Mario De Caro

Contact Info:
Tufts University
Department of Philosophy
Miner Hall
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.3230
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Interview with Prof. De Caro

Visiting Professor

Moral philosophy; philosophy of mind; philosophy of film; the perspectives of philosophical naturalism; the free-will controversy; theory of action; metaphysics; philosophy and cognitive science; history of Renaissance and early modern philosophy

Mario De Caro is Professor of Moral Philosophy at Università Rome Tre. Since the year 2000, he has also been teaching at Tufts University, where he is regularly a Visiting Professor. He received his first degree and his PhD in Philosophy at University of Rome "La Sapienza". He spent two years at MIT as a Visiting Graduate Student and one at Harvard University as a Fulbright Fellow.

He is Associate editor of the Journal of the American Philosophical Association (Cambridge UP), and Ancient Philosophy Today (Edinburgh UP) and member of the editorial and scientific boards of several international journals.

He is Literary executor for Hilary Putnam.

He is Vice President of the Consulta Nazionale di Filosofia (which groups all Italian academic philosophers); a former President of the Italian Society for Analytic Philosophy; a member of the American Philosophical Association on whose Committee on Academic Career Opportunities and Placement he served 2009-2013; and a member of the Steering Committes of the Rome Division of the Italian Society of Philosophy, of the Italian Association for Cognitive Science, and of the Italian Association of Neuroethics and Philosophy of Neurosciences.

He has been an elective member of the Board of Directors of Università Roma Tre (2002-2010), and he is Delegate of the Rector of that university for the relationship with the student body and the coordinator of the programs for the continuing education of teachers of history and philosophy in the high schools.

He has been a consultant for academic issues of the governments of Canada, Portugal and Belgium.

He contributes regularly to the cultural section of the Italian national daily newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, has written for The Times, La Repubblica, La Stampa, and Il Manifesto, and is an author and host of three series of the TV show Zettel, dedicated to philosophy and broadcasted by RAI, the public Italian television.

The asteroid "5329 Decaro" is named in his honor.

He has given invited talks given in 17 countries, in academic institution that include Harvard, Oxford, Princeton, Dartmouth, University of Notre Dame, Boston College, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Indiana, University of New Hampshire, College of the Holy Cross, Toronto, École Normale Supérieure de Paris, Paris Sorbonne, CNRS Paris, Paris IV, Bonn, Heidelberg, Hamburg, Bamberg, Bern, Genéve, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and in more than 60 Italian universities.


In Italian he has published four volumes and about one hundred scholarly articles and edited sixteen volumes. He has also published articles in German, Spanish, Polish, and Romanian. His publications in English include:


Liberal Naturalism (with D. Macarthur), Harvard University Press, Cambridge (MA), forthcoming.


  1. Handbook on Liberal Naturalism (with D. Macarthur), Routledge, forthcoming.
  2. Special issue of the The Monist, dedicated to "Putnam's Liberal Naturalism" (with J. Floyd), forthcoming
  3. Hilary Putnam, In Dialogue, Harvard UP, Cambridge (MA), forthcoming.
  4. The Virtue of Practical Reason (with M.S. Vaccarezza), Routledge, forthcoming.
  5. Special issue of The Monist, dedicated to "Collective Responsibility" (with B. Epstein & E. Kelly), 102, 2019.
  6. Hilary Putnam, Naturalism, Realism, and Normativity, Harvard UP, Cambridge (MA), 2016.
  7. Special issue of The Monist, dedicated to "New Realism" (with M. Ferraris), 98, 2, 2015.
  8. Hilary Putnam, Philosophy in the Age of Science (with D. Macarthur), Harvard University Press, Cambridge (MA) 2012.
  9. Naturalism and Normativity (with D. Macarthur) Columbia University Press, New York, 2010.
  10. Cartographies of the Mind. Philosophy and Psychology in Intersection (with F. Ferretti and M. Marraffa), Springer, Dordrecht 2007.
  11. Naturalism in Question (with D. Macarthur), Harvard University Press, Cambridge (MA) 2004 (paperback edition 2008).
  12. Interpretations and Causes. New Perspectives on Donald Davidson's Philosophy, Synthese Library, Kluwer, Dordrecht 1999.

  1. "Lynne Baker's Near Naturalism," in L.R.G. Oliveira & K.J. Corcoran (eds.), Commonsense Metaphysics. Essays in Honor of Lynne Rudder Baker, Routledge, London forthcoming.
  2. "Hilary Putnam on perspectivism and naturalism," in A.-M- CrețuM. Massimi (ed.), Knowledge from a Human Point of View, Springer, Dordrecht, forthcoming.
  3. "Common-sense and Naturalism", in P. Giladi (ed.), Responses to Naturalism: Critical Perspectives from Idealism and Pragmatism, Routledge, London forthcoming.
  4. "Machiavelli's Lucretian view of free will," in D. Zucca (ed.), Lucretius: Poet and Philosopher, De Gruyter, Berlin forthcoming.
  5. "Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea: The concept of guilt in the age of cognitive science," in A. D'Aloia (ed.), Neuroscience and Law, Springer, Dordrecht forthcoming.
  6. "Putnam's History of Philosophy", in J. Conant & S. Chakraborty (ed.), Hilary Putnam's Philosophy, Routledge, London, forthcoming.
  7. "Morality and Interpretation: The Principle of Phronetic Charity" (with M.S. Vaccarezza), Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, forthcoming.
  8. "Utilitarianism and Retributivism in Cesare Beccaria," The Italian Law Journal, 2016, pp, 1-12.
  9. "Putnam's Liberal Naturalism," in M. Frauchige (ed.), Themes from Putnam(Berlin: Ontos Verlag), forthcoming.
  10. "Phronesis as Ethical Expertise: Naturalism of Second Nature and the Unity of Virtue" (with M.S. Vaccarezza), The Journal of Value Inquiry, 52, pp. 287-305.
  11. "On Galileo's Platonism, again," in J. Agassi, D. Drozdova D. Pisano, (eds.), Hypotheses and Perspectives within History and Philosophy of Science. Hommage to Alexandre Koyré 1964-2014, Springer, Dordrecht, 2018, pp. 84-104.
  12. "Davidson and Putnam on the antinomy of freedom," in A. Berger (ed.), Essays in Honor of Hilary Putnam, Oxford University Press, Oxford, forthcoming.
  13. "The View from Outside: On a Distinctively Cinematic Achievement" (with E. Terrone), Philosophy and Social Criticism, 42, pp. 154-170.
  14. "Review of L.R. Baker, Naturalism and the first-person perspective," Philosophical Review, 124, 1, 2015, pp. 156-158.
  15. "Realism, Common Sense, and Science", The Monist, 2015, pp. 197-214.
  16. "Debunking the Pyramidal Mind: A Plea for Sinergy between Reason and Emotion," Journal of Comparative Neurology (Impact factor: 3.508), 524 (8), June 2016, pp. 1695-1698.
  17. "Bacon against Descartes. Emotions, Rationality, Defenses" (with M. Marraffa), in G. De Anna and R. Martinelli (eds.), Moral Realism and Political Decisions. Practical Rationality in Contemporary Public Contexts, University of Bamberg Press, Bamberg 2015, pp. 63-80.
  18. "Can free will be an illusion?" (invited contributor), Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, 3, 12, 201, pp. 40-50.
  19. "Review of R.A. Auxier and L.E. Hahn (eds.), The philosophy of Richard Rorty," Review of Metaphysics, 2012, 66, 2, pp. 353-354.
  20. "Hilary Putnam: Artisanal Polymath of Philosophy" (with D. Macarthur), Introduction to De Caro & Macarthur (eds.), Philosophy in an Age of Science, pp. 1-19.
  21. "Evolutionary Psychology and Morality: The Renaissance of Emotivism?," in C. Cellucci, E. Grosholz, E. Ippoliti (eds.), Logic and Knowledge, Cambridge Scholars Publisher, Newcastle 2011, pp. 159-166.
  22. "Emergence and Naturalism," in A. Corradini and T. O'Connor (eds.), Emergence in Science and Philosophy, Routledge, London 2010, pp. 190-211.
  23. "Science, Naturalism, and the Problem of Normativity" (with D. Macarthur), Introduction to De Caro & Macarthur (eds.), Normativity and Naturalism, pp. 1-22.
  24. "Is Liberal Naturalism Possible?" (with A. Voltolini), in De Caro etc. (eds.), Normativity and Naturalism, pp. 69-86.
  25. "Bellarmino's Revenge" (with T. Pievani), Boundary 2, 37, 2010, pp. 1-22.
  26. "Not So Fast. On Some Bold Neuroscientific Claims concerning Human Agency" (with A. Lavazza), Neuroethics, 3, 2010, pp. 23-41.
  27. "Varieties of Naturalism," in G. Bealer and R. Koons (eds.), The Anti-materialism Reader: Objections and Alternatives, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2009, pp. 365-374.
  28. "Mental Maps and the Varieties of Spatial Imagination" (with S.L. White), in P.A. Brandt and C. Carstensen (eds.), The Map is not the Territory, Esbjerg Kunstmuseum, Esbjerg (Denmark) 2008, pp. 162-166.
  29. "The Claims of Naturalism," in C. Penco, M. Beaney, and M. Vignolo (eds.), Explaining the Mental Naturalist and Non-Naturalist Approaches to Mental Acts and Processes, Cambridge Scholar Publishing, Newcastle 2007, pp. 222-237.
  30. "Is Anomalous Monism a Suitable Theory of Freedom?," in F. Castellani and J. Quitterer (eds.), Agency and Causation in the Human Sciences, Mentis Verlag, Paderborn 2006, pp. 141-152.
  31. "How To Deal with the Free Will Issue: The Roles of Conceptual Analysis and Empirical Science," in De Caro etc. (eds.), Cartographies of the Mind, pp. 255-268.
  32. "Is Freedom Really a Mystery?," in De Caro and Macarthur (eds.), Naturalism in Question, pp. 188-200.
  33. "Naturalism: Beyond a Philosophical Orthodoxy" (with D. Macarthur), introduction to De Caro and Macarthur (eds.), Naturalism in Question 2004, pp. 1-17.
  34. "Von Wright on the Mind-body Problem," in R. Egidi (ed.), In Search of a New Humanism: The Philosophy of George Henrik von Wright, Kluwer, Dordrecht 1999, pp. 123-130.
  35. "Davidson in Focus," in De Caro (ed.), Interpretations and Causes, pp. 1-29.
  36. "Galileo's Mathematical Platonism," in G. Czermak (ed.), Philosophy of Mathematics, Hoelder-Pichler-Tempsky, 1992, pp. 1-9.