Public Engagement

Video: Check out this feature in New Work in Philosophy, where I talk about my new article “The Misogyny Paradox and the Alt-Right” (Hypatia, 2023).

Essay: Feminista Vaidosas” (in Portuguese) and “Vain Feminists” (in English), Special issue on Feminist Studies and Philosophy. Forma de Vida. March 2023.

Essay: “The Ambivalence of Resilience”, Blog of the American Philosophical Association (APA) – Public Philosophy. May 2022.

Feature: Julia Carmel, “Yes, You Do Deserve a Little Treat,” The New York Times, Apr 2022.

Interview: Tracy Llanera, I am an American Philosopher Series – Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, Mar 2022.

Radio Interview: “Women, the alt-right, and the liberal centre” (with Louise Richardson-Self), The Philosopher’s Zone – ABC Radio National (Sydney, Australia), Aug 2021.

Essay: “Beautiful feminists? Or plain hypocrites? On Simone de Beauvoir and Manon Garcia”, Beyond the Ghetto: Women Doing Philosophy. Sep 2021.

Essay: “Egotism in Higher Education” (with Nicholas Smith) for Open for Debate, ed. Alessandra Tanesini (Cardiff Unversity, UK), Aug 2021.

Radio Interview: “Is nihilism compatible with the moral life?”, The Minefield with Scott Stephens and Waleed Aly, ABC Radio National (Sydney, Australia), Jul 2021.

Radio Interview: “Misogyny, Feminism, and the Alt-Right”, Radical Philosophy – 3CR Community Radio (Melbourne, Australia), Jun 2021.

Radio Interview: “Good news for nihilists? Life is meaningless after all, say philosophers”, Ideas with Nahlah Ayed – CBC Radio (Toronto, Canada) and Radio National (Australia), May 2021.

Radio Interview: “You Might Need Some Richard Rorty” (The 2nd Richard Rorty Society Meeting), radio documentary by Tom Holland, Ideas – CBC Radio (Toronto, Canada), Dec 2019.

Essay [edited excerpt]: “Can we outgrow the problem of nihilism?”, ABC Radio National – Religion & Ethics (Sydney, Australia), Jul 2021.


Essay: “In/Visible Brown Babes” for Filipino Women Doing Philosophy, American Philosophical Association – Black Issues in Philosophy. Mar 2021.

Essay: “Revisiting the Brown Babe’s Burden”, American Philosophical Association – Black Issues in Philosophy. Nov 2019.

Essay: The “Sinners” and Victims of Duterte’s War on Drugs is now out on New Naratif!

Interview (w/ Nicholas Smith): “Richard Rorty and Metaphilosophy”, The Philosopher’s Zone – ABC Radio National (Sydney, Australia), 29 September 2019.

Interview: Devotion, Democracy and Duterte, The Philosopher’s Zone – ABC Radio National (Sydney, Australia), 3 Feb 2019. Using Richard Rorty’s pragmatism, I talk about how militant religious language is being used to justify President Duterte’s authoritarian regime and the ongoing extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

Essay: “Seeking Shelter in a Terrifying Father Figure” (print, 21 Oct – 21 Nov 2016); “Echoes of Trump: A Terrifying Father Figure in the Philippines” (online, 21 Oct 2016), The Indypendent, Issue 218 (New York).

Note: Selected as a Best of Indy 2016 article

This essay explores the rise of authoritarian, populist leaders in the United States and the Philippines. It draws out the similarities and differences between the political messianism of President Donald Trump and President Rodrigo Duterte. Crucially, it reveals the unique role of social kinship to explain Duterte’s enduring public appeal. The perspective of filial piety is often overlooked by international mainstream media, which tend to make simplistic comparisons by calling Duterte “The Trump of the East”.  My discussion of Duterte’s role as the strongman father of the Filipino nation in the essay fills in this gap.

Raffy Lerma for the Inquirer

Essay: “Unholy War on Drugs brings Cardboard Justice to the Philippines”, The Indypendent (New York) 04 Oct 2016.

This essay explores the reasons behind the social toleration (and support) for the extrajudicial killings in the Philippine war on drugs. It hypothesizes what the acquiescence to state-sponsored and state-inspired violence by a religiously conservative culture discloses about the Filipino identity. Focusing on specific social paradoxes, the article demonstrates the national imagination’s difficulty in coping with the task of reconciling the religious and political spheres of private and public life. This level of analysis relies on an understanding of the history of social and political philosophy, and in particular the ambitions of German romanticism. While complex in nature, the arguments in the essay are communicated in an accessible and competent manner and are supported by local examples.

Interview: Nihilism and Modernity on Radical Philosophy, 3CR Community Radio (Melbourne, Australia), 07 Apr 2016.

In this interview, I talk about my personal motivations behind navigating issues belonging to the intersections of philosophy, religion, gender, and social empowerment. I also discuss how my research participates in enhancing contemporary social debates on religion, nihilism, and modernity.