After studying philosophy at Sydney University, Kim Sterelny taught philosophy in Australia at Sydney, La Trobe University, and ANU (where he was Research Fellow, and then Senior Research Fellow, in Philosophy at RSSS from 1983 until 1987), before taking up a position at Victoria University in Wellington. Between 1999 and 2008 he spent half a year at Victoria and the other half here at the ANU. After 2009 he transitioned to full time at the ANU. His research interests have always been in the border areas between philosophy and the sciences; most of his research and graduate supervision has been in philosophy of biology and the philosophy of the cognitive sciences. In the last decade and a half, he has been particularly interested in human evolution, and in understanding the the evolution of the distinctive features of human social life, and of the cognitive capacities that make that life possible.
Sterelny has been a Visiting Professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada, and at Cal Tech and the University of Maryland, College Park, in the USA. He is the author of The Representational Theory of Mind; the co-author of Language and Reality (with Michael Devitt); Sex and Death: An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology (with Paul Griffiths); Thought in a Hostile World (which won the 2003 Lakatos Prize); What is Biodiversity (with James MacLaurin); Dawkins vs Gould; and The Evolved Apprentice (the book of the 2009 Nicod Prize Lectures). He is Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and the Royal Society of New Zealand. In addition to philosophy, Kim spends his time eating curries,drinking red wine, bushwalking, snorkelling and bird watching.
Philosophy of biology, especially human evolution
Philosophy of the cognitive sciences
Philosophy of science, especially the historical sciences.
- The Origins of Inequality, Hierarchy and Social Complexity (ARC Laureate Project)
- ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (Secondary Investigator)
- The Origins of Inequality, Hierarchy, and Social Complexity (Primary Investigator)
- From signs to symbols: language, mind and niche (Primary Investigator)
- Evolvability and the Evolution of Complexity (Primary Investigator)
- The Evolution of the Social Brain: How Emotions and Moral Judgement Interact in the Generation of Cooperative Behaviour (Primary Investigator)
- The Evolution of Embodied Intelligence (Primary Investigator)
Lakatos Prize; Jean Nicod Prize