Nick Byrd’s Blog

Here’s to the Philosopher-Scientists!

Sometimes philosophers complain that scientists do philosophy badly and that philosophers may thereby be underrated. The idea is that people could have better philosophy if they just turned to academic philosophers rather than the popular scientists that have done philosophy badly. (Perhaps analogous complaints about philosophers circulate among scientists). In this post, I want to turn our attention to scientists that do philosophy well and philosophers that do science well.

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Upon Reflection, Ep. 11: Testing for Implicit Bias

In this episode, I read my short paper with Morgan Thompson in WIRES Cognitive Science titled, “Testing for Implicit Bias: Values, Psychometrics, and Science Communication“. You may have heard about implicit bias. It is measured by indirect rather than direct measures of bias. We reconstruct arguments from debates about these measures, reveal some instances of talking past one another, highlight how debate has changed, and highlight how the debate is laden with value judgments about psychometrics and science communication. As always, free preprints of my papers are available on my CV under “Publications”.

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Upon Reflection, Ep. 10: Great Minds Do Not Think Alike

This time I read my 2022 paper in Review of Philosophy and Psychology titled, “Great Minds Do Not Think Alike: Philosophers’ Views Predicted by Reflection, Education, Personality, and Other Demographic Differences“. As the title suggests, various psychological factors predicted variance in philosophers’ answers to classic philosophical questions. This raises questions about how psychological and demographic differences can explain philosophical differences. There are also implications for scientific psychologists as well as academic philosophers.

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Upon Reflection, Ep. 9: Bounded Reflectivism & Epistemic Identity

In this episode, I read one of my 2022 articles in Metaphilosophy titled, “Bounded Reflectivism & Epistemic Identity“. Does reflective reasoning help or hinder our judgment? In this paper, I take a middle view between reflectivism and anti-reflectivism that I call bounded reflectivism. The idea is that reflection is a tool that can be used to improve our judgment or for other purposes (such as to defend the beliefs that we consider essential to our identity—a.k.a., our “epistemic identity”).

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Upon Reflection, Ep. 8: Reflective Reasoning & Philosophy

On this episode, I read one of my articles from 2021 titled, “Reflective Reasoning and Philosophy” in Philosophy Compass. Both philosophers and cognitive scientists seem to think that philosophical thinking could depend on whether we reason intuitively or reflectively. In this paper, I review the claims, scientific methods, evidence, and what we may need to do to improve our understanding of reflection’s role in philosophical thinking.

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7 Philosophy Reading Lists Of Underrepresented Scholars/Texts

Every semester I begin courses by asking students to close their eyes and imagine a philosopher doing philosophy.

When I ask students to share what they imagined, I get classic stereotypes. “An old guy” says one. “With a beard,” adds another. “Yeah, in a toga!” yells someone in the back. […]

byrdnick.com/teaching#teachingstatement

This is unsurprising. In the United States, few students are exposed to philosophy prior to college. So students’ are more likely to rely on stereotypical representations of philosophers—e.g., the Epic Rap Battles of History videos that people continue to send me.

To overcome these stereotypical representations, many instructors have called for a more representative set of philosophers in their courses. Of course, we tend to default to the status quo (e.g., the less representative syllabi that have been circulating for years). So some scholars have done us a favor by creating lists of texts and scholars that are traditionally underrepresented. Below are the lists that I have found so far.

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9 Research Funding Resources

Some colleagues and readers have asked about my experience with grant applications. Perhaps the most common questions is just “Where do I find out about grant opportunities?” That one is fairly straightforward.

As usual, I recommend the automated or passive method: find websites that will crawl the internet for what you seek and then send you emails/notifications when they find it—sometimes called a “saved search”. That way you don’t have to spend days doing something that a bot can do while you do other work. This is how I find research in my areas. It is also how I find many grant opportunities. In this post I’ll share those kinds of grant resources as well as others. I’ll also try to make note of which resources are free to use.

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