Giovanni Rolla


Philosopher

Academic biography


I began studying Philosophy in 2007 at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). There I was trained in analytic philosophy—specially philosophy of mind and language.  In 2010 I finished my undergrad studies with a dissertation on content externalism and rationality under the supervision of Paulo Francisco Estrella Faria.

I got my Master's degree in Philosophy from the same institution in 2013 under the supervision of Eros Moreira de Carvalho. I wrote about the epistemological dispute between  externalism and internalism. At the time I tried to develop a middle ground between internalism and externalism in epistemology. I no longer believe such a project is tenable, rest assured.

I began my Ph.D in 2014, also at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul—then supervised by both Paulo Faria and Eros de Carvalho. At first my Ph.D had an emphasis on skepticism and theories of perception, with special focus on disjunctivism. My empirical interests eventually led me to combine disjunctivism with sensorimotor enactivism. During that time, I presented my work in international conferences in Spain, Austria and France (and many other local conferences in Brazil). I was also lucky to be selected to participate in the International Rationality Summer Institute (Aurich, Germany) in 2016, which was the best academic experience of my life.

Since finishing my Ph.D in 2017, I've been working mainly with philosophy of cognition and cognitive sciences from a radically enactive and embodied perspective. I no longer consider myself a typical analytic philosopher, but a pragmatist with an analytic background (or an analytic with strong pragmatist inclinations, if you will). I also became an advocate against the strict historicism prevailing in Brazilian academic Philosophy, the view that all philosophical issues were settled by the great minds of the past, and that all we can do is to  follow in their footsteps and reverentially interpret other philosopher's thoughts. I oppose this received view by producing Philosophy at my own risk.

I was an assistant professor at Federal University of Piauí from 2017 to 2019 before joining my current institution, Federal University of Bahia, where I work as an associate professor since January 2019. In the same year I joined the Enactive Cognition & Narrative Practices research group at the University of Wollongong (Australia). In 2020, fifteen other Brazilian researchers and I founded the Cognition, Language, Enaction and Affectivity research group, in which we meet regularly to discuss the papers we're working on.

and here's a picture of yours truly squinting in Salvador, Bahia