Hello, welcome!

I'm currently a PhD student in Economics at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, where I also hold a Master's degree in Philosophy and completed my Bachelor's degree in the same field. My research intersects political philosophy and the philosophy of social sciences, focusing on the philosophy of economics and sociology. My Master's thesis explores the normative and methodological aspects of poverty measurement and places particular emphasis on the measurement and theoretical approaches to poverty developed by British sociologist Peter Townsend. It had an examining committee made up of Nancy Cartwright (Durham University and University of California, San Diego), Alessandro Pinzani (UFSC and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa), and Pedro F. H. G. de Souza (Iesp/UERJ and IPEA), and achieved a perfect grade of 100/100.

Below, you can find my recent work and talks. For my CV, teaching experience, and other work (miscellaneous), refer to the tabs above.

Photos from the city of Belo Horizonte and the countryside of Minas Gerais. My own.

Olá, bem-vinda e bem-vindo!

Sou estudante de doutorado em Economia na Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, onde também concluí o mestrado e graduação em Filosofia. Meu trabalho de pesquisa situa-se na confluência entre filosofia política e filosofia das ciências sociais, enfocando principalmente a filosofia da economia e da sociologia. Em minha dissertação de mestrado, que alcançou nota máxima, investiga os aspectos normativos e metodológicos da mensuração da pobreza, com especial atenção às abordagens teóricas e de medição da pobreza desenvolvidas pelo sociólogo britânico Peter Townsend.

Abaixo você pode encontrar meus trabalhos e apresentações recentes. Meu currículo, juntamente com minha experiência de ensino e atividades de entensão universitária, está disponível nas abas acima.

Fotos da cidade de Belo Horizonte e do interior de Minas Gerais. Minhas.

work / trabalhos

master's thesis / dissertação de mestrado

A New Look into Peter Townsend’s Holy Grail: The Theory and Measure of Poverty as Relative Deprivation. Belo Horizonte: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. 2024. Check out it here:  https://philpapers.org/rec/MAIANL-2 

The development of the science of poverty has largely been driven by the need to define more precisely what poverty is, as well as to provide theoretical and empirical criteria for identifying those who suffer from it. This thesis focuses on a notable response to these and related questions: the conception and measure of poverty by the British sociologist Peter Townsend. Townsend defines poverty as relative deprivation caused by lack of resources. This conception, along with his corresponding cut-off measure, constitutes some of the key components of his theory of poverty. The theory discusses what poverty is, its causes, and how it can be eradicated, and is detailed in Poverty in the United Kingdom: A Survey of Household Resources and Standards of Living (1979), his magnum opus. The primary aim of this thesis is to interpret the theory from Townsend’s adherence to the value-free ideal. He pursued this ideal in response to what he perceived as the pervasive and deleterious influence of moral and political values on measures, theories, and policies on poverty throughout its scientific and political history. I argue that to be free from such influence, Townsend aimed to be as guided by epistemic values as possible, which resulted in a systematic theory of poverty.

O desenvolvimento da ciência da pobreza foi, em grande parte, impulsionado pela necessidade de definir com mais precisão o que é pobreza, bem como de fornecer critérios teóricos e empíricos para identificar aqueles que dela sofrem. Esta dissertação se concentra em uma resposta notável a essas e outras questões fundamentais: a concepção e a medida de pobreza do sociólogo britânico Peter Townsend. Townsend define a pobreza como privação relativa causada pela falta de recursos. Essa concepção, juntamente com sua “medida de corte” correspondente, constitui alguns dos principais componentes de sua teoria da pobreza. A teoria discute o que a pobreza é, suas causas, e como ela pode ser erradicada, e é detalhada em sua obra magna, Poverty in the United Kingdom: A Survey of Household Resources and Standards of Living (1979). O principal objetivo desta dissertação é interpretar a teoria a partir da adesão de Townsend ao ideal de liberdade de valores. Sua busca por esse ideal foi motivada pelo que considerava ser uma influência generalizada e deletéria dos valores morais e políticos nas medidas, teorias e políticas sobre a pobreza ao longo da história científica e política do fenômeno. Argumento que para se livrar dessa influência, Townsend buscou ser o mais guiado possível por valores epistêmicos, o que se traduziu no desenvolvimento de uma teoria sistemática da pobreza. 

chapters / capítulos

"O ideal da ausência de valores na mensuração da pobreza” [The value-free ideal in poverty measurement]. In Silva, P. T. da (Org.). Filosofia, História e Sociologia da Ciência e da Tecnologia. Toledo-PR: Instituto Quero Saber, pp. 87-102. 2024. https://doi.org/10.58942/eqs.78.06 

This is the objective of this text: to show how recent literature on science and values can help us better grasp some of the discussions on the measurement of poverty that have been sparked by the work of the British sociologist, Peter Townsend. We will first present the value-free ideal (section 2); then, what Townsend meant by objective and subjective measures of poverty (section 3) and what is at stake when claiming that poverty is a value judgment (section 4). We end with how it is possible to reject this position (section 5). [In Portuguese]

papers / artigos

"A conditional evaluation of conditionalities: the case of Bolsa Família" (with Mateus Leite). Draft available upon request.

Brazil’s Bolsa Família (PBF) is the largest conditional cash transfer (CCT) in the world. CCTs are policies that aim to fight poverty by transferring money to households in poverty, under the condition that they fulfill certain behaviors (e.g., making sure their children attend school and visit the doctor periodically). CCTs supporters claim that conditionalities are justified as they contribute to fighting intergenerational transmission of poverty by inducing parents – above all, mothers – in poverty to invest in their children’s human capital. We call this the common rationale for conditionalities. In this paper, our first aim is to show how the empirical basis for the common rationale is on a weak footing, both for CCTs in general and PBF in particular. However, there are further reasons for conditionalities. Our second aim is to give a set of normative – moral and political – reasons that justify PBF and its conditionalities. Our analysis mixes non-ideal political philosophy and micro-level public policy analysis, taking Brazil’s historical and political context as well as social beliefs about the policy as normatively relevant. We assess PBF and its conditionalities according to three dimensions: programmatic performance, legitimacy, and feasibility. They fare well in all three. While this is a conditional and contextual defense of conditionalities, it provides general lessons for the basic income debate. Conditional transfers can be superior to unconditional ones when they connect basic income with the offer of universal basic services. This is particularly important if we think basic income can undermine welfare state universalism.

"Normative validity: the case of poverty measures". Check out the draft on PhilSci-Archive: https://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22925

This paper develops an account of normative validity and illustrates it through poverty measures. Many ideas addressed below are legatees of Anna Alexandrova’s reflections on what she called “value-aptness” in measuring well-being. To my knowledge, she coined the term “normative validity.” Still, my goal is to treat normative validity more generally than she did and, for that matter, to say something useful for researchers who work with concepts other than well-being––like poverty but not only.  Normative validity is the property of a measure that adequately captures its targeted concept’s normative (moral and political) aspects. Part 1 starts with an outline of the general features of this definition (1.I). Then, I discuss the accounts of validity from a version of the representational theory of measurement and psychometrics and explain why normative validity can be better understood within their framework (1.II). Normative validity is conceptually-driven, while other commonly recognized types of validity are data-driven (1.III). I detail how normative validity can be achieved (1.IV) and discuss its objections (1.V). Part 2 shows how normative validity is pursued in poverty measurement, even without being explicitly called so (2.I). Researchers employ informal and formal tools when identifying individuals in poverty (2.II.a) or creating a poverty index (2.II.b) to argue that a poverty measure captures the normative features of its concept. Lastly, I explore how normative validity can help us better understand the conflict between normative and data-driven poverty measures (2.III).

reviews / resenhas

"Critical Review of Fixing Language: An Essay on Conceptual Engineering by Herman Cappelen" [in Portuguese]. Principia: an international journal of epistemology  (Qualis Periódicos A2), 25(3): 565-575. 2021. https://doi.org/10.5007/1808-1711.2021.e78252 

This is a critical review of Herman Cappelen’s Fixing Language (2018), an excellent and thought-provoking introduction to a hot topic in metaphilosophy: conceptual engineering, which defines the process of evaluating and improving/revising our representational devices (popularly known as concepts). Here, I first present an overview of the book, summarizing his General Theory of conceptual engineering. Second, I point out some limits of the General Theory, in particular the putative consequence of his semantic externalism, the Lack of Control thesis. According to it, the processes behind changes in meaning are too complex and amorphous for revisionary projects to be generally successful. However, I claim that a proper investigation of Lack of Control demands us to look at the sciences, especially the social sciences, something absent in Cappelen’s book. Furthermore, I remember that many conceptual engineers do not put forward large-scale revisions, but rather local ones – i.e., restricted to specific scientific and institutional contexts, and therefore more feasible and potentially relevant. 

talks / apresentações

May 16 and 17 2024

A Conditional Evaluation of Brazil's Bolsa Família Conditionalities

Workshop "Protección social y pobreza: abordando la multidimensionalidad del problema"

Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences & Argentinean Research Center (🇦🇷)

accepted presentation

Nov 5, 11, 17 2023

Normative validity: the case of poverty measures

Philosophy of Science Around the World 2023 — With a Focus on East Asia including South East Asia

Philosophy of Science Association (🇺🇸)

accepted presentation

Aug 14-18 2023

A Conditional Assessment of Brazil’s Bolsa Família Conditionalities

VI Encontro de teoria política e pensamento político brasileiro

Comments by Katarina Pitasse Fragoso (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Universidade Federal do Estado de São Paulo (🇧🇷)

accepted presentation

Jun 16 2023

A Conditional Assessment of Brazil’s Bolsa Família Conditionalities

Grupo de Estudos em Economia e Filosofia

Ibmec-SP (🇧🇷) &  CY Cergy Paris University (🇫🇷)

paper review session

Apr 19-21 2023

Normative validity: the case of poverty measures

Comments by Anna Alexandrova (University of Cambridge) 

Cambridge Early Career Workshop in Philosophy of Measurement

Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿)

accepted presentation

Mar 31 2023

A Conditional Assessment of Brazil’s Bolsa Família Conditionalities

Seminário de Ética e Filosofia Política  do PPG em Filosofia

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (🇧🇷)

paper review session

Nov 15-16 & 22-23 2022

Conditionalities of Brazil’s Bolsa Família Program: reasons and objections

Workshop Give man a fish, but control him: Normative problems in the conditional model of social protection

Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research of the University of Salzburg (🇦🇹) & Argentinean Research Center (🇦🇷)

accepted presentation

Oct 10-14 2022

Pluralismo e valores sobre o conceito e as medidas de pobreza

XIX Encontro da Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação em filosofia (ANPOF)

Goiânia (🇧🇷)

accepted presentation

Sep 29-30 2022

Normative validity: the case of poverty measures

2022 Engaging Ethics Epistemology in Science Conferece

Integrating Ethics and Epistemology of Scientific Research Project (DFG 2073), Leibniz Universität Hannover & Universität Bielefeld (🇩🇪)

accepted presentation

Aug 16-18 2022

Pluralism and values on the concept and measures of poverty

Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology Conference – Virtual Symposium

Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology, University of Texas at Dallas (🇺🇸)

accepted presentation

Apr 1-2 2022

Thickness in the concept and measures of poverty

2022 Philosophy of Social Science Roundtable

University of Nebraska (🇺🇸)

accepted presentation

Feb 23-25 2022

O que a filosofia política pode oferecer ao problema da mensuração da pobreza? 

I Encontro Nacional de Pós-Graduação em Filosofia da UnB

Universidade de Brasília (🇧🇷) 

accepted presentation

Dec 14-16 2021

Valores no conceito e medidas de pobreza

IX Semana de Filosofia da UFCG

Universidade Federal de Campina Grande (🇧🇷)

accepted presentation

Dec 3-4 2021

Taking thickness seriously in the concept and measures of poverty

Workshop Thick Concepts in the Philosophy of Science

Integrating Ethics and Epistemology of Scientific Research Project (DFG 2073), Leibniz Universität Hannover & Universität Bielefeld (🇩🇪)

accepted presentation

Nov 24-25 2021

Filosofia da pobreza a partir dos valores nas ciências

VIII Semana de Pós-Graduação em Filosofia da UFRRJ

Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (🇧🇷)

accepted presentation

Nov 22-25 2021

Valores no conceito e medidas de pobreza

V Encontro de Pós-Graduação em Filosofia da UFMG

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (🇧🇷)

accepted presentation

Photo of the countryside near the city of Luz, taken from BR-262