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2017 Public Philosophy Op-Ed Contest Winners Announced

Monday, June 26, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin Shepherd
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2017 Public Philosophy Op-Ed Contest Winners Announced

NEWARK, Del. — Jun. 26, 2017 — The American Philosophical Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Public Philosophy Op-Ed Contest:

  • Katalin Balog, “‘Son of Saul,’ Kierkegaard and the Holocaust,” The Stone (The New York Times)
  • Andrew Fiala, “Without Faith in Humanity, Cynicism Grows and Democracy Becomes Mob-Rule,” The Fresno Bee Newspaper
  • David V. Johnson, “A Democracy Deficit Plagues the U.S. and the European Union,” Aeon
  • Ian Olasov, “How Did ‘All Lives Matter’ Come to Oppose ‘Black Lives Matter’? A Philosopher of Language Weighs In,” Slate
  • Michael Robillard and Bradley Strawser, “Are Soldiers Morally Exploited?” Ethical War Blog (Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace)

The APA committee on public philosophy sponsors this annual contest, which includes a $100 monetary award per essay, for the best opinion-editorials published by philosophers. The goal is to honor five standout pieces that successfully blend philosophical argumentation with an op-ed writing style.

Balog received her Ph.D. in 1998 from Rutgers University–New Brunswick. She has been teaching at Rutgers University–Newark since 2010. Her areas of specialization are philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology/cognitive science, free will and personal identity, metaphysics, and Buddhist philosophy.

Fiala has degrees from UCLA and Vanderbilt University. He is the author or editor of a dozen books. He has published more than 50 scholarly articles, and he has written hundreds of op-ed essays. Fiala is professor of philosophy and director of the Ethics Center at Fresno State. He writes a column on ethics and religion for the Fresno Bee. His scholarly research focuses on war and peace, politics, religion, and ethics.

Johnson is senior editor of Stanford Social Innovation Review. He is a former philosophy professor turned journalist with more than a decade of experience as an editor and writer. Previously, he was senior opinion editor at Al Jazeera America, where he edited the op-ed section of the news channel’s website. Earlier in his career, he served as online editor at Boston Review and research editor at San Francisco magazine the year it won a National Magazine Award for general excellence. He has written for The New York Times, USA Today, The New Republic, Bookforum, Aeon, Dissent, and The Baffler, among other publications. He has taught at Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Johnson earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University, a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, a master’s degree in classics from Cambridge University, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and history from the University of California, Berkeley.

Olasov is a graduate student in philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research interests are broad, but currently center on moral theory (moral non-cognitivism, the sociolinguistics of moral discourse) and the philosophy of language (speech act theory, pragmatics). He has taught at Brooklyn College, Medgar Evers College, and Kingsborough Community College.

Robillard received his undergraduate degree in art, philosophy, and literature in 2002 from the United States Military Academy. He then served as an officer in the U.S. Army for the next five years. After exiting the Army in 2007, he went on to receive his M.A. in philosophy from the University of Victoria in British Columbia. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Melbourne, Australia National University, and the University of Oxford. Robillard's research focuses on various topics in the field of normative ethics to include exploitation and its relation to present-day military recruitment as well as war and its relation to future generations. Robillard is an Iraq war veteran and former Army Airborne Ranger.

Strawser is associate professor of philosophy in the Defense Analysis Department at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He is also a research associate at Oxford University’s Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict (ELAC) in Oxford, UK. Strawser works in ethics, broadly construed, both normative and applied, and he has areas of competence in political philosophy, metaphysics, and philosophy of religion (both Western and non-Western). Outside of his AOS and AOCs, Strawser has enduring research interests in Kant, action theory, logic, the philosophy of sport, and ancient philosophy, as well as a variety of particular applied ethics sub-fields, including the ethics of war and peace, military ethics, bioethics, and development ethics.

About the APA

Founded in 1900, the American Philosophical Association promotes the discipline and profession of philosophy, both within the academy and in the public arena. The APA supports the professional development of philosophers at all levels and works to foster greater understanding and appreciation of the value of philosophical inquiry.


Amy Ferrer
Executive Director


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