Q: What’s your favorite thing about the UCLA Department of Philosophy?
A: My favorite part of the UCLA Department of Philosophy is that it’s really quite like no other, where we have some of the most intelligent, bright, and also, eccentric faculty members who are very willing to go out of their way to really make sure you get the complexities of any and every argument. And they’re very willing to sit down with you and have that conversation, and talk about your life, and also help you through any aspect of your life. The fact that we’re all very close-knit really makes you feel like you belong in a community.
-Helen Lee, philosophy major, class of 2019
Q: How has taking philosophy courses influenced the way you think?
A: I think it has ultimately led me to become more skeptical in the claims that people make in pretty much in any subject—history, politics—you have to really examine the claims on the virtue of the premises and how they are being argued.
-Jonathan Rogness, philosophy major, class of 2018
Q: How will you use philosophy in your future career?
A: Philosophy is a really broad discipline, and could be applied to any field from management to writing. I’ll be pursuing either a law degree and do corporate/business law, or I will get my Ph.D. in philosophy and teach at the university level.
-Elena Pogosova, philosophy and Russian language and literature major, class of 2019
Q: What is the most interesting philosophical claim or argument you’ve encountered thus far?
A: Epicurus’s quote on death, where he says that death is nothing to us, because we’re not at that point yet, and when it is at that point, we are no longer here. I’m not a religious person, I don’t believe there’s anything afterwards, so that whole idea that, in some very vague way, consciousness—back then, he was thinking, “Hey, you won’t even realize that you’re dead, so don’t even worry about it.”
-Pary Townson, philosophy major, class of 2019
Q: Has studying philosophy changed your mind about anything you once thought?
A: Yes, definitely. Studying philosophy has opened my mind in multiple ways, but specifically, regarding Descartes. I once thought his method of doubt was solid until reading more, and I realized his method of doubt has many flaws. Take the demon example: you could be deceived, your whole entire reality could be something imposed on you by an evil deceiver, like a demon. I think it’s a fallacy of presumption. It’s a presumption because we’re saying there is a demon, but it’s still possible that you the one presuming.
-Edwin Lemus, philosophy major, class of 2019