PESNA 2018 Keynote Speaker Profiles


Anthony Laden, PhD

Department of Philosophy, University of Illinois, Chicago

Anthony Laden is Professor of Philosophy, and, since August 2012, Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is the Associate Director of the Center for Ethics and Education, a collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He received his Ph.D in philosophy from Harvard University in 1996. He works in moral and political philosophy, where his research focuses on reasoning, democratic theory, feminism, the politics of identity, and the philosophy of education. He also has interests in the history of moral and political philosophy, especially Rousseau, Kant, and Hegel.

Dr. Laden is the author of Reasoning: A Social Picture (Oxford University Press, 2012), and Reasonably Radical: Deliberative Liberalism and the Politics of Identity (Cornell, 2001), as well as the co-editor, with David Owen, of Multiculturalism and Political Theory (Cambridge, 2007). He has published numerous essays on the work of John Rawls, including “The House that Jack Built” (Ethics, 2003), and most recently, “Constructivism as Rhetoric” (Blackwell’s Companion to Rawls, 2014).


Kyla Ebels-Duggan, PhD

Department of Philosophy, Northwestern University

Kyla Ebels-Duggan is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University and a Senior Fellow of the Center for Ethics and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a past recipient of a visiting fellowship at the Center for Ethics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs at St Andrews University, Scotland, the Spencer Foundation Initiative on Philosophy in Educational Policy and Practice Grant, and a Laurance S. Rockefeller Fellowship at the Princeton Center for Human Values. Her areas of specialization are moral philosophy, political philosophy, Kant’s practical philosophy, and philosophy of education.

Dr. Ebels-Duggan is author of "Freedom and Influence in Formative Education" (in the Oxford Handbook of Freeedom, 2016), "Educating for Autonomy: An Old-Fashioned View" (Social Philosophy and Policy, 2014),“Moral Education in the Liberal State” (Journal of Practical Ethics, 2013), “Dealing With the Past: Responsibility and Personal History” (Philosophical Studies, 2013), “The Beginning of Community: Politics in the Face of Disagreement” (The Philosophical Quarterly, 2010), and “Against Beneficence: A Normative Account of Love” (Ethics, 2008). She is working on a book exploring the indispensable role that experiences of value, rather than arguments for the existence or authority of values, play in grounding our normative commitments. For this work, Ebels-Duggan has received a grant from the Experience Project.


Kristján Kristjánsson, PhD

School of Education, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Kristján Kristjánsson is Professor of Character Education and Virtue Ethics and Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. Dr. Kristjánsson’s research orientation can best be summed up as that of Aristotle-inspired philosophical scrutiny of theories in educational psychology and values education, with special emphasis on the notions of character and virtuous emotions. He has written extensively on themes in general education, moral education, educational psychology, moral philosophy and political philosophy, and sees himself essentially as a bridge-builder between philosophy and social science.

Dr. Kristjánsson is the author of Social Freedom: The Responsibility View (C.U.P., 2006), Justifying Emotions: Pride and Jealousy (Routledge, 2002), Justice and Desert-Based Emotions (Ashgate, 2006), Aristotle, Emotions and Education (Ashgate, 2007), The Self and Its Emotions (C.U.P., 2010), Virtues and Vices in Positive Psychology (C.U.P., 2013) and Aristotelian Character Education (Routledge, 2015), the last of which was voted the best research monograph in Education in 2015 by the British Society of Education Studies. Kristjánsson has published over 100 articles in international journals and has recently taken over as editor of Journal of Moral Education.


Virginia Aspe, PhD

Faculty of Philosophy, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico

Virginia Aspe, D.Phil. (University of Navarra) is Research Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at Universidad Panamericana, Mexico. She is a specialist in ancient philosophy, specifically on the subject of Aristotle, practical and productive reasoning. She is currently investigating the influence of Aristotle in the intellectual life of colonial New Spain. She has served as a professor at the Nacional Autonomous University of México, the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, University of Cuyo, University of Navarra and other universities.

Dr. Aspe is author of Las aporías fundamentales del periodo Novohispano (Mexico, Conaculta, 2002); Análisis crítico de textos filosóficos. Siglo XVI (México, Novohispania, 2016); El concepto de técnica, arte y producción en la filosofía de Aristóteles (México, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1993); Filosofía Política y derechos humanos en el México (Mexico, CNDH, 2005); Jean Charlier Gerson y su influencia en la Nueva España. Tratados De Potestate Ecclesiae y De Mystica (México, NOVOHISPANIA, 2012); Francisco de Vitoria en la escuela de salamanca y su proyección en Nueva España, Virginia Aspe Ma. Idoya Zorroza eds. (Pamplona, EUNSA, Pamplona, 2014); “Multicultural Origins of the Americas: education in the New Spain”, (Journal of Interdisciplinary History of Ideas, vol. 5 no. 10, 2016); and finally “Integración cultural y ley natural en el Speculum Coniugiorum de Alonso de la Veracruz” (Revista Estudios, no. 32, 2016).


Harvey Siegel, EdD

Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Florida

Harvey Siegel is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami, Florida. He has held visiting professorships at Berkeley, Stanford, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Groningen. His research interests are in philosophy of science, epistemology, and philosophy of education. He is especially interested in issues concerning rationality, relativism and naturalism. He has published over 200 papers in journals including Philosophy of Science, British Journal for Philosophy of Science, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Synthese, The Monist, Analysis, and Metaphilosophy, and three books: Relativism Refuted (Kluwer, 1987), Educating Reason (Routledge, 1988), and Rationality Redeemed? (Routledge, 1997). He is the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education (Oxford University Press, 2009). Teaching Evolution in a Creation Nation, co-authored with Adam Laats (University of Chicago Press 2016), and Education’s Epistemology: Rationality, Diversity, and Critical Thinking (Oxford University Press, 2017).


David Waddington, PhD

Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance, Concordia University, Canada

David I. Waddington is Associate Professor in the Department of Education at Concordia University. His ongoing research interests are located at the intersection between technology and citizenship. Current research foci include video games and citizenship, philosophical questions in science and technology education, and contemporary explorations of John Dewey’s work on science and technology. His work has been recognized with awards from Concordia University and the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, and he has received funding from both the Fonds du Recherche du Québec (FRQSC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Dr. Waddington serves as an Editor-in-Chief of Philosophical Inquiry in Education, the journal of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, and has published numerous articles in the philosophy of education. In addition, Dr. Waddington has helped create several educational games, including Spaceteam ESL, a language learning game for mobile devices, and Cabinet Shuffle, a tabletop political simulation. He also conducts empirical and conceptual research on the civic impact of games--some of this work is available at the Civic Gaming Project website.