Ian Olasov is a doctoral candidate at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. His work takes a corpus-based approach to traditional questions in metaethics, and his non-work focuses on music, action movies, and tacos.
What are you most proud of in your professional life?
I founded Brooklyn Public Philosophers, a philosophy speaker series for a general audience at the Brooklyn Public Library. One type of philosophical conversation aims at forming a rational basis for agreement (and articulating irresolvable disagreement) about difficult, emotionally resonant questions in an open, civil, and earnest way. The series has done that really well. People from all walks of life are hungry for that kind of engagement, and philosophers can facilitate it by sharing their work with the public.
What excites you about philosophy?
Philosophy today is looking outward—to the findings and methods of contemporary science; to the moral, political, and cultural questions posed by the modern world; and to voices and experiences that it has traditionally dismissed—in a really unprecedented way. I see it especially in the rise of experimental philosophy, in recent work on effective altruism, globalization, and the metaphysics of race and gender, and in the discipline’s attempts to address its exclusion of women and people of color.
Where is your favorite place you have ever traveled and why?
It’s a tie between Italy, Trinidad, and Turkey. Any choice between the three would really be an answer to the question, “What do you most want to eat or drink right now?”
If you could only use one condiment for the rest of your life, which condiment would you pick and why?
First instinct: Sriracha. But on second thought, Sriracha doesn’t really work on Italian food and is only so-so on Mexican food. So I’ll go with Matouk’s Hot Pepper Sauce. If you don’t know, now you know.
What’s your personal philosophy?
Find out more about Ian on his website.
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