Dr Luca Barlassina

Department of Philosophy

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Psychology

Director of Graduate Studies

Associate Director, Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies

Luca Barlassina
Profile picture of Luca Barlassina
Currently on research leave

Full contact details

Dr Luca Barlassina
Department of Philosophy
45 Victoria Street
S3 7QB

Luca is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Psychology and Associate Director of the Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies. He joined the Philosophy Department at the University of Sheffield in 2014. Before that, he was a Von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany. He studied philosophy and cognitive science in Italy (Universitá degli Studi di Milano), the US (Rutgers University) and France (Institut Jean Nicod—École Normale Supérieure).

Research interests

Luca works at the interface of philosophy and cognitive science. He is particularly interested in affective, social, and moral cognition. His work has appeared in philosophical venues such as Analysis, Mind, Philosophy & Phenomenological Research, and The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and in interdisciplinary journals such as Cognition, and Mind & Language.

Luca is currently on research leave (supported by a fellowship from the Mind Association) to write a book on the nature of emotions and moods—working title: No Hard Feelings. The Cognitive Architecture of the Affective Mind. He is also PI for the WUN project “Getting back in touch: Emotional pathways to a post-pandemic world”, a cross-cultural investigation of the emotional responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. 


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.

Teaching interests

Luca enjoys teaching interdisciplinary modules that combine philosophy and science. In particular, his modules explore how findings from psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary theory can shed light on traditional philosophical problems, and how philosophical analysis can clarify the conceptual foundations of the mind sciences.

Teaching activities

PHI 202: Philosophy of Science.
What is science?

PHI 230: Philosophy of Mind.
What is the mind?

PHI 372/6372: Pain, Pleasure, and Emotions.
The philosophy and cognitive science of affective states.  

PHI 6016: Cognitive Studies Research Seminar.
How does the mind work?

Postgraduate Supervision

Luca welcomes expressions of interest from students who are interested in doing a PhD in the philosophy of psychology under his supervision.

Current PhD Students

  • Viktoriia Kononova (first supervisor). Thesis topic: The cognitive mechanisms underlying hedonic bodily feelings (and their disorders)
  • James Turner (first supervisor). Thesis topic: Low mood: A representational theory
  • Ben Jenkins (second supervisor). Thesis topic: The heterogeneity of implicit bias
  • David Bevan (second supervisor). Thesis topic:Thinking Parts: A defense of a dual psychological and physical continuity approach to Personal Identity.

Completed PhD Students

  • Andrea Blomkvist (first supervisor). Thesis topic: The cognitive architecture of memory and imagination (2021)
  • 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)
  • Richard Hassall (first supervisor). Thesis topic: Are mental disorders natural kinds?
  • Marcantonio Gagliardi (second supervisor). Thesis topic: A modular account of motivational systems