Dr Joaquim Giannotti

Dr Joaquim Giannotti

Department of Philosophy
Teaching Fellow

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I teach courses in logic and metaphysics. My areas of specializations are the metaphysics of science and the philosophy of science. My work focuses mainly on topics such as the nature of properties, fundamentality, grounding, and structuralism. In 2017, The Royal Institute of Philosophy awarded me with a bursary for “research in certain fundamental parts of philosophy”.


  • PhD in Philosophy, University of Glasgow. June 2019.
  • Visiting Research Student, Durham University. 2017.
  • M.A. in Philosophy, University Vita-Salute San Raffaele. July 2014.
  • B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science, State University of Genova. July 2012.


Before coming to Birmingham, I was a doctoral student as well as teaching assistant at the University of Glasgow. In 2021, I will be a visiting postdoctoral researcher at the Tilburg Center for Moral Philosophy, Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. I passed my PhD viva with no corrections in February 2019. In 2017, I was a visiting research student at Durham University. I am also a member of the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience. Before that, I was an affiliate member of the Glasgow Emergence Project.

I did my undergraduate and master studies in Italy. I got a BA in philosophy and cognitive science at the State University of Genoa (2012). Then I moved to Milan, where I undertook an MA in philosophy and neuroscience at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (2014). In 2015, I moved to Scotland.

I was born in India in 1990. Soon afterwards, I have been adopted by Italian and Swiss parents. I am therefore Indian, Italian and Swiss. My Portuguese name is due to the colonial heritage of the Indian region I am from.

I am particularly devoted to my research. I enjoy attending conferences and talking with other philosophers. Speaking with other specialists as well as non-specialists is very important to me for trying out new ideas. While philosophy is my main passion, it is not the only one. Among other things, I am interested in electronic music, animal rights, football, and powerlifting. When I am not doing philosophy, I am working out or playing football or playing Magic: The Gathering.


I teach and tutor the following courses and modules: Language Through Logic of the Philosopher’s Toolkit B, LI Logic: Its Limits and Scope, Art of Persuasion A: Propaganda and Public Discourse, Problems of Philosophy, Science and Nature, and It’s About Time!


My work focuses primarily on the metaphysics of science. I am interested in the basic concepts and categories that we invoke to describe the world as we find it in scientific investigation and everyday life. It is my belief that an adequate metaphysical theory must be scientifically-informed. As such, philosophical inquiry should go in hand with scientific theorizing.

In print and my PhD thesis, I defend a novel version of fundamental powerful qualities. These are properties that simultaneously endow their bearers with distinctive dispositions and contribute to their characteristic appearance. I argue that my own version of powerful qualities gives us an account of fundamental properties which is metaphysically satisfactory and yet befitting of current science.

At present, I am pursuing a number of publications projects on the metaphysics of powerful qualities. I am also exploring the philosophical ramifications of dispositional essentialism—the view that the fundamental properties of our world are essentially dispositional or powerful.

Another important strand of my research is the topic of fundamentality. Metaphorically speaking, the fundamental is everything that God would have to create in order to bring into existence everything else that exists. Currently, I am investigating two related questions: (1) Can we analyse adequately the fundamental in terms of other metaphysical notions such as grounding or ontological dependence? (2) What is the most adequate conception of fundamentality to make sense of the scientific picture of the world?

In recent times, I’ve become increasingly convinced that some form of ontic structuralism is true. So, I am researching on whether the notion of metaphysical grounding can illuminate this view. I wish to defend the thesis that the physical structures posited by our best theories are fundamental in the sense of being ungrounded, and they are prior to objects in the sense that the latter are grounded in them.


Recent publications


Giannotti, J 2021, 'The fundamentality of fundamental powers', Acta Analytica. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12136-021-00466-0