The Faculties of Philosophy and Psychology of Vita-Salute San Raffaele University have developed, during the yeas, their own researches through lines that, though following different traditions and methodologies, intersect in many points. This cooperation has generated over time joint research projects and exchanges of expertise. While a major area of intesection is in the field of neuroscience, a field of great interest for philosophy (in particular in areas such as philosophy of mind, neuroethics, philosophy of cognitive science, and philosophy of language) and for psychology (cogntive neuroscien, decision theory, the study of cognition and development, linguistics), the PhD aims also to investigate the interactions between sectors which initially appear very distant, like philosophical anthropology and the history of thought (in which the notion of soul, that it is now obsolete, has always played a central role) on the one hand, and  cognitive psychology, the experimental study of rationality and language, the empirical analysis of the cognitive processes and social relations on the other hand .

These interactions can be traced back to some fundamental areas of research, that have always being present in the two faculties: the interest in metaphysical and aesthetics questions of Western thought, with particular reference to the essential dimensions of the human being; the interest in classical philosophy (with particular reference to patristic and anthropology, with the classical partition in body, mind and intellect) and for modern philosophy, conceived as the origin and the point of convergence of contemporary human sciences; the interest in the ethical, moral and political values of the contemporary world, that finds, from antiquity to the contemporary age, a crucial convergence in the notion of person and personality; the interest in issues concerning language, cognition and decision, which are  a fertile  area of cooperation between the brain sciences and epistemology; the interest for the working of the senses and the human mind, which are the subject of philosophical and psychological studies, as in phenomenology and in cognitive psychology.

Research methodologies will include both historical-philosophical reflection and conceptual analysis on the one side, and experimental methods and the most advanced investigation techniques in neuroscience on the other side.
Each research centre will conduct its research in compliance with its own aims and methodologies, but will make sure that  methods of inquiry and conceptual tools will be made equally available to the graduate students, so as to stimulate,  in the young scholars, an interdisciplinary approach, aimed at  developing original syntheses and solid arguments  concerning various dimensions of human life and experience.

The PhD Course in Philosophy and Sciences of Mind was divided into four curricula:

History of Ideas, Metaphysics and Aesthetics

Ethics and Philosophy of the Person

Philosophy of Mind, Cognition and Language