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Francesco Nappo

Francesco Nappo is a doctoral student in philosophy. Born and raised near Mount Vesuvius and Naples, Italy, he completed a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Collegio Ghislieri, University of Pavia, and a master of philosophy degree at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.


What made you choose UNC-Chapel Hill when deciding on a program/place to study?

Many faculty at UNC Philosophy are known internationally and I was excited to work with them. I was also attracted by the opportunity to do service and teach at a public university. Plus, the South is my latitude: I become lethargic in cold, gloomy weather.


Tell us about your research.

I’m interested in the role that analogy and comparison play in science. Sometimes analogies are useful to teach science, as when we compare an atom to a small solar system. Other times, analogies are used to advance science; I’m interested in how they manage to fulfill this further role. I believe the answer may tell us something important not just about how our minds work, but also about the kind of world we happen to inhabit.


What are some of your favorite places and things to do in your home country?

I really enjoy traveling around with friends. We either stay in the big cities (Rome, Naples, Palermo, etc.) or take bike rides and road trips to the countryside to avoid the tourists. You discover such great things every time. My favorite bike ride is to go from where my parents live (near Mount Vesuvius) to Furore, a small village on the Amalfi Coast.


What are you hoping to accomplish with your Carolina degree?

I hope to continue teaching and doing research in philosophy as I was able to at UNC. Unfortunately, securing a stable position at a university is very difficult. Whether I will find an academic job or not, I hope to continue doing community service and outreach in whatever form I can. Maybe in another 10 years, I would love to take some time off to write a novel (though I currently know very little about fiction writing).

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