Nick Byrd studies cognitive science, philosophy and related stuff.

About Nick Byrd


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. I liked to build stuff, with legos, wood, metal, motors/engines, etc. 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 — thinking 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 our minds work!” So I set out to understand how minds work. And now I study minds and related topics as I complete a PhD at Florida State University. For more check out my CV. [Jump To Top]

Research Overview

My primary areas are cognitive science, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. Reasoning, wellbeing, and willpower interest me most. I want to understand how we reason and how we can reason better. I also want to understand the relationships between reasoning, willpower, and wellbeing. My dissertation is about reflective reasoning, how it works, how it sometimes doesn’t work, and how it should work. For more, check out my research page. [Jump To Top]


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.