I’m Professor for Epistemology (W2/W3 Bayreuth track) at the University of Bayreuth since February 2018. Before coming to Bayreuth, I held various academic positions in different countries: I was assistant professor at the University of Graz (2013-2017), postdoctoral researcher and teaching assistant at UCLA (2011-2013), and postdoctoral researcher at UCL (2010). I wrote my PhD thesis at the University of Granada (2009) with the support of a National Spanish Grant for the entire period of my doctoral studies (2005-2009). During my studies, I was granted two further grants to undertake short visits (3-4 months) to Sussex University and UCLA.
My areas of specialization are Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind, and my areas of competence include Philosophy of Psychology and Philosophy of Language. My research has focused on two major issues: the nature of beliefs and accounts of self-knowledge. Related to the first area, I have published a series of papers on the nature of behavior-assertion dissonance (i.e., cases in which the person acts contrary to what she explicit asserts) and implicit cognitions. I have defended the view according to which such cognitions are belief states, and thus cases of dissonance are cases in which the person holds mutually contradictory beliefs. I am currently co-editing a volume on mental fragmentation with Oxford University Press.
My most current research is partly related to the second topic (self-knowledge) and attempts to develop an account of the phenomenon of first-person authority. When we communicate our minds to our peers, such as our feelings and beliefs, we normally enjoy a special kind of authority over our communicated states of mind. It is because of this authority that our interlocutors can presume without prior information that what we say we feel or believe is correct. First-person authority is this phenomenon that concerns both our special relation to our minds and the recognition of this relation by our interlocutors in communication.
Since I arrived in Bayreuth, I’ve been teaching at the bachelor and master Philosophy & Economics programs. Although my research has not (so yet) focused on questions at the intersection of the two disciplines, I’ve been offering “life”-oriented Epistemology courses, in addition to the traditional ones. Among such courses, I’ve been offering the following: Prejudice, Conspiracy Theory, Cognitive Biases and Behavioral Economics (jointly taught with my colleague from Economics). Although sometimes challenging, I’ve learnt a lot throughout this experience.
My main intellectual influence is Tyler Burge who supervised my stays at UCLA and keeps visiting me in various departments around the world. My current research on First-Person Authority follows his methodology (more clearly designed at Origins of Objectivity, OUP 2010) of researching a particular (psychology-related) phenomenon by looking at the psychological capacities involved in its the primitive form. I’m thus now looking at prelinguistic instances of communication involving infants, with the support of empirical research from developmental psychology.