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Spencer Paulson

About Me

I’m a PhD Candidate in the Philosophy Department at Northwestern University. 


My research focuses on Epistemology and the Philosophy of Mind.

I think reasoning is like a game. At a structural level, its constitutive rules are described by the defeasible reasoning tradition. The private thought of adult humans is the solitaire version of the game. Drawing on the “social intentionality hypothesis” in cognitive science, I argue that our form of cognitive self-monitoring takes the form of interiorizing the norms of interpersonal argumentation through simulated self-assessment from the perspective a of a potential interlocutor. My project is building a system around these claims. I believe there are significant implications for knowledge and its value, justification, the metaphysics of reasons, epistemic luck, inquiry, the epistemology of small children and animals, virtue epistemology, mental architecture, representational format, theory of mind, folk psychology, cognitive agency, and Philosophy of AI, among other things. To see the view from 30,000 feet in the air, take a look at "Reflective Naturalism". I have a pre-publication draft on the research page and a link to a read-only version of the version published by Synthese below.


I also have an interest in Moral/Political Philosophy and the History of Philosophy (especially early modern). 

When I’m not doing Philosophy, I play old jazz standards. 

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