Elaine Yoshikawa

About the Author

Elaine-Yoshikawa - AuthorI began my collegiate career as a piano performance major and studied at the Eastman School of Music and the Mannes College of Music.  But my attention turned to philosophy before completing my Bachelor’s of Music degree.  Eventually I received my B.A. in philosophy from University of California, Berkeley.

Since a philosophy degree is not exactly a practical degree, I decided to learn a marketable skill, and became a programmer/systems analyst for 5 years.  At that time, while I was working on an artificial intelligence project, my interest in philosophy and philosophical issues was rekindled.  Soon thereafter, I entered the graduate program in philosophy at Arizona State University where I received my M.A. and Ph.D.

I never intended to teach philosophy or make a living at it.  It just sort of happened.  Opportunities arose, the timing was right, and I was afforded a way to make a decent living without having to work.  I was able to expound upon diverse philosophical topics from ethics to the nature of space and time—a joyful and fascinating activity.

Over time, I learned how to present philosophical materials in a way that is accessible to people who have not been exposed to analytical modes of thinking.  I have taught philosophy courses at Arizona State University for over 14 years, and have given several public talks on: the philosophy of happiness, virtue ethics, Christian and Buddhist ethics, and moral psychology.

In my new book and talks, I integrate what I have learned from the Western analytic style of thinking (where the emphasis is on logic, reason, and rationality) with the wisdom traditions found in both Eastern and Western philosophy.


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