Welcome!

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I’m C. Thi Nguyen. I used to be a food writer, now I’m a philosophy professor at University of Utah. I write about trust, art, games, and communities. I’m interested in the ways that our social structures and technologies shape how we think and what we value.

My first book is Games: Agency as Art. It was awarded the American Philosophical Associations 2021 Book Prize. It’s about how games are the art form that work in the medium of agency. A game designer doesn’t just create a world – they create who we are in that world. Games shape temporary agencies for artistic purposes. And games turn out to be our way of writing down and communicating modes of agency; by playing them, we can try out different forms of agency. Here’s a summary of the book. There have also been some symposia discussing the book.

You can reach me at c.thi.nguyen@utah.edu

Selected Papers (and the complete list)

Games and the Art of Agency (Philosophical Review) (2020 APA Article Prize; selected for Philosopher Annual‘s “10 Best Philosophy Articles of 2019”)

Trust as an Unquestioning Attitude (OSE)

Transparency is Surveillance (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research)

Autonomy and Aesthetic Engagement (Mind) (audio)

The Arts of Action (Philosopher’s Imprint)

Moral Outrage Porn with Bekka Williams (Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy) (selected for Philosopher Annual‘s “10 Best Philosophy Articles of 2020”)

How Twitter Gamifies Communication (Applied Epistemology, OUP)

Echo Chambers and Epistemic Bubbles (Episteme)

The Seductions of Clarity (RIPS)

Cultural Appropriation and the Intimacy of Groups, with Matt Strohl (Philosophical Studies)

Selected Popular Work (and the complete list)

Why We Call Things ‘Porn’ (New York Times)

Twitter, the Intimacy Machine (The Raven)

How Much Should We Trust Technology? (The New Statesman)

Polarization or Propaganda? (Boston Review)

Escape the Echo Chamber (Aeon Magazine)

Art is a Game (Forum for Philosophy)

The Gamification of Public Discourse (Royal Institute of Philosophy Lecture)

Podcast Appearances

Are We Measuring Our Lives in All in the Wrong Ways? (The Ezra Klein Show)

Games, Art, Values, and Agency (Mindscapes podcast)

The Philosophy of Games (Factually with Adam Conover podcast)

I tweet at @add_hawk.

Contact me!