Full Professor of Philosophy

T +41 41 229 57 72
Frohburgstrasse 3, Room 3.B37

Consultation hour during semester: Tuesday, 1.30 to 2.30 pm
Appointments during the semester break: upon request


Giovanni Ventimiglia (nationality: Swiss and Italian) is full (ordinary) Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lucerne (2016-), Vice Dean of its Faculty of Theology. He is Visiting Professor of Medieval Philosophy in the Master in philosophy at the University of Italian Switzerland, Lugano, and Honorary President of Aristotle College, Lugano. From 2004 to 2016 he was ordinary professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the Faculty of Theology, Lugano, where he founded the Institute for Philosophical Studies (ISFI) (formerly the Istituto di Filosofia applicata) in 2003 (Director 2003-2017).

He received his Master Degree (summa cum laude) in Philosophy from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan in 1988. After passing a national public selection process of the Italian Ministry for the University, he studied in Germany, where he specialized in medieval Philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich in 1995. He earned his PhD in Philosophy from the Catholic University, Milan, in 1996. He completed his post-doctoral studies at the Catholic University, Milan, from 1997 to 1999. After a national public competition in Italy, he was appointed Researcher in Theoretical Philosophy in 1999. He obtained the title of Associate Professor in 2001 at the Faculty of Theology in Lugano, the title of Extraordinary Professor in 2003 and of Ordinary Professor in 2004.  He has been Researcher and Aggregate Professor at the Catholic University in Piacenza and Visiting Professor at the University of Pisa. He also earned the Italian national academic qualification (Habilitation) as Ordinary Professor of Theoretical Philosophy in 2013. He was Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Kings’s College London (2015), and Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford (2015, 2017). In 2015 he founded the Aristotle College, Lugano, of which he is Honorary President. In 2016 he was appointed Ordinary Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lucerne. He is the main editor of the book series "Thomistic Metaphysics and Analytical Metaphysics” (Carocci, Rome).
He was Deputy Director of the Augustinianum College, Catholic University, Milan, from 1988 to 1990 and from 1994 to 1998, Academic Secretary of the Faculty of Theology of Lugano from 1999 to 2004, and member of the Commission of Culture of the City of Lugano from 2004 to 2008. He was founder and chairman of the non-profit Organization “Pro-filo umano”, whose main purpose is to promote philosophy as a form of social service.


Research: Giovanni Ventimiglia works primarily on Thomas Aquinas, Thomism, often at the intersections of the continental and analytical traditions of philosophy (Analytical Thomism). His main interests lie in classical ontology (analogy and senses of being, God as Being, God’s names, transcendentals and medieval logic, transcendental multiplicity) and its relation to contemporary debates in analytic metaphysics. He also works on the reception of Plato’s “unwritten” doctrines in medieval commentaries on Aristotle’s Metaphysics, the reception of Aristotle’s philosophy in medieval theology and philosophy, and the reception of Aquinas in contemporary philosophy. He has also worked on the ontology of material, digital objects and of cyberspace and the relation between philosophy and psychoanalysis.

He has been involved, as a research unit leader, in the consortium “Ethicbots” in the field of roboethics and is Director of the research project “Metaphysik und Ontologie in der Schweiz im Zeitalter der Reformation (1519-1648)”,  funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Some special topics:

  • analogy and senses of being (in ancient and medieval philosophy as well as in contemporary analytic philosophy: Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Frege, Wittgenstein, Geach, Kenny, Miller, McGinn, McDaniel, etc.)
  • God as Being vs. God as Person
  • God’s names and the structure nomen/ratio/ens
  • the question of the distinction between essence and existence (in medieval, modern and contemporary philosophy)
  • the reception of Plato’s “unwritten doctrines" in the thought of Thomas Aquinas and in some medieval Commentaries on Aristotle’s Metaphysics
  • the transcendentals: their history and their philosophical importance, also with regard to contemporary debates related to analytic ontology ("topic neutrality")
  • transcendental multiplicity (especially in Aquinas and Frege)
  • Being, time and eternity in medieval philosophy
  • Being as an "event" in medieval philosophy
  • Aquinas after Frege

Research Projects

Some concluded Research Projects


2016-2019: Metaphysik und Ontologie in der Schweiz im Zeitalter der Reformation (1519-1648) (SNF)

2018: The first steps of ontology in its birthplace: Switzerland (SNF)

2017: The "two-Sense" Theory of Existence (Foschungskommission Universität Luzern)

2017: The reception of Plato's so-called "Unwritten Doctrines" in Medieval Philosophy (Foschungskommission Universität Luzern)

2010-2011: Realism and objectivity, PRIN National Interest Research Project funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research, National Coordinator: Prof. L. Frascolla, University of Basilicata, participant in the Research Unit of the University of Bergamo on “Fiat and bona fide objects”.

2005-2008: Ethicbots, Ethics and Robotics. International inter-disciplinary research programme (consortium), European Union FP6-Society: Emerging TechnoEthics of Human Interaction with Communication, Bionic, and Robotic Systems (Roboetics) (Verantwortlicher einer Research Group in Lugano).

2001-2003: Transcendentality, existence, person (coordinated by Prof. F. Bosio University of Verona, Italy) funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research.

1998-2001: Elements of theology and philosophical traditions in the development of the doctrine of Transcendental properties of being in the thirteenth century, Sub-project of the broad programme, Subject, truth, world: classical metaphysical models and contemporary deconstructions (coordinated by Prof. A. Bausola), funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research.


Journal Article

Book Section

Contribution in Conference Proceedings/Paper


Contribution/presentation at a scientific conference

(Co-) editor of book series/member of a journal's editorial board/(Co-) editor of scientific blog

Functions and services for other Higher Educational Institutions or research organisations