Page tree

Get started by adding some pages to this space. Create page.

Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Name: Matilde Aliffi

PhD: Philosophy

Thesis Title: Epistemic Rationality of Emotions: a new defence


Thesis Description:

My thesis is a new defence of the epistemic rationality of the emotions. The project belongs to an emerging interdisciplinary field of research into the emotions, at the intersection of philosophy of mind, epistemology, and cognitive science. It aims to (a) show that extant account of the rationality of emotions are not compelling and (b) develop a new account of the epistemic rationality of the emotions. Using empirically informed philosophical analysis I investigate whether and how belief-like states influence the emotions and their triggering process. The core part of my work consists in analysing whether and how influences from belief-like states affect the rationality of the emotion.
In particular, my research seeks to develop a promising new avenue of research in epistemology, which tends to focus on the rationality of belief and knowledge to the exclusion of emotion.

Supervisors and Institution(s): 

Professor Lisa Bortolotti, University of Birmingham

Dr Iain Law, University of Birmingham

Other research Interests:

  • Emotional contagion
  • Implicit biases
  • Music and Emotions

Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

Academic year: 2015/2016

Conference presentations:

  • 5th-7th of September 2016: Is the automatic appraisal mechanism informationally encapsulated? XII Conference of the Italian Society of Analytic Philosophy, University of Pistoia, (IT).

  • 13th-15th of June 2016: Do emotions require evaluation? A Reply to the challenge from emotional contagion. 3rd Annual Conference of the European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotions, University of Athens, (GR).

  • 24th of April 2016: Do emotions require appraisals? 7th Conference of Experimental Philosophy, University of Reading, (UK)

Department presentations:

  • 28th of October 2015: Emotional contagion by music. Why deny it? 

  • 18th of May 2016: Do emotions require appraisal? A reply to the challenge from emotional contagion.

Conference organised:

  • 29th of June 2015: First Interdisciplinary Graduate Workshop on Fear: Aesthetic, Philosophical and Economic Perspectives, University of Birmingham.

Project presentation:

  • 7th-14th of July: Presentation of the group project: "Reducing biases against minority groups using virtual reality, with Heather Carlson, Giada Dirupo, Katharina Ohrnberger, Anouk Tuijnman at the International summer school in Affective Sciences 2016, Geneva, CH.



  • 2015-2016 Problems of Philosophy, University of Birmingham.
  • 2015-2016 Ethics and Philosophy of Religion, Bordeseley Green Girls School and Sixth Form.

Academic year: 2016/2017

Conference presentations:

  • 10th-12th of November 2016: What is the relation between the content of the emotion and the content of the appraisal?, VII Conference of the Spanish Society of Analytic Philosophy in Oviedo, (ES).

  •  12th-13th of December 2016: Do ambivalent emotions involve a contradiction? Open minds conference, University of Manchester, (UK).

Department presentations:

  • 26th October 2016 What is the relation between the content of the emotion and the content of the appraisal? 


  • 2016-2017 Problems of Philosophy, University of Birmingham.

Reading group organised:

  • Philosophy of Emotions reading group, University of Birmingham




University email address:



Other Social Media:

  • No labels