In the following Q&A, non-tenure track professor Todd Kukla shares some of his experiences in the Department of Philosophy at Illinois State University.

What got you into philosophy?

While taking my first philosophy course, I was struck by the image of Plato’s cave. After thinking about the situation of the prisoners, I realized that the strength of my convictions was irrelevant to the truth of my beliefs. With a clear sense of the possibility of error, I sought to learn as much as I could in all of my courses, and my education became a quest to understand myself and the world better.

What are your philosophical interests?

My philosophical interests focus on the history of philosophy, especially modern philosophy and Kant’s metaphysics. I am currently thinking about how to reconstruct the argument of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction.

What is your favorite philosophy book?

To this day, Plato’s Republic is my favorite philosophy book, and even though I disagree with much of what Plato says, I am still astonished by the book’s ability to bring fresh perspectives on a wide array of human concerns.

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and attended Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

What do you like to do outside of philosophy?

In addition to philosophy, I enjoy studying film, playing guitar, cooking, and reading non-fiction.