Full Biography



Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini is (since August 1999 to present) Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona, member of the Cognitive Science Program, of the Department of Psychology, of the Department of Linguistics, and honorary member of the Department of Management and Organizations.

He obtained his doctorate in Physics at the University of Rome (Italy) in 1968.

He has been (in reverse chronology):

- From January 1994 to July 1999 founder and director of the Department of Cognitive Science (DIPSCO), of the Scientific Institute San Raffaele, in Milan (Italy), and then professor of Cognitive Psychology at the San Raffaele University.

- From September 1985 to December 1993 Principal Research Scientist at the Center for Cognitive Science of MIT (Cambridge, MA);

- Visiting professor at: MIT (Department of Linguistics, Fall 2013, Fall 2002 and Spring 1993), at Rutgers University, NJ (Center for Cognitive Science, Fall 1992), at Harvard University (Department of the History of Science, Spring 1988 and 1989, Linguistics Department, Spring 2007), at the University of Maryland College Park (Department of Linguistics, Fall 2006), at the Collège de France (Paris, France, May-June 2002) and at the University of Bologna (Spring 1997 and 1998).

- In 1990 chairman and organizer of the XII Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, held at MIT in August, and the editor of the proceedings.

- From 1980 to 1985 director of the Florence Center for the History and Philosophy of  Science (Florence, Italy).

- From 1974 to 1979 director of the Royaumont Center for A Science of Man in Paris (Chaired by the French geneticist and Nobel Laureate Jacques Monod), and lecturer at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris-Sorbonne).

- From 1969 to 1971 chargé de recherche at the Pasteur Institute in Paris (under the supervision of Jacques Monod).

- From 1968 to 1969 post-doc researcher at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the University of Rome (Italy), under the supervision of Prof. Alfonso Maria Liquori.


I - Member of:

American Psychological Society, Cognitive Science Society, American Philosophical Association, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Linguistic Society of America, European Association for Decision Making, Society for Philosophy and Psychology, European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Italian Council for the Social Sciences, Italian Society for Logic and Philosophy of Science.


II - Member of the Editorial Boards of:

"Behavioral and Brain Sciences", "Cognition", “Biolinguistics” and "Trends in Cognitive Sciences"


III - Principal Domains of Interest:

Cognitive Science, Judgment and Decision Making, Biological Foundations of Language, Language Evolution, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science, Physics of Language.

IV -Awards received:

1995. Accademia d’Abruzzo, Recipient of the prize Premio Il Rosone d’Oro, for the     diffusion of science in the general public, Pescara, Italy

1996. Recipient of Premio Tevere for the best book of non-fiction (Item n. 4 here below), Rome (Italy)

2006. Recipient of the Medal of the Chambers of Representatives (Medaglia della Camera dei Deputati) (one of the two branches of the Italian Parliament, Rome), for the diffusion of science. Ceremony of award held in Rimini (Italy) October 29.

V Publications:

V.1. Books:

1. S come Cultura; Protagonisti, Luoghi e Idee delle Scienze Contemporanee, Saggi Mondadori, Mondadori, Milan, 1987 (paperback edition, March 1992).

2. La voglia di studiare, Saggi Mondadori, Milan 1991. [With eleven prints, this book became a stable feature of the 1991 national list of best sellers – always ranking in the top five, and for several weeks in 1991 rated number one for non-fiction. As of July 1997 the total sales in Italy had already exceeded 115,000 copies]. Translated into French, Le gout des Etudes. (Editions Odile Jacob, Paris (30,000 copies sold)), German Lust am Lernen (Campus Verlag, Frankfurt, 1994), Spanish Las Ganas de Estudiar  (Barcelona, Editorial Cultura, 2004) and Portuguese.

3. L'illusione di sapere, Saggi Mondadori (March 1993). Ranking 3rd to 6th in the list of non- fiction best-sellers in Italy in the Spring of 1993, it has sold over 35,000 copies in one year. Translations into: English: Inevitable Illusions, (J. Wiley & Sons, 1994). French: La réforme du jugement (O. Jacob, Paris, 1995). Spanish: Los tuneles de la mente, Editorial Critica, Barcelona, 1995. Dutch: Onvermijdelijke illusies, Uitgeverij Het Spectrum, Utrecht, 1996. German: Die Illusion zu Wissen, Rowohlt, Renbeck bei Hamburg, 1997. Portuguese: A ilusao de saber, Difusau Cultural, Lisbon, 1997.     Chinese (abridged edition) Bukebimian de cuojue (translated by Jiang Ouyang; Beijing: Central Compilation & Translation Press, 2005).

4. Ritrattino di Kant ad uso di mio figlio Piccoli Oscar Mondadori, 1994. Translation into French: Petit traité sur Kant à l’usage de mon fils. O. Jacob, 1996 (was awarded the Premio Tevere for non-fiction in 1996, see above).

5. L'arte di persuadere Saggi Mondadori (April 1995). French Edition: L’art de persuader (O. Jacob, Paris, March 1999)

6. I linguaggi della scienza. Milan (Italy): Mondadori. (2003) With a blurb by Noam    Chomsky and one by Umberto Eco

7. Psicologia ed economia delle scelte: Quattro lezioni al Collège de France (in collaborazione con Jocelyn Raude). Torino: Codice Edizioni (2005). French edition Choix, décisions et préférences: Quatre leçons au Collège de France. Paris (France): Editions Odile Jacob (2006).

8. Le Scienze Cognitive Classiche; Un Panorama Einaudi, Torino (2008)

9. (with Jerry Fodor) What Darwin Got Wrong Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US, Profile Books in the UK, Feltrinelli in Italy (February/April 2010). Paperback edition, with an update and replies to our critics February 2011

10. Chi Crediamo di Essere  Mondadori, Milan (2012) (on better ways to know ourselves, based on recent developments in cognitive science)

11. Il Nono Giorno della Creazione, Mondadori, Milan (2015) (a popularization of several recent developments in Evo-Devo, human genetics, epigenetics and neuroscience)


V.2. Edited books

1. E. Morin, M. Piattelli-Palmarini (Eds.) L'unité de l'homme; Invariants biologiques et universaux culturels, Éditions du Seuil, Paris, 1974 (paperback edition, in three volumes, 1978); Spanish transl. in two separate volumes, La Unidad del Hombre (vol. I), El primate y el hombre, (vol. II), Editorial Argos Vergara, S.A., Barcelona 1983; Japanese transl., Heibonsha, Ltd., 1979; abridged Greek translation, Alexandria Publ., Athens, 1995.

2. M. Piattelli-Palmarini (Ed.), Théories du langage, théories de l'apprentissage: le débat entre Jean Piaget et Noam Chomsky, Editions du Seuil, Paris 1979; American edition:Language and Learning: the Debate between Jean Piaget and Noam Chomsky, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1980; English edition, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London 1980; Spanish transl., Editorial Critica, Barcelona 1983; Portuguese transl., Editora Cultrix, Sao Paulo 1983. Rumanian translation: Bucharest, Politica 1988; Italian translation: Jaca Books, Milan 1991; Basque translation Bilbao, Klasikoak 2009.

3. M. Piattelli-Palmarini (Ed.), Livelli di realta’, Feltrinelli, Milan, 1984 (paperback edition, October 1987) (Contributors: Alfred J. Ayer, Thomas G. Bever, Italo Calvino, Nelson Goodman, André Green, Edmund Leach, Hilary Putnam, Giuliano Toraldo di Francia, Bas Van Fraassen

4. G. Longobardi, M. Piattelli-Palmarini (Eds.), La Conoscenza del Linguaggio, Il Saggiatore - Mondadori, Milan, 1990 (Italian translation and adaptation of Noam Chomsky's Knowledge of Language -1986)

5. M. Piattelli-Palmarini (Ed.) Proceedings of the XII Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, (MIT, July 1990), Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, New Jersey (1990).

6. M. Motterlini and M. Piattelli-Palmarini (Eds.) Critica della Ragione Economica. Tre Nobel: McFadden, Kahneman, Smith. Milano (Italy): Il Saggiatore (2005).

7. Piattelli-Palmarini, M., J. Uriagereka and P. Salaburu, Eds. (2009). Of Minds and Language: A Dialogue with Noam Chomsky in the Basque Country. Oxford, UK, Oxford University     Press. (Contributors: Noam Chomsky, Cedric Boeckx, Christopher Cherniak, Janet  Dean Fodor, Gabriel Dover, Angela Friederici, Lila Gleitman, Charles R. Gallistel, Rochel Gellman, Marc Hauser, James Higginbotham, Wolfram Hinzen, Itziar Laka,         Nuria Sebastian, Juan Uriagereka, Donata Vercelli)

8. Piattelli-Palmarini M. and R. C. Berwick, Eds (2013) Rich Languages from Poor Inputs. Oxford University Press (Contributors: Adriana Belletti, Robert Berwick, Thomas    Bever, Noam Chomsky, Susan Curtiss, Janet Dean-Fodor, Lila Gleitman, Barbara Landau, Julie Legate, Merryl Goldberg, Itziar Laka, Jacques Mehler, Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, Charles Read, Luigi Rizzi, Rebecca Treisman, Ken Wexler, Charles Yang)


V.3. Articles and book chapters (selection, in chronological order):

1. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "Nec tecum nec sine te". Communications Vol 18: pp. 128-131 (1972).

2. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "Biological roots of the human individual". in: Law and Ethics of A.I.D. and Embryo Transfer (G. Wolstenholme & D. Fitzsimmons Eds.), CIBA Foundation Symposium n.17, Elsevier Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam/London, pp.19- 41 (1973).

3. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "Selected bibliography of works on science and ethics in Italy". in: Newsletter, n.16, Harvard Program on Public Conceptions of Science, Cambridge MA, pp. 52-67 (1976)

4. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "Anticipazione". In: Enciclopedia Einaudi, Vol. I, Einaudi, Turin, pp.122-148 (1977).

5. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "L'entrepot biologique et le démon comparateur". In: Mémoires, special issue of the Nouvelle Revue de Psychanalyse, Paris, pp.105-123 (1977).

6. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (with G. Ramunni). "Catalisi". In: Enciclopedia Einaudi, Vol. II, Einaudi, Turin, pp. 771-788 (1978).

7. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "Structure distale et sensation proximale: critères de co-traduisibilité". Communications Vol 31: pp. 171-188 (1979).

8. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "Structures cérébrales et entendement". In: Revue des Travaux de l'Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, Paris, pp.189-209 (1979).

9. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "Equilibria, crystals, programs, energetic models and organizational models". In: Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, XLVII, (M. L. Dalla Chiara Ed.), D. Reidel, Dordrecht, pp. 341-359 (1981).

10. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "Science et humilité". In: Images de la Science (A. Jacquard, Y. Pelicier, M. Tubiana Eds.), Economica, Paris, pp.189-193 (1984).

11. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "On the possibility of applying biological laws to social phenomena: an epistemological point of view". in: Population and Biology, (N. Keyfitz Ed.), Ordina Editions, Liège (Belgium), pp. 53-67 (1984).

12. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "The Waning of Parsimony". In: La vita e la sua storia, (L. Bullini,  M. Ferraguti, F. Mondella & A. Oliverio Eds.), special issue of Scientia, Milano, pp. 265-292 (1985).

13. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "The Rise of Selective Theories: a Case Study and Some Lessons from Immunology". In: Language Learning and Concept Acquisition: Foundational Issues, (A. Marras & W. Demopoulos Eds.), Ablex Publishing Co., Norwood, NJ, pp.117-130 (1987).

14. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "Ten years later: more chance, less necessity. Language and learning in a selectivist framework". In: From Enzyme Adaptation to Natural Philosophy:  Heritage from Jacques Monod (E. Quagliariello, G. Bernardi & A. Ullmann Eds.), Elsevier Scientific Editions, Amsterdam, pp. 197-215 (1987).

15. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (Ed) (1988). TEORII ALE LIMBAJULUI. TEORII ALE INVATARII. Dezbaterea intre Jean Piaget si Noam Chomsky Bucharest: Politica. (Rumanian translation of ‘Langauge and Learning”)

16. Piattelli-Palmarini, M."Evolution, Selection and Cognition: From 'Learning' to Parameter Setting in Biology and in the Study of Language". Cognition Vol 31: pp. 1-44 (1989).

17. Piattelli-Palmarini, M."Sélection sémantique et sélection naturelle: le role causal du lexique". Revue de Synthèse (special issue on cognitive science) IV (1-2): pp 57-94 (1990).

18. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "Evoluzione, selezione e cognizione: Dall'apprendimento al posizionamento di interruttori mentali". Sistemi Intelligenti, Vol 2 (3): pp. 277-322 (1990).

19. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. "Probability blindness: Neither rational nor capricious". Bostonia (2): pp. 28-35 (1991).

20. Piattelli-Palmarini, M."Probability blindness: Neither rational nor capricious". In Annual Editions Psychology 1992-1993 (Volume 22, K. G. Duffy Ed.), Dushkin Publishing Co., Guilford, Connecticut, pp. 114-121 (1992) (reprint in a psychology textbook of entry n. 19).

21. "Truth in dreaming". In: So Human a Brain: Knowledge and Values in the Neurosciences,  (A. Harrington Ed.), Birkhäuser Press, Boston MA, pp.14-36 (1992).

22. "Ever since language and learning: afterthoughts on the Piaget-Chomsky debate". Cognition Vol 50: pp. 315-346 (1994). Also reprinted in Cognition on Cognition (Elsevier Science Publisher): pp. 361-392 (1995).

23. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "Verso una scienza naturale del linguaggio", Lingua e Stile, XXXI / 3, Il Mulino, Bologna (1996).

24. Piattelli-Palmarini M. (with C. Cecchetto) "The Problem of Meaning in Generative Grammar". In The Problem of Meaning: Behavioral and Cognitive Perspectives (C. Mandell and A. McCabe Eds), pp. 415-469, Elsevier Science USA (1997).

25. Piattelli-Palmarini M. “Foreword” to Rhyme and Reason: An Introduction to Minimalist Syntax by J. Uriagereka, pp. xxi-xxxvi, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, (1998).

26. Piattelli-Palmarini M."La difficile naturalizzazione della mente". In: Introduzione al Naturalismo Filosofico (Evandro Agazzi and Nicla Vassallo, Eds) Franco Angeli, Milan, Italy, (1999).

27. Piattelli-Palmarini M. (with Claudio de' Sperati) “Cognizione”. In Enciclopedia Italiana (L'Universo del Corpo) (Vol. II, pp. 734-737). Roma (Italy): Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana (1999).

28. Cappa, S. F., Moro, A., Perani, D., & Piattelli-Palmarini, M. “Broca's aphasia, Broca's area   and syntax: A complex relationship (commentary of Grodzinsky's "The neurology of syntax: Language use without Broca's area"). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23, pp. 27-28. (2000).

29. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "An ‘irreducible’ component of cognition" in Thinking about Evolution: Historical, Philosophical and Political Perspectives (Essays in Honour of Richard Lewontin) (R. S. Singh, C. Krimbas, D. Paul and J. Beatty Eds) Cambridge University Press, pp. 353-376 (2001)

30. Piattelli-Palmarini M.  "The metric of open-mindedness", Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, 18,  pp. 859-862 (2000) (actually published in 2001).

31. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "Mente", in Enciclopedia Italiana, "L’Universo del Corpo", Volume    IV. pp. 413-422 (2000), Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana, Roma. (actually published in 2001).

32. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "Portrait of a ‘classical’ cognitive scientist: What I have learned from Jacques Mehler", in Emmanuel Dupoux (Editor) Language, Brain and Cognitive Development: Essays in Honor of Jacques Mehler, Cambrige, MA, The MIT Press (pp. 3-21) (2001)

33. Piattelli-Palmarini M. (with Heidi Harley) “Innateness, abstract names, and syntactic cues in How Children Learn the Meanings of Words” (Peer Commentary of Bloom's article). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, pp.1107-1108 (2001)

34. Piattelli-Palmarini M. “Grammar: The barest essentials”. Nature, 416 (14 March), p. 129 (2002).

35. Piattelli-Palmarini M. “To put it simply” (Basic concepts). Nature, 426 (11 December), p. 607 (2003).

36. Piattelli-Palmarini M. (with Heidi Harley) “Arguments in the syntactic straightjacket (Commentary on the article "The neural basis of predicate-argument structure", by James R. Hurford). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 26 (3), pp. 297-298 (2003).

37. Piattelli-Palmarini M. (with Lynn Nadel) “What is cognitive science?” In L. Nadel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science (Vol 1 -of 4) (Vol. 1, pp. xiii-xli). London UK: Macmillan (2003).

38. Piattelli-Palmarini M. “La cognizione dell'errore”, Networks Vol. 5, pp. 128-142 (2005).

39. Canessa, N., Gorini, A., Cappa, S. F., Piattelli-Palmarini, M., Danna, M., & Fazio, F. “The effect of social content on deductive reasoning: An fMRI study”. Human Brain Mapping, 26, pp. 30-43 (2005).

40. Piattelli-Palmarini M. (with Juan Uriagereka) “The Immune Syntax: The Evolution of the Language Virus”. In L. Jenkins (Ed.), (Chapter 4 of) Variation and Universals in Biolinguistics (pp. 341-377). Amsterdam, Boston: Emerald Elsevier North-Holland (2004/2008).

41. Piattelli-Palmarini M. (with Juan Uriagereka) “The evolution of the narrow faculty of language: The skeptical view and a reasonable conjecture”. Lingue e Linguaggio, IV (1), pp. 27-79. (2005).

42. Piattelli-Palmarini M. (with Matteo Motterlini) “Introduzione”. In M. Piattelli-Palmarini & M. Motterlini (Eds.), Critica della Ragione Economica. Tre Nobel: McFadden, Kahneman, Smith. Milano (Italy): Il Saggiatore. (2005).

43. Piattelli-Palmarini M. (with Matteo Motterlini) “Galleria degli errori economici”  (Capitolo 4). In M. Piattelli-Palmarini & M. Motterlini (Eds.), Critica della Ragione Economica. Tre Nobel: McFadden, Kahneman, Smith. Milano (Italy): Il Saggiatore (2005).

44. Piattelli-Palmarini M.  (with Cedric Boeckx) “Language as a natural object - linguistics as a natural science”. The Linguistic Review, 22 (Special theme issue: "The Role of Linguistics in Cognitive Science" (Nancy Ritter Ed.)), pp. 447-466 (2005).

45. Boeckx, C. and M. Piattelli-Palmarini (2007). "Linguistics in cognitive science: The state of the art amended." The Linguistic Review 24: 421-433. (reply to critiques of item 44. Published in the same journal)

46. Piattelli-Palmarini M. (2007) “The return of the laws of form”. In Life on the Edge (La Vita in Bilico). C. P. Manzu'. Roma (Italy), Centro Pio Manzu'. Volume 2 (Workshop 1): pp. 45-57.

47. Smith, E. D., Son, Y. J., Piattelli-Palmarini, M., & Bahill, A. T. “Ameliorating mental mistakes on tradeoff studies”. Systems Engineering, 10 (3), pp. 222-240 (2007).

48. Smith, E. D., M. Piattelli-Palmarini and A. T. Bahill (2008). “Cognitive biases affect the acceptance of tradeoff studies”. In Decision Modeling and Behavior in Complex and Uncertain Environments. T. Kugler, Smith, J. C., Connolly, T. and Son., Y. J., Eds. New York, Springer, Science+Business Media: pp. 227-249.

49. Piattelli-Palmarini M. (with Juan Uriagereka) (2008) “Still a bridge too far? Biolinguistic questions for grounding language on brains” Physics of Life Reviews, 5 (4): pp. 207-224

50. Piattelli-Palmarini M. “Events and Conservativity: Clues towards Language Evolution” in M. C. Amoretti and N. Vassallo (eds), Knowledge, Language, and Interpretation. On the Philosophy of Donald Davidson, Ontos Verlag, Frankfurt.: pp. 81-106 (2008)

51. Piattelli-Palmarini M. (with Roeland Hancock and Thomas Bever) “Language as ergonomic perfection” (commentary of Christiansen and Chater “Language as shaped by the brain”) Behavioral and Brain Sciences Vol 31, pp. 530-531. (2008)

52. Piattelli-Palmarini M.  What is language, that it may have evolved, and what is evolution, that it may apply to language” (Chapter 10 of)  R. K. Larson, V. Deprez and H. Yamakido (eds) The Evolution of Human Language: Biolinguistic Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge UK: pp. 148- 162; (2009)

53. Vercelli, D. and M. Piattelli Palmarini (2009). “Language in an epigenetic framework” (Chapter 7). In Of Minds and Language: A Dialogue with Noam Chomsky in the Basque Country. M. Piattelli-Palmarini, Uriagereka, J. and Salaburu, P., Eds. Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press: pp. 97-107.

54. Piattelli-Palmarini M. “Introduccion”. Hizkuntza eta ikastea. Piageten eta Chomskyren arteko eztabaida. Bilbao, Klasikoak. "Introduccion (Introduction)", to the Basque translation of the volume “Language and Learning”  (2009)

55. Fodor, J. and M. Piattelli-Palmarini (2010). " Survival of the fittest theory: Darwinism's limits " New Scientist Magazine (2746 (06 February)): 28-31.

56. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "Verso una fisica della mente (Lectio Magistralis)." Atti delle Inaugurazioni degli Anni Accademici dell'Università di Verona - Anno 2009-2010: pp. 39-75.

57. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2010). What is language, that it may have evolved, and what is evolution, that it may apply to language? (Part 2) The Evolution of Human Language: Biolinguistic Perspectives. R. K. Larson, Deprez, V. and Yamakido, H., Eds. Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press: 148-162.

58. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2010). Ostracism without natural selection (An interview with Suzan Mazur). The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry. S. Mazur, Ed. Berkeley, CA, North Atlantic Books: 314-325.

59. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2010). It is now blasphemy to criticise Darwin. The Spiked Review of Books. London UK. Friday 26 March.

60. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2010). L'Illusione di Sapere. Enciclopedia Italiana XXI Secolo  "Mente e Corpo". T. Gregory (Ed.). Roma (Italy), Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana: pp. 133-140.

61. A-M. Sciullo, M. Piattelli-Palmarini, K. Wexler, R. C. Berwick, C. Boeckx, L. Jenkins, J. Uriagereka, K. Stromswold, L. L.-S. Cheng, H. Harley, A. Wedel, J. McGilvray, E. v. Gelderen and T. G. Bever (2010). "The Biological Nature of Human Language " Biolinguistics 4 (1), 04-034.

62. Piattelli Palmarini, M., & Uriagereka, Juan. (2011). A geneticist’s dream, a linguist’s nightmare: The case of FOXP2. In A. M. Di Sciullo & C. Boeckx (Eds.), The Biolinguistic Enterprise: New Perspectives on the Evolution and Nature of the Human Language Faculty (pp. 100-125). Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.

63. Piattelli-Palmarini, Massimo. (2012). Biolinguistics yesterday, today and tomorrow. In   C. Boeckx & K. K. Grohmann (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Biolinguistics (pp. 44-63). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.

64. Berwick, R. C., Chomsky, Noam, & Piattelli-Palmarini, Massimo. (2013). Poverty of the Stimulus Stands: Why Recent Challenges Fail. In M. Piattelli-Palmarini & R. C. Berwick (Eds.), Rich Languages from Poor Inputs (pp. 19-42). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

65. Piattelli-Palmarini, M., & Berwick, R. C. (2013). Introduction. In M. Piattelli-Palmarini & R. C. Berwick (Eds.), Rich Languages from Poor Inputs (pp. 1-16). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

66. Piattelli-Palmarini, Massimo. (2013). Narrowing, but not bridging, the brain-mind gap. Comment on “Dissipation of 'dark energy' by cortex in knowledge retrieval” by   Antonio Capolupo, Walter J. Freeman and Giuseppe Vitiello. Physics of Life Reviews,10, pp. 108-109.

67. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2013). Chapter 13: On abstraction and language universals. In M. Sanz, I. Laka & M. Tanenhaus (Eds.), Language Down the Garden Path: The Cognitive and Biological Bases for Linguistic Structure. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press

68. Piattelli-Palmarini, M., & Vitiello, G. (2015). Linguistics and some aspects of its underlying dynamics. arXiv.org > cs > arXiv:1506.08663  arXiv:1506.08663v1 [cs.CL] Cornell University Library.

69. Piattelli-Palmarini, M., & Vitiello, G. (2015). Linguistics and Some Aspects of Its Underlying Dynamics. Biolinguistics, 9, 96–115.

70. Medeiros, D., Thomas G. Bever, & Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2016). “Many important language universals are not reducible to processing or cognition.” Invited commentary on Christianen, Morten H., and Nick Chater, “The Now-or-Never Bottleneck:  A Fundamental Constraint on Language.”. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39 42-43.

71. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2017). Le intelligenti autocritiche di Darwin. Rivista di Filosofia, CVIII (1 (Aprile)), 99-107.

72. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2017). Normal language in abnormal brains. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 81 (October), 188-193. 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.02.00

73. Piattelli-Palmarini, M., & Vitiello, G. (2017). Third factors in language design:  some suggestions from Quantum Field Theory. In J. McGilvray (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Chomsky, 2nd Edition (pp. 134-152). Cambridge, UK and New York: Cambridge University Press.

74. Piattelli-Palmarini, M., & Vitiello, G. (2017). Quantum field theory and the linguistic Minimalist Program: a remarkable isomorphism. Journal of Physics: Conf. Series 880 (2017) 012016 doi :10.1088/1742-6596/880/1/012016, IOP Conference Series: 8th International Workshop DICE2016: Spacetime - Matter - Quantum Mechanics(880), 1-16. doi:doi :10.1088/1742-6596/880/1/012016

75. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2018). Fodor and the innateness of all (basic) concepts (Chapter 6). In R. G. de Almeida & L. R. Gleitman (Eds.), Concepts, Modules, and Language: Cognitive Science at its Core (pp. 211-237). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

76. Medeiros, D., & Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2018 in press). The Golden Phrase: Steps to the Physics of Language. In A. Gallego & R. Martin (Eds.), Language, Syntax, and the     Natural Sciences (Essays in Honor of Juan Uriagereka). Cambridge, UK and New York: Cambridge University Press.

77. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2018 (in press)). From Zero to Fifty: Considerations on Eric Lenneberg’s Biological Foundations of Language and Updates. Biolinguistics, 1-22.

78. Fodor, J., & Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2018). Blad Darwina  (Polish translation of “What Darwin Got Wrong”). Warshaw Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.

79. Karimi, S., & Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (2018). Introduction to the special issue on parameters. Linguistic Analysis, 41(3-4), 141-158.

80. Karimi, S., & Piattelli-Palmarini, M. (Eds.). (2018). Special Issue on Parameters (Vol. 41 (3-4)): Linguistic Analysis.


V.5. Book reviews (selection):

1. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "The quest for animal language", Review of The Clever Hans Phenomenon: Communication with Horses, Whales, Apes and People (T. Sebeok and R. Rosenthal Eds.), Trends in Neurosciences, (June issue), pp. 213-214 (1982).

2. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "The new measure of man", Review of M. Konner, The Tangled Wing, The Times Literary Supplement, February 18 (1983).

3. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "The parliament of mind", Review of J. Fodor, The Modularity of  Mind, The Times Literary Supplement, December 2 (1983).

4. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "The substance is one". Review of N. Malcolm and D. Armstrong, Consciousness and Causality: A debate on the nature of mind, The Times Literary Supplement, January 11 (1985).

5. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "(Chain) Reacting to Biogenetic Breakthroughs", Review of several books on bio-engineering, Bostonia, November/December (1989).

6. "Against whom the weapons of the night are blunted" Review of The Periodic Table, by Primo Levi, Bostonia, Fall issue (3): pp. 22-25 (1991).

7. "Whishful thinking?", review of D. Döner The Logic of Failure: Why Things Go Wrong and What We Can Do to Make Them Right, Nature, 382, p. 505, August 8th (1996).

8. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "Evolution in mind", review of Henry Plotkin’s book by the same title, Nature, 391, pp. 138-139, January 8 (1998)

9. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "The Universal Structure of Babbling", review of Benedicte De Boysson-Bardies’s How Language Comes to Children, Nature, 400, pp. 829-830, August 26 (1999).

10. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "Tower of Babel", Review of Daniel Nettle's Linguistic DiversityTrends in Ecology and Evolution, 15 (4), pp. 173-174, April (2000)

11. Piattelli-Palmarini M. Review of Fiona Cowie What's Within? Nativism Reconsidered, in Trends in Cognitive Science, 4, p. 290, July (2000).

12. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "Speaking in too many tongues", Review of Philip Lieberman’s Human Language and our Reptilian Brain: The Subcortical Bases of Speech, Syntax and Thought, Nature, 408, pp. 403-404, November 23 (2000).

13. Piattelli-Palmarini M. "Speaking of learning: How do we acquire our marvelous facility for expressing ourselves in words?" Review of Pathways to Language: From Fetus to  Adolescent by Kyra Karmiloff and Annette Karmiloff-Smith, Nature, 411, 21 June, pp. 887-888 (2001)

14. Piattelli-Palmarini M. “Novel tools at the service of old ideas” (Commentary on the book Evolution in Four Dimensions MIT Press. 2005, by Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb,  Biolinguistics 2.2 (3) pp. 236-245 (2008)


V - Courses taught at the University of Arizona:

- Fall 1999 Graduate course on Rationality and Cognition (PSYCH 596 F).

- Fall 2000 Undergraduate course INDV 101 Section 003 (honors Section) The Nature of Mind and Behavior

- Fall 2000 (in a team) Graduate course LING 600 001 Explorations into the History of Generative Grammar

- Spring 2000, First-Year undergraduate colloquium The Nature of our Mind  (UNVR195A)

- Spring 2000, Coordinator and teacher (in a team) of the graduate course Linguistic Theory: Concepts, Problems and Controversies (LING/PSY 696 F)

- Spring 2001 Graduate course on Rationality and Cognition (PSYCH 596 F).

-Spring 2001, First-Year undergraduate colloquium The Nature of our Mind (UNVR 195 A)

- Spring 2001, Coordinator and teacher (in a team) of the graduate course Linguistic Theory: Concepts, Problems and Controversies (LING/PSY 696 F)

- Fall 2001 Graduate course on Rationality and Cognition (PSYCH 596 F).

- Fall 2001, Coordinator and teacher (in a team) of the graduate course Linguistic Theory: Concepts, Problems and Controversies (LING/PSY 696 F)

- Spring 2002, Co-teacher (with Prof. Heidi Harley) of the graduate course Lexical Semantics: Linguistic and Philosophical Viewpoints (LING 522 F)

- Spring 2002, Undergraduate course Introduction to Cognitive Science (INDV 101) (Honors section)

- Fall 2002, Team, Master Seminar on The Foundations of Linguistic Theories, (PSYC/LING/PHIL 696E)

- Fall 2002, (with Prof. Thomas G. Bever) graduate course Biological Foundations of Language (PSYC/LING 496F/596F)

- Spring 2003, Undergraduate course Introduction to Cognitive Science (INDV 101) (Honors section)

- Spring 2003 Team, Master Seminar on Evolution Evolving (PSYC 596 F with multiple cross-listing in genetics and in evolutionary biology)

- Fall 2003, On leave (at MIT, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, see below for a graduate course taught there)

- Spring 2004, Undergraduate course Introduction to Cognitive Science (INDV 101) (Honors section)

- Spring 2004, Team, Master Seminar on The Genetics of Complex Traits, Gene-Environment Interactions (PSYC 596 F with multiple cross-listings in genetics and in evolutionary biology)

- Spring 2004 (with Prof. Heidi Harley) graduate course Compositionality and the Semantics of Natural Language (LING/PHIL 596D)

- Fall 2004 Team, Master Seminar on The Foundations of Cognitive Science (LING/PSYC/PHIL 696E)

- Fall 2004 Graduate and senior undergraduate course On induction: Cognitive and Philosophical Aspects (PSYC 496F/596F)

- Spring 2005 Introduction to Language: Language, Mind and Brain (First-year plenary course INDV 101, also personally taught Section 58h – Honors Section)

- Spring 2005, (With Prof. Terry Connolly, Dept. of Management and Policy), Master Seminar on the Foundations of Judgment and Decision-Making (PSYC 596 F, with multiple cross-listing in Philosophy and in Management and Policy)

- Fall 2005, Graduate and senior undergraduate course Rationality and Cognition: Probabilistic Illusions and Choice over Time (PSYC 496F/595F)

- Fall 2005, Coordinator of the Master Seminar on The Foundations of Cognitive Science (LING/PSYC/PHIL 696 E)

- Spring 2006, First year undergraduate course Introduction to Language: Language, Mind and Brain (First-year plenary course INDV 101, 422 students enrolled. Also taught Section 9 – Honors Section)

- Spring 2006, (With Prof. Andrew Wedel) graduate course The Biological Foundations of Language and Cognition (LING/PSYCH/PHIL 696E)

- Fall 2006 and Spring 2007, On sabbatical (see below for courses taught at the University of Maryland and at Harvard)

- Fall 2007, (team) coordinator of and teacher in the Graduate course Master Seminar on the Foundations of Cognitive Science (LING/PSYCH/PHIL 696E)

- Fall 2007, Graduate and senior undergraduate course Biological foundations of language (PSYCH 496F/596F)

- Spring 2008 Undergraduate course (honor course) An Introduction to Cognitive Science (PSYCH 423H)

- Spring 2008, Graduate course “New approaches to evolution” (LING/PSYCH 696 F)

- Fall 2008, (in a team) coordinator of and speaker in the Graduate course Master Seminar on the Foundations of Cognitive Science (COGS/LING/PSYCH/PHIL   696E)

- Fall 2008, (with Heidi Harley and Andrew Barss) Graduate course Topics in Linguistics and Philosophy (merging LING 596D and LING/PHIL 696A)

- Spring 2009, Undergraduate course (honors course) “An Introduction to Cognitive Science” (PSYCH 424H)

- Spring 2009, Senior undergraduate and graduate course “Issues in the biology of language” (PSYCH/LING 496F/596F)

- Fall 2009, Undergraduate course (honors course) “An Introduction to Cognitive Science” (PSYCH 424H)

- Fall 2009, First activation of a new senior undergraduate and graduate  course LING/PSYCH/PHIL 449A/549A “Biolinguistics”

- Spring 2010  On leave, no courses

- Fall 2010 (team) coordinator of and teacher in the Graduate course “Master Seminar on Natural Selection: Theory, Data, Models and Critiques”       (LING/PSYCH/PHIL 696E)

- Fall 2010 (with Heidi Harley and Andrew Barss) Graduate course Topics in Linguistics and Philosophy (merging LING 596D and LING/PHIL 696A)     “Compositionality and its limits”

- Spring 2011 LING/PSYCH/PHIL 449A/549A “Biolinguistics”

- Spring 2011 “Judgment and decision making” PSY 333

- Fall 2011 Organizer of the “Master Seminar: The evolution of mind and brain” (COGS 696E)

-Fall 2011 LING/PHIL 211 “Meaning in Language and Society”

-Fall 2011 Organizer of the Linguistic Colloquium LING 495A/595A

-Spring 2012 “Judgment and decision making” PSY 333

-Spring 2012 LING/PHIL 211 “Meaning in Language and Society”

-Spring 2012 Organizer of the Linguistic Colloquium LING 495A/595A

-Fall 2013 Co-organizer (with Prof. Terry Connolly) of the “Master Seminar on Foundations of Judgment and Decision Making” (COGS/PHIL/MGMG/PSY/LAW/PSY 696E)

-Fall 2013 LING/PHIL 211 “Meaning in Language and Society”

-Fall 2013 Organizer of the Linguistic Colloquium LING 495A/595A

-Spring 2013 LING/PSYCH/PHIL 449A/549A “Biolinguistics”

-Spring 2013 “Judgment and decision making” PSY 333

-Spring 2013 Organizer of the Linguistic Colloquium LING 495A/595A

(On sabbatical for the Fall of 2013)

- Spring 2014 LING/PSYCH/PHIL 449A/549A “Biolinguistics”

- Spring 2014 PSYCH 496F/596F Decision making and neuro-economics

-Fall 2014: Co-organizer (with Prof. Chris Robertson of the College of Law) of the Master Seminar “Cognitive Science, Ethics and the Law” COGS/PSY/MGM/LAW/LING/PHIL 696E

- Fall 2014 LING/PHIL 211 “Meaning in Language and Society”

- Spring 2015 LING/PSYCH/PHIL 449A/549A “Biolinguistics”

- Spring 2015 “Judgment and decision making” PSY 333

- Fall 2015 Organizer of the Linguistic Colloquium LING 495A/595A

- Fall 2015 Co-organizer (with Prof. Thomas G. Bever) of the “Master Seminar on Cognition, Language and the Brain” (COGS/PHI/LING/PSY 696E)

-Spring 2016 (with T. Bever and S. Karimi) “Biolinguistics” (special edition, with two lectures by Noam Chomsky) LING/PSYCH/PHIL 449A/549A

- Spring 2016 “Rationality, Cognition and Neuro-Economics” PSY/COGS/PHIL/MGMT 496F/596F Section 002  

-Fall 2016 Organizer of the Linguistic Colloquium LING 495A/595A

-Fall 2016 Issues and Themes in Cognitive Science NSCS 320

-Fall 2017 Issues and Themes in Cognitive Science NSCS 320

- Spring 2018 “Biolinguistics” (with Thomas Bever and Noam Chomsky) COGS LING PHIL PSY 449A/549A

- Spring 2018 LING/PHIL 211 “Meaning in Language and Society” (with Elisabeth Kickham)

- Fall 2018 “On parameters” “Topics in Syntax and Semantics” (with Simin Karimi) LING 696A

-Fall 2018 “Language, Mind and Brain” (7 weeks course, with Thomas Bever and Noam Chomsky) LING/PHIL 211


VII – Full semester courses taught in other universities

From 1973 to 1979 Lecturer (Chargé de cours) of the graduate course Theory of Self-Organizing Systems, École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris-Sorbonne).

1988 and 1989 (Spring sem.) (with Prof. Stephen Jay Gould) graduate course n. 212, on Evolution and Cognition, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University

1992 (Fall sem.) Graduate course on Rationality and Cognition (830/1635) Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

1993 (Spring sem.) Undergraduate course n. 9.66 on Rationality and Cognition, Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT (Cambridge, MA)

Fall 1995 to the Fall 2001 Graduate course The Mind: A User’s Guide,  Duxx (formerly Integer), Graduate School of Business Leadership, Garza Garcia (Monterrey), Mexico.

1997 and 1998 (Spring sem.) Introduzione alle Scienze Cognitive, Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione, The State University of Bologna (Italy).

1997 and 1998 (Spring sem.) Post-doctoral course Metodi e tecniche quantitative in psicologia clinica, Scuola di Specializzazione in Psicologia Clinica, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, The State University of Milan (Italy).

1997 (Fall sem.) Psicologia Cognitiva (with Prof. Paolo Legrenzi) Facolta’ di Psicologia, Università  Vita Salute San Raffaele, Milan (Italy).

1998 (Fall sem.) Psico-economia, Facolta’ di Psicologia Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan.

1998 and 1999 (Spring semester) Psicologia Cognitiva, Facolta’ di Psicologia, Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan.

2003 (Fall sem.) Issues in the Biology of Language, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, MIT (graduate and senior undergraduate course n. E51-393)

2006 (Fall sem.) Seminar in Language and Biology, Department of Linguistics, University of Maryland, College Park (graduate course LING 889A).

2007 (Spring sem.) Biolinguistics, Department of Linguistics, Harvard University (graduate and senior undergraduate course LING 188R)

2010 (Spring semester) Introduzione alle Scienze Cognitive IUAV (University of Venezia, Department of Architecure and Design, Italy) full senior       undergraduate course

2010 (Spring semester) Biolinguistics  (in English) Graduate School in Linguistics, Universita’ Ca’ Foscari, Venezia, Italy. A course of 21 hours

2010 (Spring semester) Facolta’ di Filosofia, Universita’ San Raffaele, Milan (Italy) Ripensare l’evoluzione Senior undergraduate course 21 hours.



VII -Institutions where short courses, lectures, conferences and seminars were given (in chronological order - selection)


Trinity College, Oxford, England;

Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, Paris;

Laboratoire de Neuropsychologie Expérimentale, INSERM, Bron, at Université de Lyon, France;

European Molecular Biology Organization, Pavia, Italy;

Département d’Ergonomie et Ecologie, Université de Paris, France;

Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy;

McGill University, Department of Psychology, Montreal, Canada;

Department of Experimental and Applied Psychobiology, University of Geneva, Switzerland;

Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ;

Polytechnic of Zurich/Italian Institute of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland;

Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California, Irvine, CA;

Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA;

Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, MIT, Cambridge, MA;

Department of Linguistics and Department of Philosophy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD;

Department of Psychology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY;

Boston Colloquia for the Philosophy of Science, Boston University, Boston, MA;

Department of Cognitive Science, Brown University, Providence, RI;

University Professors Program, Boston University, Boston, MA;

Department of Linguistics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, MA;

International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy;

Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;

Department of Philosophy, George Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri;

Società Italiana di Psicologia, XIII Convegno Nazionale Divisione Ricerca di Base, Padua, Italy (keynote speech);

Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italy;

Collegio Sant'Anna di Pisa, Italy;

Società Italiana di Terapia Comportamentale e Cognitiva, Lugano, Switzerland;

Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Italy;

Third Meeting of Studies in Generative Grammar, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (a course in 5 lectures);

Institut des Sciences Cognitives (CNRS), Lyon (France);

Centre de Recherches en Epistémologie Appliquée, Ecole Polytéchnique, Paris;

French National Convention of Cognitive Science Research (Projects funded by the CNRS over 5 years), Chinagora (Paris); (Conclusive "wrap-up" invited speech)

Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa (Italy);

Centre Jean Nicod, Paris (France)

University of Amsterdam (Holland), A cycle of 5 lectures on “Biological Foundations of Language” taught as part of the Summer School “The Language of Thought” (June 2006)

Seoul National University (Seoul, Korea)

International Science Festival, Genova (Italy)

City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY.

Department of Psychology, Harvard University.

Department of Linguistics, University of Verona (Italy)

Inaugural lecture (Lectio Magistralis) for the inauguration of the 2010-2011 academic year, University of Verona

Centro Interdipartimentale Mente/Cervello e Dipartimento di Scienze Cognitive Rovereto (Italy)

School of Doctorate in Linguistics, University of Venezia (Italy)

URQUAM, McGill University, Montreal (Canada)

School of Medicine, University of Milan (Italy)

University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian (Spain)

Barrow Neurological Institute, Arizona State University

Department of Applied Linguistics, Arizona State University (Tempe AZ)

Department of Linguistics, University of Kyoto (Japan)

Italian Institute of Culture, Los Angeles

Italian Institute of Culture, New York

Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

Department of Cognitive Science, City University of New York Graduate School

Department of Linguistics, University of Southern California

Department of Psychology, University of California San Diego

Department of Psychology, University of California Los Angeles

Blue Brain Project (Geneva, Switzerland)

Séminaire de Recherche en Linguistique, University of Geneva


VIII -Lectures and short courses given in managerial-industrial organizations:

Gruppo Ambrosetti, Milan, Italy; Gruppo Ambrosetti, Fabriano, Italy; Gruppo Ambrosetti, Rome, Italy; Gruppo Ambrosetti Preganziol (Italy); Observatoire Cidil, Paris, France; IBM, Novedrate, Italy; Glaxo Management School, Rome, Italy; Olivetti School for Managers, Ivrea, Italy; Young Presidents Organization, annual meeting 1995 (Florence, Italy); Associazione Italiana Fulbright, Camera di Commercio, Milan, Italy; Istituto Dalle Molle per l'Intelligenza Artificiale, Lugano, Switzerland; Graduate School of Business Leadership, Monterrey, Mexico; Air Liquide, Grandes Industries, Bruges, Belgium.


IX - Science Journalism

From 2017 to the present, regular contributor to the daily newspaper Il Foglio (Rome, Italy). Previously, from 1995 to 2016, regular contributor to the daily Il Corriere della Sera (Milan, Italy) (an average of 12 articles a year, sometimes printed on the front page). From 1990 to 1995 regular contributor to the daily La Repubblica (Rome, Italy), and La Stampa (Turin, Italy).