I work at the intersection of moral epistemology, social ontology, political philosophy, and the psychology of emotions.
I am currently working on a research project entitled "The Democratic Sentiment: Rethinking Politics through the Lens of Affect." In my dissertation, (Im)possible Communities: The Cooperative Structure of Moral Thinking, I focused on moral disagreements and the possibility of their resolution under conditions of cultural and value pluralism.
Two chapters of my dissertation have been published and I have two additional publications, all of them in renowned specialized peer-reviewed journals.
Below are the titles and abstracts of my publications and a list of some of my most recent talks.
Peer-reviewed Journal Articles
“The (Very Needed) Experimental Turn in Ethics”
European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy [Online], XIII-2 (2021)
This paper is concerned with moral experimentalism, which I describe as the stance according to which moral inquiry is grounded not in objective foundations nor in our subjective inclinations but in our active encounters with things and events and in our communicative interactions with others. The notions of moral inquiry as grounded in objective foundations and as based on subjective inclinations have traditionally been conceived of not as two independent possibilities but as the two poles of a dramatic Either/Or that has profoundly conditioned, and still does, our perception of and approach to disagreements and conflicts. When the pragmatists, especially Dewey, advanced the idea of an experimental approach to moral issues, they put it forward as an alternative to these extreme positions and, therefore, as a way out of what they perceived, I think correctly, as a false and pernicious dichotomy.
This paper is divided into three parts: In the first section, I set the theoretical foundation of experimentalism as conceived of by the American pragmatists, in particular Peirce and Dewey. In the second part, and drawing mainly on Dewey’s Logic, I explore the procedural implications derived from the application of experimentalism to practice. In the third section, I consider the particularities of the application of experimentalism to the realm of ethics. As I argue, experimentalism is not only a promising approach to moral problems but perhaps the only effective remedy for the increasingly irrational attitudes with which they are today addressed.
“Moral Inquiry Beyond Objectivism and Subjectivism”
The Journal of Speculative Philosophy. Vol. 35, No. 2 (2021): 165-175
There is a shared belief among those familiar with pragmatism that, if applied in practice, the teachings of Peirce, James, Dewey, and their heirs could prove extraordinarily helpful in our current uncertain times—times of persistent moral disagreements and almost irreparable social conflicts. The question is, to what extent is this feeling justified? What is the nature of these infelicitous circumstances? And, what makes pragmatism such a suitable approach? In this paper, I claim that the main reason behind the ineffectiveness with which we commonly address our differences is the uncritical acceptance and enactment of a pernicious dichotomy between objectivism and subjectivism. As I argue, it is pragmatist philosophers who most clearly understood the urgency to find an alternative to these extreme positions and who most successfully accomplished this task; it is to them, I claim, we must now turn if we are to more effectively address our disagreements and conflicts.
“The Advancement of Altruism as a Criterion of Moral Validity”
Contemporary Pragmatism. Vol. 16, Issue 4 (2019): 348-365
Jürgen Habermas’s discourse ethics is a method of intersubjective argumentation conceived to test the validity of moral norms on the basis of their universalizability. As some scholars have argued, Habermas’s proposal is problematic in that the process of argumentation is always affected by the circumstances of inequality and unfairness that pervade communal life and, therefore, it cannot be as inclusive and egalitarian as it needs to be in order to function effectively. In this paper, I argue that the solutions proposed by these scholars, namely, the improvement of social conditions and the pluralization of the argumentation process, cannot by themselves resolve the practical limitation Habermas’s method presents. As an alternative, I adopt Philip Kitcher’s approach to ethics according to which the establishment of moral norms is oriented not to the resolution of disagreements but to the restitution of healthy relationships among individuals. On the basis of this alternative conception, I propose the addition to Habermas’s principle of universalization of a supplemental criterion of moral justification—one that makes the validity of norms dependent upon their potential to foster altruism.
“Living as a Creative Activity: An Introduction to John Dewey's Theory of Experience”
Pragmatism Today. Vol. 5, Issue 2 (2014): 8-13
In this paper, I make explicit and analyze the connection between Dewey's aesthetics and his theory of experience.
Recent Talks (selection)
“The Sense of Community and the Possibility of Cooperation: Joint Attention, Common Ground, and Emotional Sharing” Social Ontology 2023. Stockholm University (August 2023).
“The Pragmatist Roots of Habermas’s Moral Theory: Moral Cognitivism, Inquiry and Truth.” European Pragmatism Conference. University College London (August 2022).
“Agreeing on What To Do by Agreeing on Why: On Habermas’s Concept of Generalizable Interest.” Australasian Association of Philosophy Annual Meeting (July 2022).
“Moral Rationality between Absolutism and Irrationalism: Collective Deliberation and the Sense of Community.” The Peirce Studies Group. University of Navarra (December 2019).
“The Extra-linguistic Dimension of Intersubjective Discourse.” FiloLab International Summer School. University of Granada (July 2019).
“Motives for Consensus: Habermas and Kitcher on Ethical Deliberation.” Third European Pragmatism Conference. University of Helsinki (June 2018) and SAAP 45th Annual Meeting. Indianapolis (March 2018).