Francesco received a B.A. (2008) and M.A. (2011) in Philosophy from the University of Milan, Italy. He is a doctoral candidate in the department of philosophy at Penn State and his primary research interests include ethics and metaethics (particularly moral psychology, the nature of practical reason and the normative development of personal identity), American Philosophy (with a focus on Peirce, Royce and Mead), and 20th Century Continental Philosophy. He is also interested in the bioethical and socio-political implications of contemporary theories of self-constitution.
Francesco's dissertation addresses the question of how the relationship between a person’s evolving identity and its various normative sources (principles, values, ideals, etc.) can be fruitfully construed from a developmental perspective — in short, the question of the normative constitution of personal identity. In particular he intends to show how the philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce, father of American Pragmatism and arguably the most profound American thinker of the last two centuries, can provide us with unique resources for the articulation of a distinctively pragmatic account of self-formation.