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, which achieved a perfect grade of 100/100, 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.

Below, you can find my recent work and talks. For my CV, teaching experience, and institutional work, 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

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." [Draft available upon request]

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), 2021.

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. 

translations to Portuguese / traduções

"A Máscara de Rona: modelos científicos, políticas públicas e escolha racional" by Liam Kofi Bright and Richard Bradley (translated with Mateus Leite) [“The Mask of Rona: scientific modelling, public policy and rational choice"], Instituto Humanitas Unisinos website, April 15, 2020.

"Em vez disso … o que esperamos fazer nesta postagem de blog é fornecer uma introdução básica aos problemas de tomada de decisão sob extrema incerteza. Estamos usando a formulação de políticas para a covid-19 como um exemplo prático disso. Abordamos o assunto porque tem havido alguma preocupação pública sobre o tipo de ação dramática que muitas nações estão adotando, embora as evidências específicas que temos sobre o vírus sejam muito provisórias ou baseadas apenas em modelos. E as políticas governamentais anteriores do Reino Unido foram criticadas por cientistas precisamente porque elas foram consideradas como riscos muito grande a serem tomados à luz da escassez de evidências. Como dizem os cientistas nessa carta aberta, “não estamos convencidos de que se saiba o suficiente sobre “fadiga comportamental” ou até que ponto essas ideias se aplicam às atuais circunstâncias excepcionais. Tal evidência é necessária se quisermos nela basear uma estratégia de saúde pública de alto risco”. Se quisermos entender por que as pessoas podem pensar que essa é a abordagem errada, precisamos entender: como devemos raciocinar sobre escolhas de alto risco quando faltam as evidências ou elas não são claras?"

"Por que confiar na ciência? Confiabilidade, particularidade e o emaranhado da ciência" by Nancy Cartwright ["Why Trust Science? Reliability, Particularity and the Tangle of Science”], Cognitio: Revista de Filosofia (Qualis Periódicos A2), Forthcoming. [Manuscript available upon request]

"Ao avaliarem a ciência, a tendência das filósofas e filósofos é se concentrar nas leis gerais e em sua respectiva verdade.  Defendo que haja uma mudança de nosso foco em direção à confiabilidade da panóplia de produtos [panoply of outputs] fornecidos pela ciência (“o emaranhado da ciência” [‘the tangle of science’]) e, de maneira concomitante, do geral para o particular. Apresento aqui cinco argumentos em defesa disso, dentre os quais (a) muitos, muitos produtos científicos (medidas, instrumentos, estudos empíricos, organismos modelo e assim por diante) que precisamos supor ser confiáveis se quisermos garantir [to warrant] nossos princípios gerais, não são aptos à verdade [truth-apt] ; e (b) a confiabilidade nos convida a uma pergunta crucial: “Confiável para quê?” Ter clareza quanto aos propósitos particulares é algo essencial para ações eficazes e avaliações justas."

talks / apresentações

Forthcoming

Feb 26 2024

New Concepts for Social Reform: Peter Townsend’s Conception of Poverty

Cambridge Political Thought and Intellectual History Graduate Workshop 2023-2024

Centre for Political Thought, University of Cambridge (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿)

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