APA Member Interview: Ian Olasov

Ian OlasovIan 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 outwardto 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 dismissedin 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?

Working hypothesis.


Find out more about Ian on his website.  


This section of the APA Blog is designed to get to know our fellow philosophers a little better.  We’re including profiles of APA members that spotlight what captures their interest not only inside the office, but also outside of it.  We’d love for you to be a part of it, so please contact us via the interview nomination form here.

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