Lydia Farina

Lydia Farina

My research focuses on the metaphysics of natural kinds and social kinds, the nature of mental states (with a particular interest in emotion states) and questions relating to personal identity and the philosophy of artificial intelligence.

In my thesis, I reject the traditional view of natural kinds (namely essentialism) in favour of an epistemological account where natural kinds are property clusters showing an aptness for successful induction and explanation of the phenomena included in them. 

I argue that this account can be used to claim that emotion is a social and natural kind. It is a social kind because it relates to phenomena which are best investigated by looking at several domains in the social sphere such as social psychology, sociology and social ecology. It is a natural kind because it is a stable property cluster; it shows an aptness for successful induction and explanation.

This claim has important implications for the scientific study of emotion.

The Philosophy department at The University of Manchester was an ideal place to carry out my research. It has experts in both my research areas eg Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Mind and it provides many opportunities for early career researchers or postgraduate students to present work and get invaluable feedback in a friendly environment.

I was extremely lucky to be supervised by Joel Smith and Helen Beebee; I could not recommend them enough as excellent supervisors and as great people to work with.

I am currently holding a Teaching Associate position at the University of Nottingham, teaching modules in Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology and Ethics to undergraduate and postgraduate students. I currently work on articles relating to the metaphysics of social kinds, the classification of mental states and the philosophy of artificial intelligence.