I went into philosophy for the money. In college I felt passionate about becoming a jazz guitar player. However, I was not very good at it and the prospects for employment and compensation were bleak. Graduate school in philosophy promised me a better future. As it turns out, I genuinely love philosophy (despite its lack of guitar solos) and have come to focus on American pragmatism, philosophy of art, and the philosophy of media and technology. It is my belief that most people are already thinking philosophically, and so the discipline of philosophy can offer people outlets, strategies, and new examples of highly developed philosophical works that will help them refine and expand their own impulses.
Here's a short profile of me, done in 2011:
Here's a more "stock" answer as to Who I Am:
David L. Hildebrand is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado Denver. Prior to coming UCD he taught at Rice University, The University of Memphis, and the University of Houston, among other schools. Before undertaking graduate study in philosophy, he was a Director of Education and Public Relations at a non-profit arts organization in Washington, D.C.
In addition to teaching and advising students, Professor Hildebrand is an active researcher and presenter in philosophy, and serves numerous academic societies and journals. He's also responsible for creating and maintaining a number of philosophical websites (including his own davidhildebrand.org), and that of University of Colorado Denver's Philosophy department website. He's an avid fan of the jazz guitar and classical piano.
Professor Hildebrand's primary research areas include American Philosophy, Pragmatism & Neopragmatism, and epistemology. He is particularly interested in the application of pragmatism to areas outside of philosophy, such as teaching and public administration. Besides authoring articles on John Dewey, Kenneth Burke, Charles Peirce, and other figures in American philosophy, he is the author of Beyond Realism and Antirealism: John Dewey and the Neopragmatists, a book Richard Rorty called "intelligent, well informed and well argued." His latest book is entitled Dewey (Oxford: Oneworld Press, 2008).