Public Philosophy

Below you’ll find pieces I’ve written for a public audience – not just for academic philosophers

Kantian maxims and elastic bands
Is it okay to flee a burning building when you’re under quarantine?
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, Aug 31 2020

When you realize you’re Henry VIII…
How to be responsible when it’s you with the upper hand
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, Aug 2 2020

Knowing what we know
The value of epistemology and public philosophy in a time when uncertainty is a matter of life and death
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, Jul 11 2020

The internet is an angry and capricious god
Craving justice, we have used social media to create an all-seeing power beyond our control
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, Jun 25 2020

The language of the unheard
What happens when Hobbesian logic takes over discourse about protest- and why we should resist it
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, Jun 9 2020

A twenty-first-century Platonic Republic
Why the cancellation of Sidewalk Labs’s data-driven, purpose-built neighborhood is a loss for everyone
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, May 22 2020

Coronavirus: it’s just not fair
Why it’s so hard to accept that you can’t negotiate with a virus
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, Apr 29 2020

New normals, new norms
What our flip-flopping attitudes toward masks tell us about the messy process of moral progress
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, Apr 15 2020

When to think like a utilitarian
Why we must show reluctance if the time comes to weigh human life against the economy
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, Apr 1 2020

Should the bros stop us supporting Bernie?
If a political faction’s tactics are so misguided, how can we trust its judgment on a candidate?
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, Mar 11 2020

The dangerous veneer of ‘science’
The slippery logic and rhetorical tricks of the new proponents of eugenics
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, Feb 21 2020

Can Bloomberg really buy the election?
Why voters will never be for sale
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, Feb 18 2020

Virulent Attitudes
Why we must resist reducing humans to mere vectors of disease
Morals of the Story column, Times Literary Supplement, Feb 4 2020

Deepfakes are Coming. We Can No Longer Believe What We See
New York Times op ed, June 10 2019

The Last Mortals
Times Literary Supplement, May 14 2019
(winner of the 2018 Marc Sanders Award for Public Philosophy)

How to Fix Fake News
New York Times op ed, October 15 2018

Raising Good Robots
Aeon, April 18 2017
(runner-up in the inaugural Marc Sanders Award for Public Philosophy competition)
You can hear my WOSU radio interview about the essay here: All Sides with Ann Fisher.

The Emotional Labor of Loss
Daily Nous: Philosophers on the 2016 U.S. Election, November 10 2016

GOP’s new tactic: Pitting the LGBT community against Muslims
Los Angeles Times op ed, July 23 2016

The Tragedy of Political Identity
Daily Nous: Philosophers on Brexit, June 28 2016

Should we rename institutions that honour dead racists?
Aeon, December 8 2015

Microaggression, Macro Harm
Los Angeles Times op ed, October 12 2015
(an earlier version of this appeared as Microaggression and the Culture of Solidarity at The Splintered Mind.)

The Ends of Philosophy
The Splintered Mind, October 22 2015

Consciousness Science and the Privileged Sample Problem
The Splintered Mind, October 14 2015

The Laughter of Ethicists
The Splintered Mind, October 6 2015

Philosophical Conversations
The Splintered Mind, September 17 2015

Ethics, Metaethics, and the Future of Morality
The Splintered Mind, September 11 2015

The Way Forward: Mapping Brains and Finding Direction
Practical Ethics, February 22, 2013

Enhanced Consequentialism: Up, Up… and Away?
Practical Ethics, July 19, 2011

A Reflection on Confronting Evil
Practical Ethics, June 21, 2011

Strauss-Kahn, Schwarzenegger, and the Failure of Public Discourse
Practical Ethics, May 24, 2011