What were your favorite philosophy courses at UCLA?
Phil 22 with Philippa Foot
Are there any philosophical issues, readings, or topics that have stayed with you since graduation?
Most recently related to cryptocurrency and the decentralization movement (I work at the world’s largest blockchain software venture production studio), but I know that my views on politics, ethics and life in general are hugely impacted by my time and training at UCLA.
Have you read any philosophy recently that you would recommend?
Not pure philosophy but there’s good philosophical thinking or background to books I’ve enjoyed recently, including “All the Light We Cannot See”, “Cryptonomicon”, “Skin In the Game”, “Sapiens”. Oh, and I read “From Bacteria to Bach and Back” by Daniel Dennett.
What was your first job or endeavor after UCLA?
I worked at the UCLA’s International Studies & Overseas Programs department for a year while teaching part time at a magnet school on La Cienega (one of the first in California).
What lessons or skills from philosophy do you use in your career?
Critical thinking perhaps most of all. Also the ability to truly consider and see the merits of opposing arguments at once. I’m also very influenced by the Greek philosophy and ethics I studied with Prof. Foot, Furth, Lawrence et al.
Do you have advice for current students or recent graduates about how to take advantage of and continue their philosophical education?
Spend as much time as you can not only in class and reading but especially in office hours and discussion with classmates (including outside philosophy). While you may not remember the specific arguments 25 years later (I do recall a few), you will retain a lot from observing and engaging with others who are philosophically inclined, particularly those who have put in the work to reach the heights of participation in a department like UCLA’s. “There is no royal road to philosophy!”