The Master in Philosophy at USI stands out for the international stature of its professors.

Direction of the Master:

Kevin Mulligan
Academic Director

Professor in Philosophy at USI. He occupied the chair of analytic philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Geneva from 1986 to 2016. He founded the European Society for Analytic Philosophy (ESAP) and thumos, and co-founded eidos – the Geneva-Lugano centre for metaphysics - and Inbegriff - the Geneva Seminar for Austro-German philosophy, and is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters and of the Academia Europaea. He has taught philosophy in Aix, Barcelona, Constance, Dublin, Florence, Freiburg, Hamburg, Innsbruck, Irvine, Lausanne, Lucerne, Lugano, Paris, Pennsylvania, Rome, Santiago de Compostela, Sydney, Venice, Trento, Umea and Zurich. He has also supervised the PhD theses of 30 students, many of whom now hold positions in philosophy in several different countries. He has published extensively on analytic metaphysics, the philosophy of mind and Austrian thought from Bolzano to Musil, in particular on ascent, attitudes, certainty, colours, connectives, correctness, dependence, emotions, foolishness, grounds, indexicality, interest, irony, knowledge, meaning something, meanings, norms, properties, perception, poetry, processes, promises, reasons, relations, states of affairs, tropes, truth, truthmakers, wholes and value.

Damiano Costa

Lecturer in Philosophy at USI and Deputy Director of the Institute of Philosophical Studies, Lugano. He works mainly in metaphysics, but his research interests extend to issues in the philosophy of religion, of physics and medieval philosophy. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Geneva in 2014. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University and a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer at USI, the Institute of Philosophical Studies, Lugano, the Universities of Neuchâtel, Geneva, and Fribourg.


Franz Berto

Professor at the University of Saint Andrews (UK), where he holds the chair of logic and metaphysics. He also teaches at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). His main research interests are in metaphysics and logic. He was appointed senior university lecturer at the University of Aberdeen (UK) in 2012, where he was a member of Crispin Wright’s Northern Institute of Philosophy. He is a principal investigator with the Early Career Researcher project ‘The Metaphysical Basis of Logic’, funded by the UK’s Arts & Humanities Research Council. Prior to that, he worked as a research fellow at the University of Padua and at Ca’Foscari in Venice, and at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, US). He was also a Chaire d’Excellence postdoctoral fellow at the École Normale Supérieure (Sorbonne, Paris).


Claudio Calosi

Currently a post-doc at the University of Geneva, Department of Philosophy. He will be Assistant Professor in Geneva from 2020 working on the project: Metaphysics of Quantum Objects. He has been a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Lecturer at Urbino University, USI, University of Neuchatel —and Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of California at Irvine and New York University. He works mainly in Analytic Metaphysics and Philosophy of Physics. The core of his research concerns the application of formal methods (e.g. mereology, topology, dependence, location, plural logic) to broad philosophical issues such as identity, composition, dependence, and fundamentality. Lately, he has been doing some work in Philosophy & Literature as well.


Marco Colombetti

Full professor at Politecnico di Milano (Italy), in this Faculty he lectures in the area of Computer Science at the Bachelor and Master programs. Since 1977 he has carried out research in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Knowledge Engineering, and Cognitive Science, devoting particular interest to communication processes in both humans and artificial systems. He has authored or coauthored about 150 scientific papers published in international journals, books, and conference proceedings, and a book published by the MIT Press.


Paolo Crivelli

Full Professor in ancient philosophy at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). He took his first degree at the University of Firenze (Italy) in 1988. Then, he took his doctorate at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (Italy) in 1992. After a brief period of research at St John's College, Oxford, he became Lecturer (1992) and then Senior Lecturer (1998) at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Edinburgh. In 2002 he was elected Herbert Nicholas Fellow in Classical Philosophy at New College, Oxford, a position he held until he moved to Geneva in 2011.
Professor Crivelli’s main area of research is Philosophy of Language, Logic, and Ontology in classical antiquity (mainly Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics). “I like to ask modern philosophical questions to ancient authors and work out their answers, or the answers they are committed to, on the basis of a scrupulous application of philological tools”.


Kit Fine

Professor of Metaphysics, Logic, and Philosophy of Language at New York University (USA). After graduating at Oxford University he received his PhD at the University of Warwick. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a corresponding fellow of the British Academy. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies and is a former editor of the Journal of Symbolic Logic. In addition to his primary areas of research, he has written papers in ancient philosophy, linguistics, computer science, and economic theory.


Gilles Kepel

French political scientist and Arabist, specialised in the contemporary Middle East and Muslims in the West. He is Adjunct Professor and scientific director of the Middle East Mediterranean Freethinking Platform. He is also Professor at the Université Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) and director of the Middle East and Mediterranean Chair at PSL, based at Ecole Normale Supérieure. Originally trained as a classicist, he started to study Arabic after a journey to the Levant in 1974. He first graduated in Philosophy and English, then completed his Arabic language studies at the French Institute in Damascus (1977–78), and received his degree from SciencesPo in 1980. His research interests focus on the current geopolitical configurations and conflicts in the Middle East Mediterranean region; on the impact of Jihadi terror in the wake of the Massive attacks on French and European soil. He investigated the developments of Islam as a social and political phenomenon in France, with an innovative approach in Islamic studies in the West.
He researched on the 2005 French Banlieues riots in the Clichy-Montfermeil area, north of Paris, whence the events sparked. He did also compared studies of political-religious movements in Islam, Judaism and Christianity.


Kathrin Koslicki

Professor of Philosophy and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Epistemology and Metaphysics at the University of Alberta (Canada). Her primary research areas are metaphysics, ancient Greek philosophy and philosophy of language. Koslicki’s article, “The Semantics of Mass-Predicates”, was chosen by The Philosopher’s Annual as one of the ten best philosophy articles to appear in 1999. She received her BA in philosophy from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1990 and her PhD in philosophy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995. She previously taught at the University of Colorado-BoulderTufts University, the University of Florida and the University of New Orleans; she joined the University of Alberta’s philosophy department in 2014. She is best known for her defence of a neo-Aristotelian, structure-based theory of parts and wholes.


John Marenbon

Fellow of the British Academy, Senior Research Fellow of Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), and Honorary Professor of Medieval Philosophy at the University of Cambridge (UK). His interests cover the whole breadth of philosophy in the Long Middle Ages (c. 200 – c. 1700), in the Latin and Greek Christian, Islamic and Jewish traditions. He is one of the leaders of the project 'Immateriality, Thinking and the Self in the Philosophy of the Long Middle Ages', a joint project of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge and the Department of Philosophy, Peking University, financed by the British Academy through an International Partnership and Mobility Grant, March 2015 – February 2016. He is currently a Professor of Philosophy and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Epistemology and Metaphysics in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Alberta.


Anna Marmodoro

Professor of Metaphysics at the Durham University (UK). She graduated at the University of Pisa (Italy) and received her PhD at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Her main research area is in ancient philosophy, metaphysics, philosophy of religion. She is Research Fellow and Associate Faculty Member, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford. She is also founder and co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Dialogoi. Ancient Philosophy Today, published by Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming in the press from 2019.


Martine Nida-Rümelin

Full professor of philosophy at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) since 1999. She was a full professor in Munich (Germany) with partial activity from 2001 to 2004. She studied philosophy, mathematics, psychology and political sciences at the University of Munich. In 1994 she won the Prize of the German Society for Analytic Philosophy (Wolfgang- Stegmüller Preis) for her doctoral thesis “Farben und phänomenales Wissen”. During a stay of 6 months in the USA in 1991, she was tutored by Roderick M. Chisholm (Providence, Rhode Island) and Tylor Burge (UCLA, California). She has directed several research projects funded by the National Science Foundation of Switzerland: ‘Normative Phenomenology’ (since 10/2014); «First Person Access, Phenomenological Reflection and Phenomenal Concepts» (5/2009-5/2012); «The phenomenology of Agency» (10/2010-10/2014); «Can reasons be seen?» (1/2007-12/2007); «Philosophy and Color Vision Science» (2002-2008).


Pasquale Porro

Full professor of medieval philosophy at the University of Paris, Sorbonne (France).
After graduating at the University of Bari (Italy) he got his PhD at the University of Rome (La Sapienza). He was professor of medieval philosophy at the University of Bari from 2000 to 2013, where he became also director of the department of philosophy. In 2013 he moved to the University of Paris.
From 2012 he is director of the prestigious ‘Société Internationale pour l’Étude de la Philosophie Médiévale' [SIEPM]. He is also co-director of the journal 'Quaestio. Yearbook of the History of Metaphysics / Annuaire d’histoire de la métaphysique'.


Andrea Rocci

Full Professor and Director of the Institute of Argumentation, Linguistics and Semiotics at the Università della Svizzera italiana. He is also Director of the Master programme in Financial Communication offered jointly by the faculties of Economics and Communication Sciences at the same university. He has published extensively in the fields of argumentation, pragmatics, semantics and discourse analysis. He is co-author (with Marcel Danesi) of a textbook on Global linguistics. He has directed/is directing several projects on argumentation in the contexts of journalism, corporate communication and financial communication funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).


Thomas Sattig

Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Tuebingen (Germany) since 2012. He was an undergraduate student at Tuebingen and at Stanford University, and a graduate student at Oxford University, where he received his B.Phil. in 1999 and his D.Phil. in 2001. From 2002 to 2005, he was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and a Junior Research Fellow at Brasenose College, Oxford. Subsequently, he held tenure-track positions as Assistant Professor at Tulane University and at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition, he held a Research Fellowship from the Humboldt-Foundation and was a visiting professor at UCLA.


Peter Simons

Full professor of philosophy at the Trinity College Dublin (Ireland). He studied at the University of Manchester, and has held teaching posts at the University of Bolton, the University of Salzburg, where he is Honorary Professor of Philosophy, and the University of Leeds. He has been President of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy and is current director of the Franz Brentano Foundation. 
His research interests include metaphysics and ontology, the history of logic, the history of Central European Philosophy, particularly in Austria and Poland in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the application of metaphysics to engineering and other non-philosophical disciplines. He is the author of two books and over 200 articles. He is currently working on a project supported by the British Academy to chart the metaphysics of quantity.


Barry Smith

Prominent contributor to both theoretical and applied research in ontology. He is the author of some 500 publications on ontology and related topics, and editor of The Monist: An International Quarterly Journal of General Philosophical Inquiry. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the US, Swiss and Austrian National Science Foundations, the US Department of Defense, the Volkswagen Foundation, and the European Union. In 2002 he received the 2 million Euro Wolfgang Paul Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 2010 he was awarded the first Paolo Bozzi Prize in Ontology by the University of Turin. Smith is SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Director of the National Center for Ontological Research and of the Center for Brain and Behavior Informatics in the University at Buffalo. He is also Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Neurology and of Computer Science. Smith’s pioneering work on the science of ontology led to the formation of the OBO (Open Biomedical Ontologies) Foundry, a set of resources designed to support information-driven research in biology and biomedicine. Smith is one of the principal scientists of the NIH National Center for Biomedical Ontology, a Scientific Advisor to the Gene Ontology Consortium, and a PI on the Protein Ontology and Infectious Disease Ontology projects.


Gianfranco Soldati

Full Professor of modern and contemporary philosophy at the Philosophy Department of  Fribourg University. He works on phenomenology, mind and knowledge. Among other things he is interested in problems related to self-knowledge and in the philosophical analysis of experience. He was editor of the prestigious Dialectica and a member of the scientific council of the Swiss National Science Foundation.


Sara Uckelman

Assistant Professor of logic and philosophy of language at Durham University by day and a writer of speculative fiction by night. Professor’s Uckelman main focus is in the realm of formal modeling and interactive logic. Her work brings together tools and techniques from modern logic and artificial intelligence to help explore and understand practices of reasoning and argumentation in historical contexts. Her personal research is primarily focused on developments in medieval Western Europe, particularly in medieval theories of obligationes, but she is also interested in the development of logic within the epistemological and debate traditions in Buddhist India and Tibet. In philosophy of language, she is interested in questions of meaningfulness that go beyond the standard issues of the meaning of natural languages, especially the unique issues of meaning that fiction, and especially fanfiction, pose. She is currently writing a logic textbook, What Is Logic?. She also the Editor-in-Chief and Principal Investigator of the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, and an Associate Editor of Journal of Logic, Language, and Information. Outside of academia, in addition to her fiction writing, she is the principal organizer of, a site for short reviews of short science fiction & fantasy stories.


Achille Varzi

Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, New York (USA). After graduating from the University of Trento (Italy), he received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto (Canada). His main research interests are in logic and metaphysics. He is an editor of The Journal of Philosophy, a subject editor of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and an associate or advisory editor of The MonistSyntheseDialecticaThe Review of Symbolic Logic, and other journals. He also writes for the general public and contributes regularly to some Italian newspapers, and is currently teaching for the Prison Education Program sponsored by Columbia University’s Justice-in-Education Initiative.


Giovanni Ventimiglia

Full Professor of Philosophy and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Lucerne (Switzerland). His main interests lie in classical ontology, also with regard to their relevance in contemporary debates related to analytic ontology.
He has been involved, along with others, as a research unit leader in the consortium Ethicbots in the field of roboethics and is director of the research project Metaphysik und Ontologie in der Schweiz im Zeitalter der Reformation (1519-1648) funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.
He earned his PhD in philosophy from the Catholic University in Milan (Italy) in 1996. He founded the Institute for Philosophical Studies (ISFI) (former Istituto di Filosofia applicata) at the Faculty of Theology Lugano in 2003 and was Director until 2017. He is founder and Honorary President of the Aristotle College Lugano (Switzerland). He is the main editor of the book series “Thomistic Metaphysics and Analytical Metaphysics”, published by Carocci, Rome. He was Academic Secretary of the Faculty of Theology of Lugano (Switzerland) from 1999 to 2004, and member of the Commission of Culture of the City of Lugano from 2004 to 2008.


Maurizio Viroli

Professor of Political Communication at the University of Italian Switzerland (Lugano), Professor Emeritus of Politics at Princeton University  and Professor of Government at the University of Texas (Austin). He has served as an advisor on cultural activities to the President of the Italian Republic during the presidency of Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (1999-2006), and has worked for the President of the Camera dei Deputati during the presidency of Luciano Violante (1996-2001). He has served as the coordinator of the National Committee for the Improvement of the Republican Culture within the Ministry of Home Affairs. He has been consultant of ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities). On May 30, 2001, he was appointed Ufficiale dell'Ordine al Merito of the Italian Republic.
He holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Bologna and a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute of Firenze. He has taught and conducted research at the universities of Cambridge (Clare Hall), Georgetown (Washington, D.C.), the United Arab Emirates, Trento, Campobasso, Ferrara, the Institute for Advanced Study of Princeton, the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, the European University Institute of Firenze (Jean Monnet Fellow), the Collegio of Milano and the Scuola Superiore di Amministrazione dell’Interno. He has promoted and directed several projects on civic education in Italian schools. In particular, he has founded and is now the Director of a Master’s program in Civic Education established at Asti by Ethica Association.
His main fields of research are political theory and the history of political thought, classical republicanism and neo-republicanism, with special expertise on Niccolò Machiavelli and Jean Jacques Rousseau, republican iconography, the relationship between religion and politics, patriotism, constitutionalism, classical rhetoric, political communication, citizenship, and civic education.


Stefan Wolf

Associate professor for Informatics at USI since 2011. Born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, he received a Dipl. Math. ETH, followed by a PhD in Computer Science from ETH Zurich under the supervision of Professor Ueli Maurer. After a postdoc at McGill University, Montreal, he was Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and Université de Montréal, Quebec. From 2005 to 2011, he was an SNF Professor for Quantum Information at ETH Zürich.
His research domain lies in the fields of cryptography, information theory, and quantum information processing. In particular, he is interested in an efficient realization of provably secure cryptographic and other information-processing functionalities based on weak classical or quantum-physical primitives.


Christian Wüthrich

Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Genève (Switzerland). He works primarily in philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, and metaphysics.
He has studied at the Universities of Bern, Cambridge, and Pittsburgh, where he received his PhD. He is the recipient of the 2009 Philosophy of Science Association Recent PhD Essay Award and the 2012 Lauener Prize for Up-and-Coming Philosophers and was a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. He was Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. Currently, he collaborates with Nick Huggett (University of Illinois at Chicago) on a large Templeton-funded project in the philosophy of quantum gravity.