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Roberta De Monticelli

San Raffaele University
Values in the Flesh. A Phenomenology of Value Qualities
01 September 2019 -
30 June 2020

Roberta De Monticelli is Professor of Philosophy of Personhood at San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy. She has been Professor of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy at the University of Geneva (1989-2004), and PhD Student of Sir Michael Dummett in Oxford (at Wolfson College). She is Director of the Research Center PERSONA (see also its forum, Phenomenology Lab) and Chief Editor of Phenomenology and Mind. She has been Visiting Professor at KU Leuven and Husserl Archiv (2018), Research Fellow at Columbia University (2017) and at Humboldt Universität Berlin (2012). Her last book – The Gift of Bonds (1918) explores phenomenological philosophy as an inquiry into the validity of all constraints on human arbitrariness: logical, but also ethical, legal, political norms.

Research Interests

Phenomenological Approaches to Mind and  Personhood; Norms and Values – Feeling/Emotions – Will/Decisions – Personal Identity – Embodied Cognition; Practical Reason-Cosmopolitanism-Europe

Values in the Flesh. A Phenomenology of Value Qualities

The word “values” raises suspicion in public and private conversations. The prevailing view confines values to cultural traditions or faith commitments. From that point of view, the plurality of values is just a sign of their historical relativity. Relativism is simply viewed as the price to pay for secularism and the modern, the liberal foundations of an open society. Axiological scepticism, denying that value judgments have truth conditions, is mainstream also in academic research, including philosophy, the cognitive sciences and the social sciences.

The main goal of this project is to show that such an axiological scepticism is unmotivated and that Hume’s or Kelsen’s dichotomy of facts and values can be rejected. Practical reason can be reestablished on the foundations of value experience. I shall adopt a phenomenological method in clarifying the properties of value experience, its normativity, and the role of emotional sensitivity in value cognition. Accordingly, I aim to investigate (i) the very nature of value qualities, with a focus on different subclasses of values and our experience of them; and (ii) the role of value experience as a foundation of practical embodied reason, intentionality and action.


Seminar by Roberta de Monticelli, 2019-2020 Paris IAS Fellow, as part of the CREA XVIII / Programme d'Etudes sur l'Angleterre de la Renaissance aux Lumières : "Matière, matérialité, matérialisme".
10 Jan 2020 17:00 -
10 Jan 2020 18:30,
Paris :
Le cœur a-t-il ses raisons ? Deux réponses : David Hume et Max Scheler
Conference by Roberta De Monticelli, resident researcher 2019-2020 at the Paris
09 Nov 2019 11:30 -
09 Nov 2019 13:00,
Cologne :
The Axiology of an Interdisciplinary Anthropology
Table ronde en présence de Roberta de Monticelli, résidente chercheuse 2019-2020 à l'IEA de Paris
22 Oct 2019 16:30 -
22 Oct 2019 18:45,
Milan :
Bobbio, Husserl, et la phénoménologie
Masterclass by Roberta de Monticelli (2019-2020 Paris IAS fellow) as part of the Festivalfilosofia Festival
13 Sep 2019 15:00 -
Sassuolo :
Essential individuality, perspectives of phenomenology

Contemporary period (1789-…)
World or no region