I am an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at Rutgers-Newark. I am also a member of the Graduate Faculty in the Philosophy Department at Rutgers, New Brunswick and of the Graduate Faculty in the Psychology Department at Rutgers- Newark. I received my PhD from Rutgers University in 2002 after a Laurea in Philosophy from the University of Pisa and a year of postgraduate work at Oxford University (UK).
My research interests are in early modern theories of cognition, mental representation and concept acquisition; as well as contemporary theories of mind and concepts. Some of my work can be described as at the intersection between early modern and contemporary theories of mind.
After publishing several articles on Locke’s and Descartes’ theories of mind and ideas and a book on Descartes’ account of sensory representation (Descartes and the Puzzle of Sensory Representation, OUP, 2010), I turned the focus of my research onto the philosophical and psychological question of the origin of concepts. My new long-term project is to assess various arguments for conceptual nativism (and criticisms thereof) offered by 17th century philosophers, contemporary philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists in the context of their theories of concepts and mental content and their different theoretical commitments and explanatory concerns.