Montana State University

Department of History and Philosophy

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172320
Bozeman, MT 59717-3440

Tel: (406) 994-4395
Fax: (406) 994-7420
Location: Wilson Hall 2-155

Department Chair

Dr. David Cherry

Sara Waller, Associate Professor of Philosophy


Current Semester

Spring 2014 Courses:

PHL 205CS: Other Animals
PHL 236Q: Logic

Advising: Philosophy

Office Hours: Thursdays, 1:30-3:15pm, and by appointment

Office: Wilson 2-107


Phone: (406) 994-5216

Curriculum Vitae: Click Here

Courses Taught: Click Here


Social Predator Vocalization Project

How much does the urban environment change the way coyotes vocalize and communicate? Montana State University and California State University are collaborating on a research project called “The Urban Coyote Project.” Students on both campuses will be out in the field, working with lead researcher, Sara Waller, in tracking coyotes and recording their yips, yelps and ululations. The team is looking for parallels, and differences, between coyote vocalizations in rural (Montana) sites and urban (Los Angeles) sites. The students are also learning about the philosophy of animal minds.

*If you are interested in interning for the Urban Coyote Project, please email Professor Waller:*

Read an article about Professor Waller's work here.

Vocalization Data webpage:







Research Interests

Philosophy of Mind

Philosophy of Animal Minds

Philosophy of Neurology & Cognitive Science

20th Century Analytic Philosophy


PhD Loyola University, Chicago, IL, 1999
M.A. Philosophy, Loyola University, Chicago, IL, 1993
B.A. Philosophy & Psychology, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, Dartmouth, MA, 1989

Awards, Honors, and Affiliations

Awards and Honors

Nominee. Case Western Reserve Wittke Award for Excellence in Teaching (2007)

“The Center for Urban Environmental Research” (with Rod Hay, co-PI) through the
Environmental Protection Agency, (2005)

“Enhancement of Environmental Health Training through Service” Association of
Environmental Health Academic Programs. (2005)

Sally Cassanova Memorial Award for Scholarship of Teaching Project: “The Impact off Community Based Learning on Philosophy Students: Concept Assimilation and Application, Sense of Connectedness, and Community Response.” (2004)

Dartmouth College Summer Institute on the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of the Human Genome Project. (2003)

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Extending the Reach Grant for the
project “Diogenes’ Dolphins: Truth-seeking, Science and Tursiops Truncatus.” An
exploration in the philosophy of science. (2003)


APA American Philosophical Association
NeuroEthics Society
ISAZ International Society for Anthrozoology
CNS Cognitive Neuroscience Society
ASSC Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness
SMM Society for Marine Mammalogy
IMATA International Marine Animal Trainers Association

Select Publications



Edited Volumes
Serial Killers and Philosophy, edited by Sara Waller, in the Philosophy for Everyone
Series, Fritz Allhoff, General Editor, Cambridge: Wiley-Blackwell Inc. (2010)

Book Chapters

“Science of the Monkey Mind: A Philosophical Consideration of Primate Research in
Science and the Media” submitted to Minds of Animals, Robert Mitchell and Julie Smith,
editors, Columbia University Press, forthcoming

“Introduction to Cognitive Science” in The Lincoln Library of Essential Information,
Cleveland: Lincoln Library Press, forthcoming

“Neuroscience of Narrative” in The Fourth “R”: Raconteur, by Richard Neumann, Pat Irving, Mary Meston, Sara Waller, Ph.D., and Dr. Ed Valeau. San Francisco: Stone in the Surf Press, forthcoming

“The Wisconsin Card Sort: An Empirical and Philosophical Analysis of Presuppositions Regarding Flexibility of Cognition” Science and Other Cultures: Issues in Philosophies of Science and Technology, edited by Robert Figueroa and Sandra Harding (New York: Routledge Publishing Co.) pp. 189-200. (2003)

Peer-reviewed Articles (*primary authorship)
* “Neuro-Enhancement: Warning, Autonomax may be Necessary” Journal of Ethics in
Mental Health {submitted Oct. 15, 2009} with Carmela Epright. Revise & resubmit (2010)

* “Psychological Investigations: The Private Language Argument and Inferences in
Contemporary Cognitive Science.” With C.D. Meyers. Synthese 171:135-156. (2009)

* “Dolphin Words and Wolf Worlds: Ethology, Philosophy, Mind and Language” in
LACUS: Linguistic Association of Canada & the United States Forum #34. (2008)

* “Dolphin Signature Rhythms and the Non-Cacophanous Coyote: Rhythm, Cognition
and the Animal Umwelt” in Cognitive Semiotics vol. 1 Fall issue. (2007)

* “Involuntary Emotional Expressive Disorder (IEED): A Case for a Deeper
Neuroethics,” with Peter Whitehouse, Neurotherapeutics, July issue. (2007)

“The functional neuroanatomy of thematic role and locative relational knowledge”
with Denise Wu and Anjan Chatterjee, in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience Vol.
19:9 1542-1555. (2007)