Photo of Gabriele Contessa

Gabriele Contessa

Social Epistemology; Philosophy of Science; Philosophy of Economics; Political Philosophy

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

Associate Professor

Office Hours

Wednesdays, 1:35 pm – 2:25 pm (virtual).

Courses for 2022-23

  • PHIL 2301: Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 2901: Truth and Propaganda
  • PHIL 3330: Topics in History of Social and Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 4008: Seminar in Contemporary Philosophy
  • PHIL 5500: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy

Research Interests

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Economics
  • Social Epistemology
  • Political Philosophy

Selected Publications:

Journal Articles

  1. It Take A Village to Trust Science: Towards a (Thoroughly) Social Approach to Public Trust in Science‘ (Erkenntnis, forthcoming)
  2. Shopping for Experts‘ (Synthese, 2022)
  3. On the Mitigation of Inductive Risk‘ (European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 2021)
  4. Inductive Risk in Macroeconomics: Natural Rate Theory, Inductive Risk, and the Great Canadian Slump‘ (Economics & Philosophy, 2021)

  5. Powerful Qualities or Pure Powers?‘ (Metaphysica, 2019).

  6. It Ain’t Easy: Fictionalism, Deflationism, and Easy Arguments in Ontology‘ (Mind, 2016).

  7. Dispositions and Tricks‘ (Erkenntnis, 2016)

  8. Only Powers Can Confer Dispositions‘ (The Philosophical Quarterly, 2015)

  9. One’s a Crowd: Mereological Nihilism without Ordinary-Object Eliminativism‘ (Analytic Philosophy, 2014)

  10. Dispositions and InterferencesPhilosophical Studies, 2013)

  11. The Junk Argument: Safe Disposal Guidelines for Mereological Universalists‘ (Analysis, 2012)

  12. Do Extrinsic Dispositions Need Extrinsic Causal Bases?(Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2012)

  13. Modal Truthmakers and Two Varieties of Actualism‘ (Synthese, 2010)

  14. Scientific Models and Fictional Objects’ (Synthese, 2010)

  15. A Note on the Nomic Possibility of a Dynamic Shift’ (Erkenntnis, 2008)

  16. Scientific Representation, Interpretation, and Surrogative Reasoning’ (Philosophy of Science, 2007)

  17. There are Kinds and Kinds of Kinds: Ben-Yami on the Semantics of Natural Kind Terms’ (Philosophical Studies, 2007)

  18. Constructive Empiricism, Observability, and Three Kinds of Ontological Commitment’ (Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 2006)

  19. On the Supposed Temporal Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence, or It Wouldn’t Have Taken a Miracle!’ (dialectica, 2006)

  20. Book Chapters
  1. Scientific Models and Representation‘ (in J. Saatsi and S. French(eds.The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science, Continuum Press, 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, 2011).
  3. Who is Afraid of Imaginary Objects?’ (in D. Jacquette and N. Griffin (eds.) Russell vs Meinong: The Legacy of ‘On Denoting’, Routledge, 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: