem for functions." Journal of Philosophy (July 2011).

Rosenberg, A, and Neander, K. "Are homolgies function free?." Philosophy of Science 76, no. 3 (December 2009): 1-39. (Academic Article)

Neander, KL, and Rosenberg, A. "Are Homologies SE (or CR) Function-Free?." Philosophy of Science (July 2009). (Academic Article)

Rosenberg, A, and Neander, K. "Are homologies (selected effect or causal role) function free?." Philosophy of Science 76, no. 3 (July 1, 2009): 307-334. Full Text

Neander, K. "Functional explanations." REVUE PHILOSOPHIQUE DE LA FRANCE ET DE L ETRANGER 134, no. 1 (2009): 5-+. Full Text

Neander, K. "Naturalistic Theories of Reference." (January 21, 2008): 374-391. (Chapter) Full Text

Neander, KL. "Teleology." Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2005). (Academic Article)