Photo of Gabriele Contessa

Gabriele Contessa

Associate Professor

Degrees:Laurea (Universita' di Roma "La Sapienza"), M.Sc. (LSE), Ph.D. ( LSE)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 4197
Office:3A43 Paterson Hall

Office Hours for Fall 2019:

Wednesdays, 2:35 – 3:25 or email for appointment.

Courses for 2019-20:

  • PHIL 2301, Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 3350, Philosophy, Ethics, and Public Affairs
  • PHIL 3360, Philosophy, Economics, and Public Policy
  • PHIL 4008, Seminar in Contemporary Philosophy.  Topic:  The Proper Role of Markets

Research Interests

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Metaphysics
  • Political Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Economics

Selected Publications:


  • Models and Representation, Palgrave Macmillan (New Directions in Philosophy of Science), in preparation.

Edited Volumes

  • Guest Editor, Synthese, 172 (2) (Special Issue: The Ontology of Scientific Models), 2010.

Journal Articles

  1. It Ain’t Easy: Fictionalism, Deflationism, and Easy Arguments in Ontology‘ (Mind, forthcoming)
  2. Dispositions and TricksErkenntnis, forthcoming.
  3. Only Powers Can Confer Dispositions’, The Philosophical Quarterly, 65: 160–176, 2015.
  4. One’s a Crowd: Mereological Nihilism without Ordinary-Object Eliminativism‘, Analytic Philosophy, 55: 199–221, 2014.
  5. Dispositions and Interferences‘, Philosophical Studies, 165: 401–419, 2013.
  6. The Junk Argument: Safe Disposal Guidelines for Mereological Universalists‘, Analysis, 72: 455–457, 2012.
  7. Do Extrinsic Dispositions Need Extrinsic Causal Bases?, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 84: 622–638, 2012.
  8. Modal Truthmakers and Two Varieties of Actualism‘, Synthese, 174: 341–353, 2010.
  9. Scientific Models and Fictional Objects’, Synthese, 172: 215–229, 2010.
  10. A Note on the Nomic Possibility of a Dynamic Shift’, Erkenntnis68: 187–190, 2008.
  11. Scientific Representation, Interpretation, and Surrogative Reasoning’, Philosophy of Science, 74: 48–68, 2007.
  12. There are Kinds and Kinds of Kinds: Ben-Yami on the Semantics of Natural Kind Terms’, Philosophical Studies, 136 (2): 217–248, 2007.
  13. Constructive Empiricism, Observability, and Three Kinds of Ontological Commitment’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 37 (3): 454–468, 2006.
  14. On the Supposed Temporal Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence, or It Wouldn’t Have Taken a Miracle!’, dialectica, 60 (4): 461–473, 2006.

Book Chapters

  1. Scientific Models and Representation‘ in J. Saatsi and S. French(eds.The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science, Continuum Press, 120–137, 2011.
  2. Keeping Track of Neurath’s Bill: Abstract Concepts, Stock Models, and the Unity of Classical Physics‘ (with Nancy Cartwright and Sheldon Steed) in J. Symons, O. Pombo (ed.),The Unity of Science: Essays in Honor of Otto Neurath, Kluwer, 95–108, 2011.
  3. Who is Afraid of Imaginary Objects?’, in D. Jacquette and N. Griffin (eds.) Russell vs Meinong: The Legacy of ‘On Denoting’, Routledge: 248–265, 2008.


Book Symposia

  1. Does Your Metaphysics Need Structure?‘ Analysis73: 715–721, 2013 (as part of a book symposium on Ted Sider‘s Writing the Book of the World, OUP, 2011).*
  2. Sweet Nothings‘, Analysis 72: 354–366, 2012 (as part of a book symposium on Jody Azzouni‘s Talking About Nothing: Numbers, Hallucinations and Fictions, OUP, 2010).
  3. Empiricist Structuralism and Metaphysical Antirealism‘, Analysis, 70: 514–524, 2010 (as part of a book symposium on Bas van Fraassen‘s Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective, OUP, 2008).


Edited Volumes

  • Guest Editor, Synthese, 172 (2) (Special Issue: The Ontology of Scientific Models), 2010.

For a full list of publications and work in progress see: