What were your favorite philosophy courses at UCLA?
Kant, Kantian Ethics, Logic (any/all courses), Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Psychology, Leibniz, Existentialism (177A and 177B), Medical Ethics, Nietzsche, Political Philosophy
Are there any philosophical issues, readings, or topics that have stayed with you since graduation?
I think about philosophy every single day (whether I intend to or not). The issues that often come up in my daily life and thoughts are generally related to various topics in logic, ethics, and epistemology. I see Kant’s footprints everywhere throughout the world–few thinkers other than Aristotle, Plato, and early mathematicians (e.g. Archimedes, Euclid) have had such a broad impact.
I am consistently engaged with topics in philosophy of science (particularly biology and psychology) and philosophy of mind in my personal research in neuroscience and clinical pharmacology.
Have you read any philosophy recently that you would recommend?
There is plenty of good contemporary philosophy that one can read–and much in the literature that I could mention (e.g. journals such as Nous and Philosophical Review)–but I find myself often returning to the works of Kant and Aristotle; for Aristotle, particularly the Nicomachean Ethics and for Kant his various ethical works along with the Critique of Pure Reason.
What lessons or skills from philosophy do you use in your career?
Logic, analytical thinking, reading comprehension/general analysis, “strategic” thinking, being able to frame and reframe issues, writing, etc…
Do you have advice for current students or recent graduates about how to take advantage of and continue their philosophical education?
Take as much logic as possible, interact with professors/TA’s and other mentors outside of class, and study as much science/mathematics as you can because philosophy is often more poignant, rich, and applicable when paired with other disciplines and types of knowledge.