FACTS, PRINCIPLES AND FEASIBILITY

How realization and implementation are conceived of in normative theories? What role, if any, feasibility should have in designing just institutions? Despite the burgeoning interest that the relation between facts and principles received in recent political theorizing, the issue is far from being settled. My interest in this research field concerns the correct way of understanding the problem of realization of normative principles within theories of justice. A fruitful understanding of this problem calls for a new set of categories that could capture the hybrid conceptual nature of this problem.

ANIMAL ETHICS AND POLITICAL LIBERALISM

Despite the recent political turn in animal ethics, scant attention has been paid to the problem of disagreement concerning the treatment that we owe to animals. Such persistent disagreement is not only due to self-interest in the continuation of animal exploitation, nor to epistemic mistakes. There is indeed genuine reasonable disagreement over many issues in animal ethics, and this calls for a politically liberal solution that is grounded on the idea of public justification.
Relatedely, in this research field I have also put in question some tenets of the most important theories in animal ethics, in particular concerning the application of the idea of equality to animals. I have argued against the idea of equal consideration of interests (Singer) which cannot be applied independenly of individuals' moral status, and against sentience as the basis of equality for all sentient animals.

RESPECT, TOLERATION AND PLURALISM

How can we combine the commitment to equal treatment that we owe to all persons with the fact that people differ in many relevant features? This problem not only affects the issue of the baiss of equality but also many practical issues that characterize our societies. In this research area I am particularly interested in whether and how the traditional liberal principles of respect and toleration can provide the most stuitable solution to specific problems, such as the conflict between religion and public spaces, ritual slaughter, the recognition of cultural groups, the cultural refusal to compulsory vaccinations, and symbolic FGM.