Nick Byrd studies cognitive science, philosophy and related stuff.

About Nick Byrd

I am a PhD student at Florida State University. I work in the Social and Moral Reasoning Lab and in the Philosophy Department. You can find out more about me and my research below. And you can follow my day-to-day life on the social media profiles in the menu.


My mother was an accountant, a jeweler, and a social worker. My father was a restaurant owner and restaurant product salesman. I grew up in Massachusetts and South Florida. Since I was a kid, I liked building stuff — with legos, wood, metal, motors/engines, …whatever I could get my hands on, really. As a teenager, my favorite classes were the ones in which I got to make stuff, use computers, argue, or some combination thereof. One of my first (and favorite) jobs was building and remodeling homes. When I wasn’t at school or at work, I was doing track, soccer, football, band, church, theatre, video games, or volunteer stuff. [Jump To Top]


As a teenager, I enjoyed — among other things — reading, writing, and talking about how things work. Eventually I decided that I wanted to do this full-time. When I started college at Palm Beach Atlantic University, I thought, “Engineering and religion will explain how things work!” A few years into college, my mind changed: “Philosophy will explain how things work!” By the time I was in graduate school at the University of Colorado, my mind had changed again: “How things seem to work is, ultimately, a matter of how of our minds work, so I need to study minds!” So I’ve been studying minds and related topics ever since. For more check out my CV. [Jump To Top]

Research Overview

My primary areas are cognitive science, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. My research focuses on reasoning styles, reasoning education, wellbeing, and willpower. I approach these topics from both the armchair and the lab. I am particularly interested in how differences in reasoning cause differences in various philosophical judgments. I am also interested in how differences in reasoning lead to desirable or undesirable outcomes. Relatedly, I am interested in studying how we can improve our reasoning. And — more generally — I am interested in the the relationships between reasoning, wellbeing, and willpower. My dissertation is about reflective reasoning: how people think it works, how it actually works, how it sometimes doesn’t work, and how it should work. For more, check out my research page and/or my CV. [Jump To Top]

Free Time

In my free time I like to spend time with my partner, exercise [Strava profile], blog, hike in conservation parks, travel, watch stand-up comedy, make stuff, go to bed early, or some combination of the above. [Jump To Top]


And yes: I have been told that I look like Neil Patrick Harris.