Dr Francesco Antilici

Department of Philosophy
Teaching Fellow

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a Teaching Fellow in Philosophy. I work on the development of social cognition.


  • BA Philosophy, Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (2010)
  • MA Philosophy, Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (2012)
  • PhD Philosophy, University of Sheffield (2018)


I am originally from Rome, Italy. I moved to the UK in 2013 to pursue a PhD degree at the University of Sheffield, which I completed in 2018. In 2016, I spent a semester as a visiting researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at the University of Maryland. After graduating, I worked at the University of Sheffield as a Teaching Fellow for a term before moving to the University of Birmingham in 2019.  


  • LH Global Bioethics
  • LM Philosophy of Health and Happiness
  • LM Philosophy of Cognitive Science


I am interested in the origin, both phylogenetic and ontogenetic, of the social mind. I am attracted to the idea that the very sophisticated social abilities that humans exhibit are supported by several specialised psychological mechanisms that were selected for this purpose during evolution. I would like to find out what these mechanisms are and how they came to be.

In my research so far, I have focussed on the ability to ascribe beliefs to other people. Based on recent findings from developmental psychology and neuroscience, I maintain that this ability emerges very early on in development, even before the first birthday, and may be innate.