I became a philosophy major at Professor Mark Wicclair’s suggestion. While I probably never before have thanked him for the interest he showed in my intellectual development, his influence was a turning point in my life. I look back with great appreciation to the discussion we held in Woodburn Hall where he suggested I consider majoring in philosophy. While today I practice law rather than philosophy does anyone really practice philosophy? does everyone? asking those type of questions is a habit of mind the study of philosophy deeply ingrains in your soul. What does it even mean to say you have a soul? The mental inquiry of probing ever deeper into an abstract problem, while using the highest standards of analytic rigor, is a definition of philosophizing as good as any other. It also is an essential basis of professional success in many fields, including law. And at least for me, it is a most welcome constituent element of self.
I graduated as a philosophy major from WVU in 1990, and went on to get a masters degree in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago , with primary initial interests in epistemology, metaphysics and logic, which over time evolved into stronger interests in ethics and socio-political theory. Eventually I realized that it was the intersection of philosophy and fact that most interested me, and so I enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania Law School. After obtaining my law degree, I practiced telecommunications law at a large law firm in downtown D.C. for several years, and in 2004 accepted a job doing telecommunications policy work as an attorney for the FCC. I am fortunate to work on exceedingly interesting and complex issues for which my training in philosophy is relevant daily.
I would be happy to discuss the benefits and costs of majoring in philosophy with any potential student. Please contact the WVU Philosophy Department which is authorized to share my contact information with any potential student interested in having that discussion