Andrew Fiala

Commentary: Let's Celebrate American Skepticism

May 26, 2015

Should we trust the government and the other institutions of social and political life?  Most of us don’t.  And distrust seems to be growing, especially among young people.  In this commentary, Andrew Fiala—a philosopher at Fresno State—argues that trust has to be earned.  Fiala argues that skepticism is a central feature of democracy and that recent events make give us good reason to be skeptical.

Do bad ideas and evil ideology spread like a disease?  In this edition of The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Andrew Fiala argues that rotten ideas and pernicious ideologies will die out and that good ideas will eventually succeed, so long as we engage in moral and mental hygiene.

The concept of individual liberty was a key component in our country’s birth. Yet 238 years after Thomas Jefferson wrote about the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, America is still perplexed by questions of just how much liberty Americans enjoy, especially when it comes to their private lives. In this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Andrew Fiala says it’s time to re-embrace our libertarian ideals.    

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For years, many people subscribed to the idea that progress in society was inevitable. But in today’s world, the question of whether we are better off than our parents were has become increasingly difficult to answer. And as Fresno State Philosophy Professor Andrew Fiala suggests in this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, it all depends on your point of view. 

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Do you deserve to be happy?  In this segment of FM89's commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Dr. Andrew Fiala discusses the pursuit of happiness and the question of what we ought to do to be worthy of happiness.

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When President Obama asked Congress to make its own decision on invention in the Syrian crisis, it marked a break from other recent military actions, where the commander in chief didn’t seek such approval from the legislative branch.

Commentary: Are We Fiddling While the Planet Warms?

Jul 9, 2013

Can we solve the climate crisis?  Are we wise enough?  In this segment of Valley Public Radio's commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Dr. Andrew Fiala asks whether, like Nero, we are fiddling while Rome burns.

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President Obama recently announced a new initiative on climate change.  But will we be able to address climate change in time to prevent the worst that is predicted?  I doubt it.  Decades of dithering about global warming do not inspire hope. 

Commentary: Should We Worry About Cosmic Calamity?

Mar 8, 2013

From the effects of climate change to the threat posed by a giant asteroid, there’s a lot of things that we as humans worry about. But when faced with the possibility that humans may suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs, what should our rational response be? On this edition of our commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Andrew Fiala points to a pessimistic conclusion.


Recent injuries to NFL stars like Robert Griffin III and Alex Smith have brought considerable attention to the ethical dilemmas of sports, and specifically how players or coaches disclose injuries.  In some cases, such as Smith's, disclosing an injury can cost a player his or her job.

The 2012 election season will be remembered for a number of things, from the contentious presidential debates to the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy. The issue of women’s rights stood out as well, as a number of candidates made controversial comments about rape and abortion. In this edition of our commentary series The Moral Is, Andrew Fiala says in the national dialogue that has followed, one thing has been largely absent -  listening.

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.