Michael

Degree

UBC Philosophy BA ’07

Occupation

Visiting Faculty, Bard Prison Initiative


Biography

Near the end of my computer science degree, I took a science and society course from Alan Richardson and Stephen Straker. I had always loved science but they showed me a completely different way to think about it. That inspired me to keep taking courses after graduation, eventually resulting in a philosophy degree. I’ve never stopped loving it.

As I currently teach philosophy, it has been central to my life. I met my wife because of philosophy, I lived in a country I’d never heard of (Kyrgyzstan) for two years because of philosophy, and philosophy has shaped my views on everything from politics to childrearing. I’m not convinced that philosophers are necessarily more thoughtful than anyone else, but I do find an analytic approach helpful for thinking about nearly everything in life.

If you choose to pursue academia, do it because you love it, not because you’d like to be a tenured professor someday. Graduate school takes 6+ years of your life. They are rewarding years, but it’s almost impossible to know what your job prospects will look like coming out the other side.

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