Carrie Figdor

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Dr. Figdor's primary research areas are philosophy of psychology and neuroscience, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, and metaphysics, plus neuroethics and media ethics. Her main research project is the theoretical integration of psychology with biology. Her first book, Pieces of Mind: The proper domain of psychological predicates (OUP, 2018) considered the interpretation of psychological terms used throughout biology. It won an Honorable Mention for the APA Marc Sanders Book Prize in 2019. She is currently working on her second book, tentatively titled Species-Neutral Psychology, on the individuation of cognitive capacities from the perspective of biology. Other works in progress are on the relation between psychology and moral status, and the epistemology of journalism. 

Dr. Figdor also has faculty appointments in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience.



  • Shannon + Friston = Content: Intentionality in predictive signaling systems (2020). Synthese. (n.a.)
  • The Psychological Speciesism of Humanism (2020). Philosophical Studies. (n.a.).
  • Relationship Between Cognition and Moral Status Needs Overhaul (2020). Animal Sentience 29 (3):1-2.
  • Experiences of Duration and Cognitive Penetrability (2020). In B. Brogaard & D. Gatzia (eds.), The Epistemology of Non-Visual Perception. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 188-212.
  • The Mental Lives of Sheep and the Quest for a Psychological Taxonomy (2019). Animal Sentience 25 (16):1-3.
  • Big Data and Changing Concepts of the Human (2019). European Review 27 (3):328-340.
  • The Fallacy of the Homuncular Fallacy (2018). Belgrade Philosophical Annual 31: 41-56. Open access:
  • Trust Me: News, Credibility Deficits, and Balance (2018). In J. Saunders and C. Fox, eds., Media Ethics, Free Speech, and the Requirements of Democracy. Routledge. p. 69-86.
  • The Rise of Cognitive Science (2018). In A. Kind, ed., Philosophy of Mind in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. Routledge. p.280-302.
  • (When) Is Science Reporting Ethical?: The case for recognizing shared epistemic responsibility in science journalism (2017). Frontiers in Communication. Open access:
  • On the Proper Domain of Psychological Predicates (2017). Synthese 194 (11): 4289-4310.
  • Experimental Philosophy and the Underrepresentation of Women in Philosophy (2016). With Matthew Drabek. In W. Buckwalter and J. Sytsma, eds., A Companion to Experimental Philosophy, Wiley-Blackwell). p. 590-602.
  • Is Free Will Necessary for Moral Responsibility? A case for rethinking their relationship and the design of experimental studies in moral psychology (2015). With Mark Phelan. Mind & Language 30 (5): 603-627.
  • Verbs and Minds (2014). In M. Sprevak and J. Kallestrup, eds., New Waves in Philosophy of Mind, Palgrave-Macmillan).
  • What’s the Use of an Intrinsic Property? (2014). In R. Francescotti, ed., Companion to Intrinsic Properties, DeGruyter).
  • "What is the "Cognitive" in Cognitive Neuroscience?" (2013) Neuroethics 6 (1):105-114 (online first version posted 12 April 2013).
  • "New Skepticism about Science" (2013). Philosophers' Magazine 60 (-1):51 - 56.
  • Paxton, M., Figdor, C. and Tiberius, V. (2012). Quantifying the Gender Gap: An Empirical Study of the Underrepresentation of Women in Philosophy. Hypatia 27 (4):949-957
  • "Semantics and Metaphysics in Informatics: Towards an Ontology of Tasks" (2011). Topics in Cognitive Science. (3): 222-226.
  • Neuroscience and the Multiple Realization of Cognitive Functions (2010). Philosophy of Science vol. 77 no. 3 (July), 419-456.
  • Objectivity in the News: Finding a Way Forward (2010). Journal of Mass Media Ethics vol. 25 no. 1, 19-33.
  • Is Objective News Possible? (2010). In Christopher Meyers, ed., Journalism Ethics: A Philosophical Approach (New York: Oxford University Press), 153-164. 
  • “Semantic Externalism and the Mechanics of Thought” (2009). Minds & Machines vol.19 no. 1 (February), 1-24.
  • “Intrinsically/Extrinsically” (2008). The Journal of Philosophy vol. 105 no. 11(November), 691-718.
  • “Can Mental Representations Be Triggering Causes?” (2003) Consciousness and Emotion   4:1, 43-61.

Professional history

  • 2013-Current Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Iowa Neuroscience Institute, University of Iowa 
  • 2013-2014 (AY) Research fellow, Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh 
  • 2007-2013 Assistant Professor, University of Iowa
  • Spring 2012 Visiting Assistant Professor, Duke University
  • 2005-2007 Visiting Assistant Professor, Claremont McKenna College
  • 2006 NEH Summer Seminar in Mind & Metaphysics, Washington University in St. Louis
  • 2000-2005 Adjunct Lecturer, Rutgers University-Newark
  • 1986-1997 Newswoman, The Associated Press (Caracas, Seattle, New York)

Committees and service

  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, UI Philosophy
  • Co-host, New Books in Philosophy interview series (2011-present)
  • Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Diversity Chair
Research areas
  • Ethics and social/political
  • Feminist philosophy
  • Logic and philosophy of Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of language
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Logic and philosophy of science
  • Aesthetics
This is a picture of Carrie Figdor
PhD, City University of New York Graduate Center
Contact Information

University of Iowa
260 English-Philosophy Building (EPB)
251 W. Iowa Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States