Page personnelle de Florian Cova
Je suis Professeur Assistant au Département de Philosophie de l'Université de Genève, grâce au soutien d'une bourse Eccellenza du Fonds National Suisse (FNS), et membre du Centre Interfacultaire en Sciences Affectives (CISA).
La plupart de mes recherches se situent à l'intersection entre philosophie et sciences cognitives, dans le champ qu'on appelle aujourd'hui la philosophie expérimentale. Je m'intéresse en particulier aux sources de nos jugements de valeur (en particulier moraux, mais aussi esthétiques ou politiques), ce qui m'a conduit à travailler dans des champs aussi divers que la méta-éthique, l'éthique, la philosophie de l'action, l'esthétique, la psychologie des émotions ou la psychologie morale. Mes travaux ont été publiés dans des revues scientifiques tant en philosophie qu'en psychologie, neurosciences ou linguistique.
J'ai coordonné de nombreux projets de recherche. En ce moment, mon activité se concentre sur les projets suivants :
Le projet Eudaimonic emotions and the (meta-)philosophy of well-being (2019-2024), financé par le FNS. Ce projet cherche à analyser ce que nous voulons dire quand nous disons que certaines vies ont plus de "sens" que d'autres et à explorer les sources de cette intuition, afin d'en tirer les conséquences pour les théories philosophiques de la vie bonne.
Le projet Beyond charity: the variety of value-driven emotions in philanthropic behavior (2019-2022), en coopération avec le Centre en Philanthropie de l'Université de Genève. Ce projet vise à comprendre le rôle joué par différentes émotions positives dans le comportement philanthropique, notamment dans les comportements qui ne visent pas à venir en aide à des personnes individuelles dans le besoin mais à promouvoir certaines valeurs abstraites (culture, science, art, nature, etc.)
Vous pouvez me contacter à : florian.cova AT gmail.com
Photo par Jörg Brockmann
Fuhrer, J. & Cova, F. (in press). What makes a life meaningful? Folk intuitions about the content and shape of meaningful lives. Philosophical Psychology.
It is often assumed that most people want their life to be “meaningful”. But what exactly does this mean? Though numerous research have documented which factors lead people to experience their life as meaningful and people’s theories about the best ways to secure a meaningful life, investigations in people’s concept of meaningful life are scarce. In this paper, we investigate the folk concept of a meaningful life by studying people’s third-person attribution of meaningfulness. We draw on hypotheses from the philosophical literature, and notably on the work of Susan Wolf (Study 1) and an objection Antti Kauppinen raised against it (Study 2). In Study 1, we find that individuals who are successful, competent, and engaged in valuable and important goals are considered to have more meaningful lives. In Study 2, we find that the perceived meaningfulness of a life does not depend only on its components, but also on how its elements are ordered and how it forms a coherent whole (the “narrative shape” of this life). Additionally, our results stress the importance of morality in participants’ assessments of meaningfulness. Overall, our results highlight the fruitfulness of drawing on the philosophical literature to investigate the folk concept of meaningful life.
Mihailov, E., López, B. R., Cova, F., & Hannikainen, I. R. (2021). How pills undermine skills: Moralization of cognitive enhancement and causal selection. Consciousness and Cognition, 91, 103120.
Despite the promise to boost human potential and wellbeing, enhancement drugs face recurring ethical scrutiny. The present studies examined attitudes toward cognitive enhancement in order to learn more about these ethical concerns, who has them, and the circumstances in which they arise. Fairness-based concerns underlay opposition to competitive use—even though enhancement drugs were described as legal, accessible and affordable. Moral values also influenced how subsequent rewards were causally explained: Opposition to competitive use reduced the causal contribution of the enhanced winner’s skill, particularly among fairness-minded individuals. In a follow-up study, we asked: Would the normalization of enhancement practices alleviate concerns about their unfairness? Indeed, proliferation of competitive cognitive enhancement eradicated fairness-based concerns, and boosted the perceived causal role of the winner’s skill. In contrast, purity-based concerns emerged in both recreational and competitive contexts, and were not assuaged by normalization.
Allard, A., & Cova, F. (2020). Equality Beyond Needs‐Satisfaction: An Empirical Investigation. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 37(2), 273-298.
The moral value of distributive equality constitutes one of the most contentious debates in political philosophy. Following Frankfurt, many philosophers have claimed that the intuitive appeal of equality is illusory and that egalitarian intuitions are fundamentally intuitions about the importance of satisfying basic needs. According to this argument, our intuitions tell us that inequality ceases to matter once a certain threshold has been reached. Despite the widespread appeal to intuitions regarding this issue, few empirical studies have tried to assess whether Frankfurt and his followers are right in claiming the lack of intuitiveness of equality per se. In a series of three experiments, we show that experimental evidence does not allow us to settle the intuitiveness of each theory: laypeople are divided in the consideration of the respective importance of needs and equality. While our results do show that laypeople attach special importance to needs-fulfilment, it also seems that they are divided when it comes to the importance they grant to equality once needs are fulfilled. No theory is unanimously backed by participants, and it seems that, fundamentally, divisions among philosophers reflect deep divisions among people.