Hugo Mercier

After a doctorate at the Institut Jean Nicod, a postdoc in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics program at the University of Pennsylvania, and another one at the University of Neuchâtel, I am now a research scientist at the CNRS (Institut Jean Nicod).

Most of my work so far has focused on the function and workings of reasoning. According to the argumentative theory of reasoning, the function of reasoning is argumentative: to find and evaluate arguments so as to convince others and only be convinced when it is appropriate. Accordingly, reasoning works well as an argumentative device, but quite poorly otherwise. Recently I was kindly invited to give a TEDx talk in Ghent, which gives a brief overview of some of this research. Dan Sperber and I wrote a book that develops and extends the argumentative theory of reasoning, called The Enigma of Reason (USUK).

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