Most of my research focuses on beliefs. I am interested in what kind of beliefs individuals hold and why they hold them. On a theoretical level, my work explores the moral psychology of non-standard beliefs, that is, beliefs that are not sensitive to evidence (think self-deceptive beliefs, conspiratorial beliefs, anti-vaccine attitudes, and so on). On a psychological level, I am also  interested in what steps individuals can take to counteract these non-standard beliefs and come to their (epistemic) senses. ​


We love stories of resilience. We love them when we watch athletes win the gold medal after a tough season. We love them in fiction when we watch Cinderella ascend from poverty to royalty. We love them when we ourselves experience them. Success tastes sweeter when it doesn’t come easy. Psychologists have associated the capacity to bounce back with the successful regulation of negative emotions, human growth, and subjective well-being. Socially, resilience is often championed as the mark of recovery after natural catastrophes, from Hurricane Katrina to the COVID-19 pandemic. But there are certain crucial questions about resilience that it is important we explore in order to better understand our society and the decisions we make: why do we glorify resilience? And is being resilient always the best course of action? Drawing on cutting-edge psychological research, in this book I argue that we glorify resilience because we associate the effort it requires  with meaningfulness, so when we struggle to achieve eventual success, we experience greater rewards. Dissecting the fascinating case studies, among which that of disgraced Theranos’ founder Elizabeth Holmes, as well as others, in this book I also show that when success fails to happen the way we want, being resilient, far from being the mark of success, can instead lead us to make irrational choices that are maladaptive and self-destructive.


(drafts available on request)

Individuals deceive themselves about a wide variety of subjects. In the fortunate circumstances, where those who manage to leave self-deception embrace reality, an interesting phenomenon occurs: the formerly self-deceived often confess to having ‘known [the truth] all along’. These post-self-deception judgments are not conceptually innocuous; if genuine, they call into question the core feature of prominent theories of self-deception, that self-deceived individuals do not believe the unwelcome truth. In this paper I argue that post-self-deception judgments do not track a belief, but a suspicion of the unwelcome truth. I do this by showing that post-self-deception are themselves instances of self-deception where the individual is self-deceived that they believed the unwelcome truth. I then suggest that the motivational cause of the self-deceit is hindsight bias, the kind known as foreseeability, and that as a result, post-self-deception judgments are not reliable because they do not accurately track previous self-deceptive experiences.

Political polarization has been on the rise in the United States and the controversy surrounding vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic has renewed interest in the crucial role that empathy can play when it comes to engaging with parties who disagree. Our aim in this chapter is twofold: we first provide an in-depth analysis of the state of the literature on empathy and polarization (as well as discussion of counter-empathy), and in the final part of the paper we gesture at future directions that we suggest should focus on developing fine-grained normative criteria that govern the moral appropriateness of empathizing with individuals who disagree.

This chapter argues that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the limits of the mainstream individualistic notion of resilience and, in light of these limits, it advances a new, relational notion of the concept of resilience that contributes to the individuals’ well-being and takes into consideration the role of systemic inequality. The first half of the chapter argues that the individualistic notion is flawed in two ways: (i) it can foster ill-being because it is cognitively taxing, and (ii) it discounts systemic inequality because it transfers the responsibility of any achievement and failure onto the single individual without regard for conditions of oppression. The second half of the chapter conceptualizes the concept of resilience as a relational notion that takes into account structural support as well as conditions of oppression and marginalization. According to this latter notion of resilience, the chapter argues that oppression, lack of material conditions, or lack of structural support are elements that can impact the appropriateness of calls to be resilient. A relational notion of resilience fosters well-being because it puts the collective community at the center (instead of the individual), and it takes into consideration material conditions and structural injustices.

Self-control is normally, if only tacitly, viewed as an inherently practical capacity or achievement, in the sense that it applies solely to the domain of action. It is only ever in connection with people’s actions and decisions that we seem to attribute either self-control or its absence: we never speak of exercising self-control in the domain of belief, and perhaps many would be puzzled by the suggestion that the concept could also have application in the doxastic realm. But that is the idea we wish to explore here. We wish to motivate the perhaps unexpected idea that self-control is in fact a transversal phenomenon which applies both to action and to belief.

In preparation

[Paper on Self-Deception], Philosophical Explorations, (revise & resubmit)

[Paper on moral self-deception] under review.

[Empathy with the machine: an interdisciplinary review] under review.

[Paper on conspiracy theories] I advance a new argument for why conspiratorial beliefs are so tenaciously resistant to revision. I argue that what makes conspiratorial beliefs persist over time (and resist revision) is these non-epistemic features which give back positive returns to individuals who hold those beliefs.