Kristi Olson

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Teaching this semester

GSWS 1321/PHIL 1321. Philosophical Issues of Gender and Race

Explores contemporary issues of gender and race. Possible topics include the social construction of race and gender, implicit bias, racial profiling, pornography, the gender wage gap, affirmative action, race and incarceration, transgender issues, and reparations for past harms. Readings drawn from philosophy, legal studies, and the social sciences.

PHIL 1042. Crime and Punishment

Examines philosophical issues raised by the criminal law, including the moral justification of punishment, the proper subject matter of criminal law (that is, what should be a crime?), ethical issues in law enforcement, and the theoretical underpinnings of different criminal defenses.

Kristi Olson is an assistant professor of philosophy at Bowdoin College where she works on issues of distributive justice. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University under the supervision of Thomas Scanlon, Frances Kamm, and Amartya Sen. Her research has been published in such journals as Philosophy & Public Affairs, the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, and Politics, Philosophy & Economics. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., she worked as a public interest lawyer.


  • B.A., Music and Geography, Indiana University
  • J.D., Duke University
  • A.M., Health Policy, Harvard University
  • Ph.D., Philosophy, Harvard University

Selected Publications

“Autarky as a Moral Baseline,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (2014): 264-285. 

“Our Choices, Our Wage Gap?” Philosophical Topics 40 (2012): 45-61. 

“The Endowment Tax Puzzle,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 38 (2010): 240-271.