Intellectual Autobiography Essay

I see this course as a pathway, or an opportunity to explore the full expanse of knowledge sources from different standpoints concerning the black population, a topic I have always aspired to learn about due to its intriguing nature and subtle intricacy.
Frankly, my intellectual development up to where I am today would not have been successful without the unreserved guidance and support from my father, a successful businessperson whose relentless passion and dedication for success has always inspired me to achieve and be more like him in future. My own father is my role model and I always look up to him for not only love, guidance, and approval, but for inspiration in life as well, especially because I consider him a significant authority in matters regarding my personal growth and development. In all these years of my growth, from a small boy to the young adult I have become, I owe all gratitude to this amazingly great father, whose kind words of wisdom have catapulted me to where I am today.
My father always encourages me to strive to be exceptional because being average alone is not good enough, especially in today’s era of globalization, where opportunities are increasingly becoming scarce by the day. Above all, my father has made it clear that I can always achieve everything I set my eyes upon in life with the right kind of positive attitude, and that nothing can stop me from doing so if I really purpose to. Every day I remember my father’s words that success begins by establishing a positive attitude I feel reinvigorated not just to succeed, but also to succeed exceedingly, since nothing can stop me from doing so with the right attitude.
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My academic training in philosophy began as an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I wrote a senior honors thesis on Heidegger's Being and Time with Maurice Natanson and Christopher McCann. Upon graduation in 1977, I matriculated at the University of Chicago, where I studied with Paul Ricoeur--under whose guidance I first read Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, producing an interpretive essay that was to be my first academic publication. In 1979, I earned a Master's degree in philosophy at the University of Chicago, but withdrew from the program when Professor Ricoeur suffered a heart attack that forced him to take a two-year leave of absence from teaching.

After a year as a legal assistant in Los Angeles, I enrolled in the graduate school at Northwestern University on a teaching fellowship. In Evanston, I studied phenomenology with the late William Earle, and participated in the School of Criticism and Theory as a summer fellow. The philosophy department at Northwestern turned out to be in significant disarray, however, so after just one year I accepted an offer to teach philosophy full-time at Mt. St. Mary College, a small, four-year liberal arts school in Newburgh, New York. During the year in Newburgh, just 90 minutes from New Haven, I regularly visited my friend Ken Frieden from the University of Chicago, who was completing his doctorate in comparative literature at Yale. As I had been interested in the philosophical implications of "deconstruction" (the critical theory associated with Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, Harold Bloom, Geoffrey Hartman and J. Hillis Miller, all of Yale) since the time of my association with Paul Ricoeur (and particularly since my summer at the SCT), the offer of a University Fellowship for four years persuaded me to complete my own doctoral studies at Yale.

While a graduate student in philosophy at Yale, I received the Mary Cady Tew Prize for scholastic excellence (in 1982-'83), a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) summer stipend to study German at the Goethe-Institut in Germany (June-August 1985), and Yale's Prize Teaching Fellowship (September 1985 - June 1986). The latter award, besides providing a generous financial stipend, allowed me to design and teach my own class to Yale undergraduates. It was under the auspices of this award, in a seminar entitled "Metaphysics and Nihilism," that I first sketched out the argument that would ultimately be advanced in my dissertation.

In my final year at Yale, I was hired as an acting instructor to teach Philos. 191, "Ethics and Existence," for decades the exclusive domain of my dissertation advisor George Schrader, who retired in 1988, the year I was awarded the Ph.D. Playing the job market lottery turned up a tenure-track offer from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a three-year Mellon Postdoctoral Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities at Rice University; I declined the latter in order to accept the former.

At Cal Poly, I founded the Powerhouse Lecture Series in 1989, which has featured guest speakers such as "metahistorian" Hayden White. In 1990, I was honored by students in the College of Liberal Arts as Teacher of the Year. In 1992, I was appointed to the French Hospital Medical Center Bioethics Committee. Cal Poly has been generous in awarding me sabbatical and various research support grants; I have also been nominated by students for the university's Distinguished Teaching Award in both years since becoming eligible by receiving tenure in 1995. In 1996, I was elected Chair by my colleagues in the philosophy department. In 1997, I was honored by the faculty in the College of Liberal Arts with the first annual Faculty Recognition Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Publication and other professional activity since joining Cal Poly's faculty has focused mostly on Nietzsche and postmodern cultural theory. In March of 1992, I was invited to present my developing work on Nietzsche to an interdisciplinary group at Princeton University, and on March 27, 1993, I chaired a panel on Nietzsche at the Western Division meetings of the American Philosophical Association in San Francisco. An essay growing out of the Princeton talk entitled "Same As It Ever Was: Plagiarism, Forgery, and the Meaning of Eternal Return" appeared in the Autumn 1993 issue (No. 6) of the Journal of Nietzsche Studies, published in Great Britain. My essay "Also Sang Zarathustra: Remarks on Friedrich Nietzsche and Music" was featured on the cover of the 40th Anniversary issue of Piano Quarterly (No. 158, Summer 1992) and has since been cited in the Fall 1992 Nietzsche News (No. 11), in an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle Datebook (August 16, 1992), and in a review which appeared in the February 2, 1993 Wall Street Journal. A subsequent essay on Nietzsche's musical aesthetics was published in Nietzsche-Studien (Vol. 24, 1995). Because of favorable responses to "Same As It Ever Was," I received invitations to present new work at the Third Annual Conference of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society, held in April of 1993 at the University of London, and at the international conference "Nietzsche and the Coming Millennium: On the Music of the Best Future," held at Villa Le Balze in Fiesole, Italy, in July of 1994. The latter presentation evolved into an essay for the inaugural issue of New Nietzsche Studies (Vol. I, Nos. 1 & 2, Fall/Winter 1996), where it appeared under the title "Unreading Nietzsche: Nazi Piracy, Pyrrhic Irony, and the Postmodern Turn." Finally, my book Metaphysics to Metafictions: Hegel, Nietzsche, and the End of Philosophy, which both lays the foundation for and enlarges upon the themes sounded in these several essays, was published in September of 1998 by the State University of New York Press (it is featured as the cover of SUNY's 1997-98 Philosophy catalog).

My wife, Marija Bozic, was a well-known music critic and musicologist in her native Yugoslavia (now Croatia) until our marriage in 1988 and her emigration to the United States; besides many articles for newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals, she has produced radio and television programs and edited several books. Our daughter, Sabina, was born in September of 1990. My father, Julius Miklowitz, was an internationally respected scientist, and a professor of mechanical engineering at Caltech until his death in March of 1992. My mother, Gloria D. Miklowitz, is the author of more than 60 books and many more articles, mostly for young adults; three of her novels have been produced as television movies. My brother David, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, specializes in bi-polar disorder and family therapy; he has published extensively in his field, and his research has been recognized by several prestigious awards.

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