Our PhD students conduct research in a wide variety of subject areas--to find out more about their work click on the tabs below.

Maxim van Asseldonk

What did you study before coming to Aberdeen, and how does it feed into your current programme? For my master’s thesis in Philosophy (revised version published in Constellations, 2020) I intervened into the debate on the democratic boundary problem, briefly put the question of how to demarcate the demos that supposedly rules itself in a democracy. Many of the concerns raised by that debate resonate with my current project, as part of it is concerned with problematic naturalisations of ‘the people’ in theories of constituent power.

What are you studying/researching (details about your project are very welcome)? Please let us know who your supervisor is as well. My PhD project attempts to develop an account of constituent power that maintains its democratic potentials, but simultaneously avoids some of the more problematic tendencies displayed by traditional theories. Supervised by Beth Lord and Trevor Stack.

Peer-reviewed publications: van Asseldonk, Maxim (2022). “Robert Cover as a Radical Democrat.” Law & Critique (forthcoming; manuscript accepted 02-2022). van Asseldonk, Maxim (2021). “Who, the People? Rethinking Constituent Power as Praxis.” Philosophy & Social Criticism (24-05-2021). van Asseldonk, Maxim (2020). “Beyond Civil Bounds: the demos, political agency, subjectivation, and democracy’s boundary problem.” Constellations (27-11-2020).

What do you hope to do after finishing your programme? Continue in academia, so the most logical option would be to obtain a postdoc position somewhere.

What do you enjoy most about living and studying in Aberdeen? The abundance of stunning nature in the area and the access to lots of fresh seafood.

María Bibiloni

Research: I did my Undergraduate studies at the National University of La Plata (Argentina). My final dissertation tackled the old debate between Semantics and Pragmatics in the Philosophy of Language. In 2018, I was awarded the Elphinstone Scholarship for doing my PhD at the University of Aberdeen. My current research focuses on topics related to verbal abuse and is supervised by Dr Stephan Torre within the Leverhulme International Network Grant "What's So Special about First-Person Thought?".

 

Back in Argentina, I worked as an educator in vulnerable social contexts which led me to dig deeper into long life concerns such as Education, Feminism, Ethics and Politics; all of which I try to blend with my academic interests.

 

When I’m not doing research, I enjoy playing and coaching basketball, being with other human beings and reading literature.

Beth Doran

Research: I have just graduated with my honours degree in philosophy at the University of Aberdeen in 2018 and I am now working on a PhD in Gender and Sport as part of the Elphinstone Scholarship award offered by Aberdeen uni. I am working primarily with Dr. Federico Luzzi and examining the ethical implications of segregating sport by sex - particularly questioning how sex-segregation is still permissible in sport when one might find this problematic in other contexts. I was drawn to this area of research above all else because of its immediate relevance and the level of debate that it inspires.

Outside of research I enjoy playing rugby and having a go at other outdoor sports, spending time with my friends and family, and judging people on Great British Bake Off while never attempting to bake for myself.

Joyce Estelle S. Fungo

What did you study before coming to Aberdeen, and how does it feed into your current programme? I studied Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and Master of Arts in Philosophy at the De La Salle University in the Philippines. I completed my master’s thesis entitled “A case for Kvanvig’s objectual understanding as the primary epistemic aim of education” where I defended the position of objectual understanding in the epistemic aims debate. This research project gave me a good introduction to my current research work, which involves the problem of epistemic values.

What are you studying/researching (details about your project are very welcome)? Please let us know who your supervisor is as well. What makes knowledge more valuable than merely true belief? This is the question that my research project aims to address, i.e., the problem of epistemic value, as funded by the James Beattie Scholarship, and under the supervisions of Luca Moretti and Fed Luzzi.

What do you hope to do after finishing your programme? Upon finishing my program, I hope to remain in academia and pursue postdoctoral studies.

What do you enjoy most about living and studying in Aberdeen? I enjoy the quiet and solemn atmosphere in Aberdeen, and I like working with fellow academics who share many of the same struggles that I have. I think of it as a hospitable community

Élaina Gauthier-Mamaril

Research: I hail from Val-des-Monts, Canada, and I hold a Bachelor of Philosophy (2014) and a Master of Arts in Philosophy (2015) from the Dominican University College in Ottawa. I am the recipient of the Elphinstone Scholarship for “Spinoza, Political Affect, and Political Decision-Making” and I started my PhD in 2016 under the supervision of Beth Lord. My research focuses on the link between individual and collective power through the analysis of political affect in Spinoza and I aim to apply a Spinozist grid to the public health policies that structure patient participation in mental health services in the UK. When I am not musing about relational ontology, I enjoy cooking, swing dancing and singing wherever and whenever possible.

Christos Georgakakis

Research: My name is Christos Georgakakis and I come from Greece. I hold a Degree in Education (School of Primary Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and an MA in Philosophy (King’s College, London). Before starting my PhD, I worked in primary and secondary schools in London and I am the recipient of the Elphinstone Scholarship for the study of Internalist and Externalist Theories of Epistemic Justification in Epistemology. My research, which is conducted under the supervision of Dr. Luca Moretti and Dr. Federico Luzzi, is focused on examining whether and how perceptual experiences can provide justification for beliefs which are based on them if it is true that perception can be influenced by non-perceptual factors, such as beliefs, fears and desires. Besides Epistemology, my areas of academic interest include Metaethics and Philosophy of Education. When I am not researching, I enjoy teaching, running and watching thought-provoking movies and TV series.

Jonah Haddad

Research: My name is Jonah Haddad. I currently live in Colorado, USA. I earned an M.A. in Philosophy of Religion from Denver Seminary. After this, I studied at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit in Leuven, Belgium where my research in theology focused on problems related to postmodern philosophical hermeneutics. Philosophy of religion and epistemology are my main areas of interest. My research at the University of Aberdeen is focused in contemporary epistemology. I am investigating logical entailments between closure-based and underdetermination-based scepticism to discover how to best target cartesian-style sceptical scenarios. My supervisors are Dr. Federico Luzzi and Dr. Luca Moretti. I like to study, but I also like to explore the mountains of Colorado. Some hobbies include writing poetry and playing heavy metal guitar.

Jesse Hamilton

Research: I received an MA with distinction in philosophical theology from the University of Nottingham, where I studied under Simon Oliver. I am writing my PhD dissertation at Aberdeen under Stephan Torre and Donald Wood. My dissertation is a project in analytic philosophy of religion. It aims to lay a philosophical foundation for a theodicy from the perspective of Reformed theology, which operates within a compatibilistic framework, at least where moral responsibility is concerned. This project will have a significant philosophy of action component in addition to interacting largely with the 20th-century tradition in analytic philosophy of religion. 

I spent over seven years in China working with a non-profit organization and continue to be active in charity work throughout Asia from my home in the States. When not studying or otherwise occupied, I enjoy listening to my wife’s award-winning piano playing and observing my daughter’s latest art enterprise. I also dabble in poetry writing, at least when the weather turns. 

Alessio Persichetti

Research: My name is Alessio Persichetti, I was born in Rome (Rome) and I grew up in Tuscany, Italy. I received a B.A. (2012) and a Phil. Lic. in Philosophy (2014) from the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome), plus a M.A. in Philosophy (2016) from Università degli Studi Roma Tre (Roma Tre University). 

My areas of specialization consist in Logic, Philosophy of Language and the History of Analytic Philosophy, in particular Wittgenstein and Frege; at the other hand, my secondary areas of competence are Philosophy of Mind and Epistemology. My PhD research, under the supervision of Dr Paula Sweeney, regards Wittgenstein’s Rule-Following paradox: my endeavour is to demonstrate how this sceptical paradox loses its force once correctly reframed under different assumptions. 

 

In my free time I enjoy playing chess, listening to jazz and reading books. 

Emily Stevens

Research: I’m from the state of Michigan in the US. I have acquired a BS in general psychology and an MA in analytic philosophy. My research interests are philosophy of technology, bioethics, enhancement technologies, and transhumanism on one side and philosophy of beauty, aesthetics, art theory, and modern/contemporary art on the other. I am currently researching philosophy of technology within a virtue ethics framework; I’m hoping to pull in a few contemporary artists to make visible the effects of technology on our perceptions. I am anticipating utilizing the work of Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and Frank Stella. When I’m not subsumed with research, I enjoy a good cup of dark roast coffee, playing roller hockey, reading a good novel, and being with friends (even if we are doing nothing but chatting).

Anthony Zirpoli

Research: I completed my Master’s degree at The New School for Social Research in Philosophy in 2014. Afterward, I spent several years surviving New York City, and then relocated to Jacksonville, Florida where I taught English grades 6-8 in the public school system for 2 years. I began working on my PhD at the University of Aberdeen in 2018 under Dr. Beth Lord’s supervision. My current research examines the function of ‘commonality’ within Spinoza’s philosophy, with a specific focus on the ontological-political evolution of the concept.

Outside of my work on Spinoza, I am also interested in Contemporary Intersectional Feminism, Postcolonialism, Psychoanalysis, and various scientific fields. When not subsumed by research, I enjoy films, literature, board games, and expanding my collection of pocket watches.