What was your dissertation title and topic?
Kant’s Aristotelian Path to Establishing Moral Metaphysics as a Science
How have your philosophical interests changed since you were at UCLA?
When I interviewed for graduate school in philosophy at UCLA, I remember Tyler Burge asking me what I wanted to study. I said, “applied ethics”. He paused, then redirected me to studying normative ethics. He was right, but so was I. I came to philosophy from proto-bioinformatics in large part because I recognized that my undergraduate education hadn’t prepared me for the fundamental conceptual questions – and ethical questions – that inevitably arise in contexts of rapidly developing cutting edge technology. My dissertation was instrumental to developing my skills as a systems thinker, leveling up my conceptual frameworks for ethics, and teaching me to think for myself. I’ve now come full circle: I’m teaching the courses in philosophy of medicine, computer ethics, and bioengineering ethics that I wish I’d had as an undergrad.