I’m a philosopher. I study the problems of personal responsibility. I analyse concepts like action, capacity, and responsibility, with an interdisciplinary approach (philosophy, law, neuroscience, robotics). The general focus of my work is on the way in which the study of hard practical (legal) cases may change or complicate the traditional philosophical views on these concepts. The focus of my current research in Robot Ethics. I am currently Assistant Professor in Philosophy at TU Delft. I am also a member of the 3TU task force for ethics and robotics.
Since 2012-2014 I was engaged as a post-doc in an international and interdisciplinary NWO project entitled ‘Enhancing responsibility: the effects of cognitive enhancement on moral and legal responsibility’ . At a practical level the project addressed two questions. One, may some people, in virtue of what is at stake in the performance of their professional roles, be legitimately expected to cognitively enhance themselves – even if they would rather not do so – and would their failure to do this constitute negligence or even recklessness? Two, once a person becomes cognitively enhanced, may they be then legitimately expected to observe a higher standard of care than non cognitively enhanced counterparts, and should their breaches of such higher standards attract regulatory, civil and criminal sanctions? At a conceptual level, the project explored how the answers to these questions illuminate the virtues and limits of the capacitarian idea that responsibility tracks mental capacity.
In 2008 I obtained my PhD from the University of Turin (Italy) with a dissertation in Ethics and Philosophy of Law entitled ‘Personhood and Responsibility between Ethics and Law’. In my dissertation I tried to inquiry how legal discussion on hard cases in the attribution of responsibility may help in developing new perspectives in the philosophy of mind and action, and in the ethical theory of personal responsibility. In particular, issues related to legal insanity, automatic actions, duress and necessity, and tort law were used to illuminate and discuss philosophical problems related to personhood and mental capacities, consciousness and agency, free will, justification and excuse, and causation. In 2008 I also edited a reader on moral and legal responsibility entitled Responsabilità e diritto (Responsibility and Law).
From late 2008 to late 2011 I worked as a Post-doc at the University of Turin on a project entitled ‘Irresistible Desires as an Excuse’. The goal of my research was to answer the problem of moral and legal responsibility of offenders affected with compulsive mental disorders or addiction. The results of this research were presented in a homonymous paper.
For a complete list of my publications and talks please see my personal webpage.