Luca Barlassina

Department of Philosophy

Director of MA Cognitive Studies and MA Philosophy

Senior Lecturer

Luca Barlassina
Spring 2018-19
Tuesday 12.30-2.30pm

Full contact details

Luca Barlassina
Department of Philosophy
45 Victoria Street
S3 7QB

I studied philosophy and cognitive science in Italy (Universitá degli Studi di Milano), the US (Rutgers University) and France (Institut Jean Nicod—École Normale Supérieure). In 2014, I was appointed as a Lecturer in the Philosophy Department, where I also direct the Cognitive Studies MA, and co-direct the Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies. Before that, I was a Von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow in Germany (Ruhr-Universität Bochum).

Research interests

I am interested in how the mind works, and I maintain that a good way to discover it is by combining philosophy with cognitive science. Basically, I spend quite a lot of time considering how results from psychology and neuroscience can contribute to solving philosophical puzzles about the mind, and how philosophical analysis can clarify the conceptual foundations of the mind sciences. Sometimes I design and run experiments myself.

The main focus of my research concerns the nature of affective states (i.e., what emotions, moods, pains etc. are) and how we are able to attribute these kinds of state to ourselves and to other people (e.g., how we recognize that someone is afraid). Fortunately, however, I am unfocused enough to have many more interests. For example, I have been writing on moral judgment, tense and time, causal reasoning, and other entirely unrelated topics.

Selected publications

  • Barlassina, L. & Hayward, M. K. (forthcoming). Loopy regulations: The motivational profile of affective phenomenology. Philosophical Topics.
  • Barlassina, L. & Hayward, M. K. (2019). More of me! Less of me! Reflexive imperativism about affective phenomenal character. Mind, 128(512): 1013-1044. 
  • Barlassina, L. & Gordon, R. (2017). Folk psychology as mental simulation. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Barlassina, L. & Newen, A. (2014). The role of bodily perception in emotion: In defense of an impure somatic theory. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research89(3): 637-678. 
  • Zalla, T., Barlassina, L., Buon, M., & Leboyer, M. (2011). Moral judgment in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Cognition, 121(1): 115-126.

Journal articles


  • Barlassina L () Valence: A reflection RIS download Bibtex download

Dictionary/encyclopaedia entries

  • Barlassina L & Gordon RM (2017) Folk psychology as mental simulation. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

I am happy to supervise MA and PhD students in all areas of philosophy of psychology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science, and particularly those students who are interested in emotions, pleasures and pains, interoception, social cognition, self-knowledge, Theory of Mind, and moral psychology.

Completed PhD Students

  • ·Miklos Kurthy (first supervisor). Thesis topic: “Ought implies can” as a principle of the Moral Faculty (2019)
  • ·Andreas Bunge (second supervisor). Thesis topic: The nature of attitudes (2018)
  • ·Alex Duval (second supervisor). Thesis topic: The cognitive mechanisms underlying spatial navigation (2019)
  • ·Damiano La Manna (second supervisor). Thesis topic: The function of phenomenal consciousness (2018)

 Current PhD Students

  • ·Andrea Blomqvist (first supervisor). Thesis topic: The reliability of affective forecasting
  • ·Richard Hassall (first supervisor). Thesis topic: Are mental disorders natural kinds?
  • ·Viktoriia Kononova (first supervisor). Thesis topic: Interoception, depression, and delusion
  • ·James Turner (first supervisor). Thesis topic: The cognitive architecture of low mood
  • ·Marcantonio Gagliardi (second supervisor). Thesis topic: A modular account of motivational systems

 Completed Postdocs

  • ·Michael Messerli. Project: Decision-making—Normative and Descriptive (2017-19)