The Dennes Room

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Further education: MPA Harvard Kennedy School


Further education: As a result of a serious illness, I had to leave Berkely and spent three months at UCSF. That experience increased my interest in health care. I received a BSN from UCSF after healing and specialized in wound and ostomy care. When I was unable to work I want back to UCB and received an MBA and an MPH in 1984 - which was, for me, a mistake since that was not where my heart was.

Favorite courses at Berkeley: Hubert Dreyfus changed my life with Husserl, Kierkegaard, and the Nazi professor Martin Heidegger. Paul Feyerabend married science and philosophy and it helped me to understand that even the truths by which we choose to live have their own pitfalls.

Favorite professors: Hubert Dreyfus, Paul Feyerabend, and the philosophers of the Vienna Circle - there was a wonderful professor who was close to Moritz Schlick and I cannot recall his name - So Logical Positivism was also something that kept me going as well.

How has your philosophical training influenced your life and career? My philosophical training has meant a great deal to me. It influcenced my approach to patient care (which is to be human and not hide behind a stethascope), it helped me to work with hospice patients such that life and death were always at the edges of everything. I felt that sharing space with those who are dying can be a very good service and a source of enormous gratitude. I'm a lucky guy cause I took philosophy - and it appears that I have managed to survive my death ... so far.

Any current engagement with philosophy? I almost always continue to read philosophy. I am most involved in the ethics of health care and normally read medical journals relating to life and death decisions. But my interests go further. For me, great literature is often great philosophy. I read the Man Without Qualities twice, completed all of Proust, and I am now focusing on the philosophy of the stoicism.


Further education: Ph.D. Sociology, University of Paris, Paris VIII: Vincennes-Saint-Denis; Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies, Sociology, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris; Diploma, Sociology, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Favorite courses at Berkeley: History and philosophy of science

How has your philosophical training influenced your life and career? Provided a broad training in research and writing and introduced me to a wide range of thinkers. It allowed me to find a more specialized field of study: sociology.

Any current engagement with philosophy? Peripherally. For instance, if I am studying a topic in sociology (e.g., emotions) which has also been studied by philosophers (e.g., Sartre).



Favorite professors: John Searle

How has your philosophical training influenced your life and career? In the midst of an aerospace engineering career, I pursued a prior interest in artificial intelligence to become a practitioner of AI. This proved interesting as a practical test to add to my understanding of the philosophical issues of minds and machines.

Any current engagement with philosophy? Followed the more popular books on philosophy of mind (Nagel, Dennett, Searle, Alva Noe).


Further education: MBA, MAI Designation, Appraisal Institute, Real Estate Broker's License

Favorite courses at Berkeley: I enjoyed Philosophy of Religion and Politics, Ethics and Aesthetics. I developed a lifelong interest in Existentialism and the quest for issues of right and wrong, good and evil on the bedrock of random chance.

How has your philosophical training influenced your life and career? The Philosophy Program had a great deal of influence on my world views. In brief, it opened my mind to a willingness to question and to learn. It provided a measure of discipline for my curiosity. With fresh eyes, I looked at others' beliefs as well as my personal, core choices. I learned to define meaningful questions for many applications regardless of subject. I would suggest that selected classes in philosophy be a requirement for graduation. Philosophy courses became a foundation for my spiritual atheism and the exploration of chance and Existentialism as a state of nature.

Any current engagement with philosophy? My love of philosophy will be with me until I die. As a member of the Benjamin Ide Wheeler Society, I plan on supporting the Philosophy Department after my death. I continue reading and discussing philosophical issues with several book clubs. It is a pleasure and delight to share ideas with others.


Further education: Masters Thesis Computational Biology Stanford, 2008 Master of Science, Cal State East Bay, Computational Biology 2008 MBA Cal State East Bay 2011 Doctorate in Computer Science, Colorado Technical University 2018

Favorite courses at Berkeley: Philosophy of Mind. I am particularly interested in the Mind/Body problem or problem of psychophysical reduction and reductionism in science in general.

Favorite professors: Searle. I took Philosophy of Mind with him where he taught his book on Intentionality. Klaus Strelau, a Philosophy PhD student who became my friend and mentor.

How has your philosophical training influenced your life and career? Philosophy taught me how to think rigorously and systematically on any topic. Hence it was useful in learning and mastering computer software and hardware systems (as well as a year of Symbolic Logic). Rigorous writing skills allowed me to publish many articles in Computer Magazines.

Any current engagement with philosophy? Not formally. Continue to write my Philosophical Papers on a wide range of philosophical topics. See my website for sample writings.