Paul Bloom (psychologist)
December 24, 1963 |
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Residence||New Haven, Connecticut|
University of Arizona
|Alma mater||Massachusetts Institute of Technology
|Thesis||Semantic structure and language development (1990)|
|Doctoral advisor||Susan Carey|
Paul Bloom (born December 24, 1963) is a Canadian American professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on language, morality, religion, fiction, and art.
Education and employment
Bloom was born into a Jewish family in Montreal, Quebec. As an undergraduate he attended McGill University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology (with honors first class) in 1985. He attended graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a Ph.D in cognitive psychology in 1990, under the supervision of Susan Carey.
Since 2003, Bloom has served as co-editor in chief of the scientific journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
Honors and awards
Bloom has held a number of distinguished visiting professorships, including the Harris Visiting Professorship at the Harris Center for Developmental Studies at the University of Chicago (2002); the Nijmegen Lectureship at the Max Planck Institute at the University of Nijmegen (2006); the Templeton Lectureship at Johns Hopkins University (2007-8); and the Visiting Distinguished SAGE Fellowship at the UCSB SAGE Center for the Study of Mind (2010).
In 2003, the Society for Philosophy and Psychology awarded Bloom the Stanton Prize for outstanding early-career contributions to interdisciplinary research in Philosophy and Psychology, and in 2005-6, he served as the Society's President. In 2006, he was made a Fellow of the American Psychological Society in recognition of his "sustained outstanding contributions to the science of psychology."
In 2004, he received the Lex Hixon Prize for teaching excellence in the social sciences at Yale University. In 2007, his Introduction to Psychology class was selected as an outstanding Yale course to be made available worldwide through the Open Yale Courses initiative.
Bloom is the author of three books and editor or co-editor of three others. His scientific work has appeared in journals such as Nature and Science, and his popular writing has appeared in outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The American Scientist, Slate and The Atlantic (His article in The Atlantic, "Is God an Accident?" was included in The Best American Science Writing 2006). He has had regular appearances on National Public Radio and Bloggingheads.tv.
- Bloom, P. (2016). Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion. Ecco 
- Bloom, P. (2013). Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil. The Crown Publishing Group.
- Bloom, P. (2010). How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
- Bloom, P. (2004). Descartes' baby: How the science of child development explains what makes us human. New York: Basic Books.
- Bloom, P. (2000). How children learn the meanings of words. Cambridge, MA. MIT Press.
- Jackendoff, R.; Bloom, P.; & Wynn, K. (1999). Language, logic, and concepts: Essays in honor of John Macnamara. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Bloom, P.; Peterson, M.; Nadel, L.; & Garrett, M. (1996). Language and space. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Bloom, P. (1994). Language acquisition: Core readings. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Selected popular articles
- (March 2014). The War on Reason, Atlantic Magazine.
- (November 2013). Politicians Really Are Big Babies.
- (January 2012). Religion, Morality, Evolution. Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 63. Religion, Morality, Evolution.
- (June 2010). Excerpt from Paul Bloom's How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
- (May 2010). The Moral Life of Babies. The New York Times Magazine.
- (September 2009). The long and short of it. The New York Times.
- (August 2009). What's Inside a Big Baby Head? (Book Review: The Philosophical Baby by Alison Gopnik). Slate.
- (June 2009). No Smiting. (Book Review: The Evolution of God by Robert Wright). The New York Times.
- (Nov. 2008). Does religion make you nice?. Slate.
- (Nov. 2008). First-person Plural. Atlantic Monthly.
- (Jun. 2006). Seduced by the flickering lights of the brain. Seed Magazine.
- (Dec. 2005). Is God an accident? The Atlantic Monthly.
- Links to Bloom's articles and books at Yale
Selected interviews and appearances
- Discussing his book "How Pleasure Works" on the 7th Avenue Project radio show 
- Discussing the moral capacities of babies on the 7th Avenue Project radio show 
- Interview on The Leonard Lopate Show 
- Open Yale Courses: Introduction to Psychology 
- Bloggingheads.tv: Paul Bloom & Tamar Szabo Gendler, Percontations: Beliefs, Aliefs, and Daydreams (May 31, 2009)
- Bloggingheads.tv: Paul Bloom & Will Wilkinson, Free Will: Praying for Atheists (December 8, 2008)
- Bloggingheads.tv: Paul Bloom & Joshua Knobe, Science Saturday: Morality and Religion (March 29, 2008)
- Through the Wormhole (Season 3): Episode 7 - Can We Eliminate Evil?(July 18, 2012)
- Interviewed on the Waking Up podcast by Sam Harris: The Virtues of Cold Blood: A Conversation with Paul Bloom (July 29, 2015)
- Interviewed on the Rationally Speaking podcast by Julia Galef: RS142 - Paul Bloom on "The case against empathy" (September 6, 2015)
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