Currently a professor of philosophy at Cornell University, Shaun Nichols is known primarily for his work in philosophy of mind, moral psychology, and in the growing area of experimental philosophy. Prior to Cornell, Nichols also taught at the College of Charleston and the University of Arizona. Nichols earned his BA in philosophy from Stanford University, and his PhD in 1992 at Rutgers University.
Nichols blends cognitive science with philosophy to examine the psychological foundations of philosophical thought. In his 2004 book Sentimental Rules, Nichols focused on the role of emotions in moral judgement. In this, Nichols argues that social norms and moral judgements are, in his words “sentimental,” meaning that they have developed largely because of a history of emotional reactions to situations such as causing or preventing harm. In this argument, Nichols blends traditional philosophical thought and inquiry with modern discoveries in cognitive science (the empirical underpinnings of emotion) and psychology.
Beyond professorship, Nichols is widely published across philosophy and cognitive science, with over 50 articles to his name, in addition to numerous editorial credits.
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