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Laurie Ann (L. A.) Paul 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.[2][3] She is best known for her research on the counterfactual analysis of causation and the concept of "transformative experience."[4][5]


Biography and careerEdit

Paul graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1990 with a B.A. in chemistry. Before going to graduate school, Paul corresponded with a number of philosophers about their work, including Nancy Cartwright and Lynne Rudder Baker.[6] In 1999, Paul graduated from Princeton University with a Ph.D in philosophy, where she wrote a dissertation titled Essays on Causation [7] under the supervision of David Lewis.[8]

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 workEdit

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.[9] 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.[10][11][12]

She has written more than twenty articles, and is the editor of Causation and Counterfactuals,[13] co-author of Causation: A User's Guide,[14] and author of Transformative Experience.[15]


Paul has received the following awards:

Selected worksEdit

  • "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. Routlege 2008, ISBN 978-0-415-39751-3.


External linksEdit