Return to Faculty Profiles


Sophia Wong, Ph.D.

Sophia Wong, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Philosophy

B.A., University of AlbertaM.A., University of AlbertaPh.D. Columbia University


I am an associate professor of philosophy on at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus (New York, USA).

The daughter of a violin teacher from Japan and a real estate appraiser from Hong Kong, I was born and raised in Edmonton, Canada. (It's about a four-hour drive east of the majestic Rocky Mountains, and ten hours north of the Canada-U.S. border). As a child, I studied violin, piano, French literature and debate. At the age of 18, I fell in love with philosophy, which I studied at the University of Ottawa; the University of Alberta; and Alberts-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg, Germany. I received my Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University, where I also won the 2002 Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching by graduate students.

In my work, I seek to specify how theoretical frameworks apply to the concrete problems currently faced by human societies. I argue that contemporary theories of justice can and must accommodate individuals with intellectual or cognitive disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism and dementia. I have written about preimplantation genetic diagnosis and reproductive autonomy, moral personhood, and the comparison between sexism and discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. My current research explores concepts related to the communal practices of silence, contemplation, and mandala art.

On the Brooklyn Campus, I am the founder and co-organizer of the “New and Not-So-New Faculty Network,” an interdisciplinary group that promotes mentoring relationships among faculty. I have taught a senior seminar in health care ethics as well as two sections of “Philosophical Explorations,” the two-semester core course in philosophy. Drawing on my research in disability studies, I use the concept of universal design to structure all my course requirements to accommodate a variety of learning approaches. I'm pleased to note that I've taught more than 1300 students in the New York area over the past 11 years. In 2010 I was honored to receive the 2010 David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching at LIU.

My philosophical work is enriched by the insights I have gained through writing short stories; playing basketball; singing; listening to birdsong; and making art using glass, beads and gemstones. I do what I love, and I love what I do. Brooklyn has been my beloved home for the past seven years, and it gets better every year.


Social and Political philosophy, Health Care Ethics, Disability Studies, Philosophy of Education


  • Author, “Duties of Justice to Citizens with Cognitive Disabilities,” published in Metaphilosophy (2009)
  • Co-author, “Preimplantation genetic diagnosis and reproductive autonomy,” published by Reproductive Biomedicine Online (2009)
  • Author, “Cognitive Disabilities and the Scope of Contractualist Justice,” published in the Auslegung Journal of Philosophy (2009)
  • Co-author, “Sharing Strategies for Succeeding as a Feminist Philosopher,” published in the APA Newsletter (2009)
  • Author, “Justice and Cognitive Disabilities: Specifying the Problem,” published in Essays in Philosoph (2008)
  • Author, “The Moral Personhood of Individuals Labeled 'Mentally Retarded': A Rawlsian Response to Nussbaum,” published in Social Theory and Practice (2007)
  • Author, “At Home with Down Syndrome and Gender,” published in Hypatia (2002)


  • Recipient, David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching, Long Island University (2010)
  • Recipient, Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching, Columbia University (2002)
  • Recipient, Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (1995-98)

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Society for Disability Studies
  • Member, Long Island Philosophical Society
  • Member, New York Society for Women in Philosophy
  • Member, Association for Feminist Ethics and Social Theory
  • Member, International Association of Bioethics