Nichols received his PhD. in Philosophy from Rutgers in 1992 under the supervision of Stephen Stich  and his BA in Philosophy from Stanford. His early work was concerned primarily with questions in theory of mind. Subsequently, he became a leading contributor to experimental philosophy and was awarded the Stanton Prize by the Society for Philosophy and Psychology in 2005. He is also currently a member of the Experimental Philosophy Lab at the University of Arizona.
In his work within experimental philosophy, Nichols has addressed questions about cross-cultural differences in semantic intuitions, free will, intentional action, the nature of moral judgment, and a number of other key philosophical concepts.
- Nichols, S. 2004. Sentimental Rules: On the Natural Foundations of Moral Judgment. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-516934-8
- Nichols, S. and Stich, S. 2003. Mindreading: An Integrated Account of Pretense, Self-awareness and Understanding Other Minds. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-823609-2
- Knobe, J. & Nichols, S. 2008. Experimental Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-532325-2
- Nichols, S. 2006. The Architecture of the Imagination: New Essays on Pretense, Possibility, and Fiction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-927572-4
- Nadelhoffer, T., Nahmias, E., & Nichols, S. 2012. Moral Psychology: Historical and Contemporary Readings. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons
- Philosophy Department at the University of Arizona Archived 2009-01-22 at the Wayback Machine.
- Academic Profile at the University of Arizona Archived 2009-02-26 at the Wayback Machine.
- Stanton Prize Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.
- Machery, E., Mallon, R., Nichols, S., and Stich, S. 2004. Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style. Cognition, 92, B1-B12.
- Nichols, S. 2006. Folk Intuitions about Free Will. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 6.
- Roskies, A. 2006. Neuroscientific challenges to free will and responsibility. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10, 419-107.
- Nichols, S. and Ulatowski, J. forthcoming. Intuitions and Individual Differences: The Knobe Effect Revisited. Mind & Language.
- Sosa, E. 2006. Experimental Philosophy and Philosophical Intuition. Philosophical Studies, 132, 99-107.
- Nadelhoffer, T. & Nahmias, E. 2007. The Past and Future of Experimental Philosophy. Philosophical Explorations, 10, 123-149.
- Nichols, S. 2002. Norms with Feeling: Towards a Psychological Account of Moral Judgment, Cognition, 84, 221-236.
- Nichols, S. 2004. Sentimental Rules. Oxford University Press.
- Andreou, C. 2006. Morality and Psychology. Philosophy Compass, 2, 46-55.