My work develops at the intersection between aesthetics, philosophy of mind and language and philosophy of science.
My main research focus is on the nature and foundations of fiction. In particular I have worked on the metaphysics of fiction, on fictional realism and irrealism, on the semantics of fictional names, on the problem of the intersubjective identification of fictional characters, and on the problem of their creation. A related research focus is on the nature and varieties of imagination both from a philosophical and a psychological perspective, including the nature of imagination, the notion of an imaginative counterpart of desire, and the imaginative activities involved in the practices of scientific thought experimenting and scientific modelling. A further research focus is on the twin notions of reference and singular thought, including intentionality and mental reference, empty singular thoughts, mental files, the causal historical theory of reference, and the semantics of non-referring names.
I am currently working on a project on Scientific Models, Fiction and Imagination funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 654034. Modern science crucially relies on scientific models. Scientists construct, develop, manipulate and test models in order to learn about the real world phenomena they stand in for. What are models? How do we learn with them? How do they represent? The key hypotheses are that models are akin to the fictions of literature and the arts, that learning with models is learning through the imagination, and that the representation relation between models and the world is a kind of indirect denotation that involves a necessary detour in the imagination.