N. G. Laskowski

I'm a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at California State University, Long Beach. You can view my philosophical lineage here.

Before CSULB, I was a Wissenshaftlicher Mitarbeiter at Universität Duisburg-Essen in Germany.

Before UDE, I earned my PhD in Philosophy at the University of Southern California.

Before USC, I earned my BA in Philosophy and History at Rutgers University.

Contact: ngl.philosophy [at] gmail [dot] com


I'm a first-generation college graduate (my parents didn't attend college, their parents didn't, their parents didn't, and so on), committed to making other non-traditional students feel like they belong in the classroom. My recent teaching schedule is listed below.

Fall '22

493/593: Social Ontology

101: The Meaning of Life

Spring '22

101: The Meaning of Life (x2)

351: Political Philosophy


I'm a metaethicist, who, in 2017, began cultivating a longstanding interest in social philosophy.

My work in metaethics covers, primarily, ancient questions about how morality fits into the world as science and experience reveals it to be - naturalistic and secular. What is going on in our heads when we think that things are bad, good, right, wrong, and so on? To what in the world do these thoughts answer?

In social philosophy, I've published so far on the metaphysics, ethics, and language of sexuality and gender. Very broadly speaking, I defend the view that membership conditions for these categories are in the head, and no less significant for it. I'm also interested in related issues concerning class and disability.

I also have enduring side interests that I hope to further develop in the long run, including interests in the ethics of interpersonal relationships (directives and disprespect), epistemology (practical reasons for belief), philosophy of mind (phenomenal consciousness), the nature of honesty (especially self-directed honesty), and political philosophy (especially authority and philosophical anarchism).


Papers, promised and provisionally forthcoming

No Gods, No Masters, No Authoritative Normativity (Joint work with Nathan Robert Howard) Oxford Handbok of Meta-Ethics

  • Email me for a draft

How Normative Naturalism is Close to Nihilism Oxford Studies in Metaethics Vol. 19

  • Talk here. Feedback welcome. Draft to be posted soon.

Papers, forthcoming

Categorical Phenomenalism about Sexual Orienation (Joint work with T. R. Whitlow) Philosophy & Phenomenological Research

Papers, published

Practical Reasons for Belief Without Stakes (Joint work with Shawn Hernandez) Analytic Philosophy (2022)

Wronging by Requesting (Joint work with Kenneth Silver) Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics Vol. 11 (2021)

Phenomenal Concepts as Complex Demonstratives (Joint work with Nathan Robert Howard) Res Philosophica (2021)

What Makes Normative Concepts Normative (Joint work with Shawn Hernandez) Southwest Philosophy Review (2021)

The World is Not Enough (Joint work with Nathan Robert Howard) Noûs (2021)

Resisting Reductive Realism Oxford Studies in Metaethics Vol. 15 (2020)

Moral Constraints on Gender Concepts Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (2020)

The Sense of Incredibility in Ethics Philosophical Studies (2019)

Moral Realism, Speech Act Diversity, and Expressivism The Philosophical Quarterly (2019)

Reductivism, Nonreductivism, and Incredulity about Streumer's Error Theory Analysis Reviews (2018)

Epistemic Modesty in Ethics Philosophical Studies (2018)

Conceptual Analysis in Metaethics (Joint work with Stephen Finlay) Routledge Handbook of Metaethics (2017)

Non-Analytical Naturalism and the Nature of Normative Thought Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (2015)

How to Pull a Metaphysical Rabbit out of an End-Relational Semantic Hat Res Philosophica (2014)

Book reviews

“Double Review” of On What Matters Volume Three written by Derek Parfit and Does Anything Really Matter? Essays on Parfit on Objectivity edited by Peter Singer Ethics (2018)

Speech and Morality: On the Metaethical Implications of Speaking, written by Terence Cuneo Journal of Moral Philosophy (2017)


I was raised by my mom's mom in a single-bedroom apartment in Roselle, New Jersey. I now live in Los Angeles. I have a wonderful spouse. We were married by Elvis. I'm a parent to a delightful toddler. I'm also a proud union member. I'm proud of my spouse and toddler, too, but in different ways.

I used to tour around the world in a diy punk band, shoot and edit feature-length indie films, and skateboard. Until recently, my family had a Jack Russel Terrier companion named 'Kjeks'.

In my free time these days, I'm usually at a playground with my kid, or I'm enjoying some of the aspects of LA that make it one of the world's best cities, like its restaurants and bars, and Dodger Stadium.

Completely unrelatedly but perhaps of interest, I was vegetarian for five years and strictly vegan for an additional 15. Now I'm pescatarian, for somewhat idiosyncratic ethical reasons involving the idea that our partial duties to our loved ones are more important than our impartial duties to others. I'm not sure it's the right decision. Feel free to inquire. I'm still sorting things out.