Alberto Oya
Appointed Research Fellow

Alberto Oya holds a PhD in Philosophy (Universitat de Girona, UdG: 2020; graded Excellent Cum Laude with International Mention), a MA in Analytic Philosophy (Universitat de Barcelona, UB: 2015), a BA in Geography and History (Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia, UNED: 2015), and a BA in Philosophy (Universitat de Girona, UdG: 2013).


Alberto Oya is the author of the monograph Unamuno’s Religious Fictionalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), in which he analysed Miguel de Unamuno’s notion of religious faith, connecting it with current non-cognitivist positions of religious faith in general, and with contemporary religious fictionalist positions more particularly. He has published seventeen (17) papers in professional philosophical peer-reviewed journals, including such well-known international journals as Metaphilosophy, Sophia and Teorema. He has authored two (2) book chapters in specialized academic volumes and has been invited to contribute to the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Philosophers. In addition to these publications, Oya has translated the works of George Berkeley (A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge), John Dewey (The Sources of a Science of Education), William James (“The Will to Believe”), W. K. Clifford (“The Ethics of Belief”), Charles L. Stevenson (“Persuasive Definitions”), and Louis Pojman (“Faith without Belief?”) into Catalan and/or Spanish.


In 2016, Oya obtained a competitive grant to carry out his doctoral studies at the University of Girona. From that time and until receiving his PhD, he was an active member of the research group LOGOS (University of Barcelona), ranked as the leading research group in analytic philosophy in Spain (AGAUR: 2017-SGR-63). Seeking to increase his international profile, in 2019 Oya carried out a research stay at the University of Sheffield (United Kingdom) on the topic of pragmatic arguments for religious belief. In 2020, Oya obtained a six-year competitive research fellowship funded by the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (Fundaçao para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, FCT).


Since starting his PhD, Oya’s research has mainly focused on the question of the nature of religious faith and its justification. His initial interest in philosophy of religion emerged as an attempt to answer the question of whether the practical adequacy of the theistic hypothesis –and, more concretely, the desirability of the kind of immortality announced by Christianity– can somehow justify adopting a religious stance. The difficulties founded in trying to justify religious belief on either an evidential basis or by pragmatic reasoning aroused his interest in fictionalist and non-cognitivist conceptions of religious faith, and more generally in the distinction between cognitive and non-cognitive meaning.


The ultimate aim of Oya’s project is to explore the possibility of offering an understanding of religious faith that foregoes the traditional requirement of accepting as being true the doxastic content usually attributed to religious faith, while somehow retaining its emotional content and a non-evidentially grounded religious understanding of the world.