L. A. Paul

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L. A. Paul
Born (1966-11-10) November 10, 1966 (age 56)
Other namesLaurie Ann Paul
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisEssays on Causation (1999)
Doctoral advisorDavid Lewis
Academic work
Websitelapaul.org Edit this at Wikidata

Laurie Ann Paul (born 1966) is a professor of philosophy and cognitive science at Yale University.[1] She previously taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Arizona.[1][2] She is best known for her research on the counterfactual analysis of causation and the concept of "transformative experience."[3][4]

Biography and career[edit]

Born November 10, 1966, Paul graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1990 with a BA in chemistry. Before going to graduate school, Paul corresponded with a number of philosophers about their work, including Nancy Cartwright and Lynne Rudder Baker.[5] In 1999, Paul graduated from Princeton University with a PhD in philosophy, where she wrote a dissertation titled Essays on Causation under the supervision of David Lewis.[3]

Paul taught at Yale University from 1999 to 2001, and at the University of Arizona from 2001 until 2008, before moving to North Carolina. She has also held appointments at the Australian National University and at the University of St. Andrews.

Philosophical work[edit]

Paul's principal research interests are in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind. Her work focuses on causation, mereology, the philosophy of time, and related topics in phenomenology, the philosophy of science, and philosophy of language. Her work in ontology and mereology develops a distinctive view of objects as fusions of property instances.[6] Her article "What You Can't Expect When You're Expecting" develops the notion of transformative experience and explores its consequences for the possibility of rational decision-making.[7][8][9]

She has written more than twenty articles, and is the editor of Causation and Counterfactuals, co-author of Causation: A User's Guide, and author of Transformative Experience.


Paul has received the following awards:

Selected works[edit]

  • Paul, L. A. (2015). "What You Can't Expect When You're Expecting". Res Philosophica. 92 (2): 1–23. doi:10.11612/resphil.2015.92.2.1.
  • 2014. Transformative Experience. Oxford University Press, ISBN
  • 2013. Causation: A User's Guide. Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-967345-2.
  • 2010. "Temporal Experience". The Journal of Philosophy CVII (7) 333–359. Reprinted in The Future of the Philosophy of Time, edited by Adrian Bardon. New York: Routledge (2012).
  • 2010. "The Counterfactual Analysis of Causation". In The Oxford Handbook on Causation, edited by Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock and Peter Menzies Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199279739.
  • 2006. "Coincidence as Overlap". Noûs, 40: 623–649.
  • 2004. Causation and Counterfactuals. Co-edited with Ned Hall and John Collins. MIT Press, ISBN 978-0-26253-2563.
  • 2002. "Logical Parts". Noûs, 36: 578–596. Reprinted in Metaphysics volume v, edited by Michael Rea. Routledge 2008, ISBN 978-0-415-39751-3.
  • 1999. Essays on Causation. Princeton University


  1. ^ a b Paul, L. A. "L.A. Paul" (PDF). L. A. Paul. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  2. ^ Leiter, Brian (March 4, 2008). "Notre Dame Makes Bid for Arizona's Paul". Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  3. ^ a b Protevi, John (May 18, 2011). "New APPS Interview: LA Paul". New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  4. ^ Gopnik, Alison (September 6, 2013). "Is It Possible to Reason About Having a Child?". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  5. ^ Cowen, Tyler (May 22, 2011). "Opportunity cost". Marginal Revolution. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  6. ^ Steglich-Petersen, Asbjørn (2010). Metaphysics: 5 Questions. Copenhagen: Automatic Press. ISBN 9788792130303.
  7. ^ Lombrozo, Tania (March 11, 2013). "Is Having A Child A Rational Decision?". NPR. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  8. ^ Burkeman, Oliver (April 6, 2013). "This column will change your life: transformative experiences". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  9. ^ Rothman, Joshua (April 23, 2013). "The Impossible Decision". The New Yorker. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  10. ^ "L. A. Paul". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  11. ^ "L. A. Paul, 2011–2012". National Humanities Center. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Philosophers at RSSS in 2011". Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2021.

External links[edit]