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Sofia Bonicalzi, Ph.D.

Current Funded Project

“Dynamics and mechanisms of meaningful voluntary actions”.

Short description: Intentional agency is a central topic in philosophy and cognitive science. The key objective of the project is to link the two research fields by focusing on a little investigated question, namely the relation between conscious meaningful mental states and motor actions. The project pursues this new and important question through a combination of conceptual and experimental methods, and explore its philosophical and practical consequences for free will, voluntary agency, and responsibility.

Funding Agency

LMU Stipendium für Postdoktorandinnen der Bayerischen Gleichstellungsförderung – BGF

Research Topics

action, responsibility, intention, free will, control

Short Biography

Sofia Bonicalzi is a postdoctoral researcher associated with the Chair of Philosophy of Mind, at the LMU. She specialised in philosophy of mind/action, philosophy of cognitive neuroscience, and moral psychology. Before joining the LMU, she has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (Action and Body Group, University College London) and at the School of Advanced Study (University of London), where she has been a member of the team of The Human Mind Project. She works on theoretical aspects of volition, intentions, and responsibility, and carries out experimental work on the cognitive neuroscience of action and intention. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy, with a thesis on free will and responsibility, from the University of Pavia and she has been a visiting Ph.D. candidate at the Sage School of Philosophy, at Cornell University.

Further Information

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

Bonicalzi, S, Kulakova, E., Gilbert, S., Haggard, P. (in prep.), “The mental structure of moral and intentionality judgments”.

Bonicalzi, S., Gallotti, M. (in press), “The participatory dimension of individual responsibility”, Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Beyer, F., Sidarus, N., Bonicalzi, S., Haggard, P. (2016), “Beyond self-serving bias: diffusion of responsibility reduces sense of agency and outcome monitoring”, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11(12), 1-8.

Bonicalzi, S. (2015), “Libet-like experiments and the efficacy of the will”, Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia, 6(1), 130-144.

Bonicalzi, S. (2015), “Does reductivist event-causal compatibilism leave anything out? Lynne Baker’s reflective-endorsement and the bounds of the traditional analyses of moral responsibility”, Phenomenology and Mind. Naturalism, the First-Person Perspective and the Embodied Mind, 7, 128-135.

Bonicalzi, S. (2013), “Moral responsibility beyond classical compatibilist and incompatibilist Accounts”, Prolegomena, 12(1), 21-41.

Bonicalzi, S. (2013), “La Montagna Dipinta” (“The Painted Mountain”), Fata Morgana, 21, 157-163.

Book Chapters

Bonicalzi, S. (2014), “Defining practical reasoning. Constructivism and instrumental reason”, in S. Bonicalzi, L. Caffo, M. Sorgon, eds., Naturalism and Constructivism in Metaethics, CSP.

Bonicalzi, S. (2014), “Skepticism and Control”, in F. Bacchini, M. Dell’Utri, S. Caputo, eds., New advances in causation, agency, and moral responsibility, CSP, pp. 144-164.

Bonicalzi, S., M. De Caro (2013), “Introduction”, in Id., eds., “Free Will: Thirty points of view”, special issue of Methode. Analytic Perspectives, 2(3), pp. 1-4.

Edited Volumes

Lavazza, A., Bonicalzi, S., De Caro, M., Marraffa, M., Pereboom, D. (accepted), eds., “The new science of free will: The ephiphenomenalist challenge to freedom”, Frontiers in Psychology.

Bonicalzi, S., M. De Caro (2013), eds., “Free Will: Thirty points of view”, special issue of Methode. Analytic Perspectives, 2(3).

Bonicalzi, S., L. Caffo, M. Sorgon (2014), eds., Naturalism and Constructivism in Metaethics, CSP.

Recent Talks

30/05/2017. Responsible agency and feeling of control, Sense of Agency and Moral Responsibility, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

05/2017. The dynamics of moral judgments (Poster), Meetings on Neuroscience and Society, University of Padova, Duke University.

05/2017. The dynamics of moral judgments (Poster), SSNAP, Duke University.

15/11/2016. Free will and mental causation, Neurophilosophy LunchTime Seminar, University of Milan.

25/08/2016. Identification and rationality. Looking for a middle path between internalism and externalism about responsibility, Gothenburg Biennial Responsibility Conference 2016.

27/06/2016. What counts as mental causation? Between philosophy of mind and neuroscience, Causality in the Sciences of the Mind and Brain, Aarhus University.

19/05/2016. Beyond self-serving bias: diffusion of responsibility reduces sense of agency and outcome monitoring, Meetings on Neuroscience and Society, University of Padova.

12/05/2016. Proportionality in Justice. Neuroscientific perspectives on a contentious cultural product, Neuroscience at societal scales: an expert workshop, Institut d'Études Avancées de Paris.

09/04/2016. Responsabilità morale. Aspetti del compatibilismo contemporaneo, Seminario Permanente sulla Normatività Pratica, Pavia.

01/03/2016. Neuroscience and neuroethics. From description to prescription?, Icone 2, 2ª Conferência Internacional de Neuroética, Instituto de Bioética - Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Keynote speaker).

14/05/2015. Free will scepticism and neuroscientific results, Meetings on Neuroscience and Society, University of Padova.

17/03/2015. Flickers of moral responsibility - battle of ideas and empirical constraints, Reductionism and antireductionism about agency, Roma Tre University.