What were your favorite philosophy courses at UCLA?

  • Logic
  • Political philosophy

Do you have a good story or two about the department?

I started UCLA as a declared poli sci major. HAL, the new computer that assisted with enrolling in classes in 1973, had a real shortage of classes available by the time I got to him, and somehow he registered me in an upper division philosophy class taught by Montgomery Furth. I didn’t know about upper division (versus lower division and was disappointed with my B grade on the midterm) so went to talk to Dr. Furth about what I might do to improve. Dr. Furth asked me what other philosophy classes I had taken, and I explained I was a first quarter freshman, so hadn’t taken philosophy at all. Dr. Furth told me there were five graduate students in the class, and seven upper division students, and ultimately convinced me I should be thrilled with my B, and should change my major to philosophy (which I did). He truly changed the course of my life. I will be forever grateful. My 12 years younger sister also majored in Philosophy at UCLA and was privileged to study under Dr. Furth as well!

Are there any philosophical issues, readings, or topics that have stayed with you since graduation?

Hume, Locke and others cause me to reflect on issues related to the common good. “From each according to his ability; to each according to his need” is a concept I consider on a daily basis as a citizen and a contributor to my community.

Have you read any philosophy recently that you would recommend?

The Colloquoy I was sent recently was of great interest!

What was your first job or endeavor after UCLA?

I worked for the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. before attending law school. I worked as a staff assistant for the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee.

What lessons or skills from philosophy do you use in your career?

Logic figures in frequently, and concepts of justice and fairness are regularly a part of my life as an attorney!

Do you have advice for current students or recent graduates about how to take advantage of and continue their philosophical education?

One of the more significant benefits of an education in philosophic studies is the ability to think — analyze, evaluate, consider alternatives and options, make choices, look at something from a different perspective!