I’m Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Senior Research Fellow at the Free University of Berlin, Germany. Previously I worked as Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, carrying on the EU funded project “Emotions First” (Marie Curie Individual Fellowship) at the Eidyn Centre. I also worked as Teaching Fellow at the same University, both in the Department of Philosophy and at the Moray House School of Education. I taught “Philosophy of Well-Being” (undergraduate course), “Greats” (an undergraduate course dedicated to the philosophy of Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and Kant) and “Philosophy of Education”. I also taught philosophy of emotions to the PhD students in Philosophy (Proseminar). I was guest researcher at the IMéRA Institute of the Advanced Studies of the Aix-Marseille University, France, during the 2018/2019.
My research interests centre around Philosophy of Emotions, Philosophy of Mind, Social Epistemology, and History of Philosophy (I have a specific expertise in Ancient Greek philosophy). This includes interest in 4EA Cognition, Feminist Epistemology, Virtue Epistemology, Ancient and Contemporary Theories of Mind and Knowledge, Virtue Ethics, and Educational Theories. I’m increasingly working on topics in Applied Social Epistemology, especially related to Critical Dialogue and Theories of Well-Being.
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I did my PhD at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, supervisor Prof. Luigi Vero Tarca, in collaboration with the UPR76 CNRS Paris and Sorbonne University of Paris under the supervision of Prof. Luc Brisson. Afterwards I worked as Assistant Researcher (2011-2013) and Postdoctoral Fellow in Theoretical Philosophy (2013-2015) in the same University. During this time I have provided teaching and tutorials for a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
My PhD topic focused on Plato’s Socratic dialogues, from which a monograph in Italian has been published in 2011 (“Le vie della confutazione. I dialoghi socratici di Platone”, tr. Ways of refutation. Plato’s Socratic dialogues, Mimesis, Milano). In this monograph I stressed the necessity thesis about the role of shame in the Socratic elenchus, and the shared motivational states of the interlocutors in the dialogical inquiry.
My Postdoctoral research focused on the metaphysical notion of relation. I analyse its meaning in the history of philosophy (mainly in Plato, Heidegger and Feminist philosophy) and I discussed it through the tools of Contemporary Social Epistemology and Metaphysics of relation. I edited a book on Plato’s metaphysics of relations in 2015 (“Senza dualismo. Nuovi percorsi nella filosofia di Platone”, tr. “Without dualism. New perspectives in Plato’s philosophy, Mimesis, Milano).
Starting from the Marie Curie Project, the specific field of my research has become Philosophy of Emotions in connection with the Cognitive Sciences, Philosophy of Mind, Social Epistemology and Cognitive Humanities. I have developed an original theory of affective cognition, “Extended Affectivity”. Affectivity is the most primitive way in which the subject knows the environment in which she/he is embedded, and the first dynamic practice from which cognition depends. Extended cognition is not only the extension of mental states but the cognition of the entire living body, where the whole of an individual’s experience is framed within intersubjectivity, understood as primitive. The affective embodied experience of a subject is not only affected by but also strengthened by the relationships with others. Emotions are not private state of minds but active and dynamic processes between subjects. They are the forthcoming of our active interaction with the world, clarifying how the regulation of the self always involves the others. Thus, I’m fostering a consistent account of emotions in reasoning compatible to the extended and distributed cognition hypothesis, drawing it both in its theoretical and historical aspects.The projects at Aix-Marseille University and at FU Berlin further develop this account in relation to group knowledge and specifically about the role played by positive emotions in epistemic cooperation.
A further area of my accomplishments pertains to the contemporary philosophical practices and the consequent practice of philosophy in educational contexts (I also have a Post-graduate specialization in Philosophy for Children, University of Padua) and in society. In the last years I tested some philosophical practices, based on Socratic Dialogue, and have proven to be effective mainly in the health-care sector. As Marie Curie Fellow I worked with the Edinburgh Chaplaincy for developing a training on compassion within the University. I edited with Luigi Vero Tarca three books in Italian on philosophical practices: Primum Philosophari, Comunicare in medicina, Le radici della scelta.
To download my articles and essays in edited books:
For Italian readers: www.candiottolaura.wordpress.com