What were your favorite philosophy courses at UCLA?

Naming and Necessity, Kant’s Ethics, and the History of Political Philosophy

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

I remember the day that Professor A.J. Julius and I finally cracked the ideas that would feature in my writing sample for graduate school. We’d been working through philosophical issues in Kant’s political philosophy for over a year at this point. Then all at once everything made sense and we talked through the entire arc of the paper. Then we realized we hadn’t written any of it down! So we carefully talked through the whole thing again. Part way through A.J. needed a smoke break so we walked to where he could light up, and I sat on the floor with my laptop still typing away while we continued talking through the paper. The meeting ended up running for over 2 hours.

I had a bad habit of falling asleep in class even though I always sat in the front. I was a very interested but very exhausted undergraduate. One day I’d fallen asleep in David Kaplan’s class. Eventually I woke up, figured out what he was lecturing on, and proceeded to ask some tough questions about the material. He jokingly told me to go back to sleep.

Have you read any philosophy recently that you would recommend?

I continue to find Allen Wood’s books on Kant and the German Idealists incredibly interesting.