Dean Pickard, PhD

Dean Pickard

Title: (Retired) Philosophy and Humanities Educator
Companies: Santa Monica College, CSU, Northridge, Pierce College
Location: Venice, California, United States

Dean Pickard, Retired Philosophy and Humanities Educator, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the field of higher education.

In 1973, Dr. Pickard earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, history and psychology, cum laude, from the University of California Riverside where he was selected as a Marius DeBrabant and Henry Carter Scholar.  He later continued his studies, earning a Master of Arts in philosophy from California State University, Long Beach, in 1977, where he was nominated to the Graduate Dean’s List. He then completed coursework at a variety of foreign and domestic universities and institutes in graduate psychology, Asian Studies and German. In 1992, he earned a PhD in philosophy from Claremont Graduate University where he was awarded several fellowships.  As a professional educator, Dr. Pickard worked as an instructor of physical education teaching martial arts at the Claremont Colleges from 1975 to 1984.  He was a professor of philosophy, humanities, and physical education at Pierce College from 1983 for 22 years.  Prior to that, he taught at Mission College, Moorpark College and Ventura College. Dr. Pickard was also an adjunct professor of philosophy at California State University, Northridge from 1988 to 1999 and 2009. After retiring from full-time teaching, Dr. Pickard ran Pickard Investments from 2005 to 2013 and also taught part-time at Santa Monica College from 2006 to 2011, returning for a semester in 2016 after retiring from his investment business.  Before becoming a serious university student, Dr. Pickard was a professional guitarist.  After starting his university studies, he supported himself and his family this way until his achievements in university study brought him full financial support from scholarships, fellowships, and grants.

During his career, Dr. Pickard was selected for a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, a Liberty Fund grant and was selected five times for Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.  He gave public presentations at universities abroad and in the U.S. and in public forums, such as radio talk shows.  He served as a member on many academic committees and councils, was on the board of directors for the Los Angeles Area Nietzsche Society which hosted presentations at various venues such as the UCLA Philosophy Department. Dr. Pickard also served several years as the director of the Pacific Cultural Arts Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization which promoted the humanities and charity work.  Dr. Pickard has been a long-time member of the American Philosophical Association and the North American Nietzsche Society.

Dr. Pickard has published articles, reviews and books on philosophy. These include a review of Alexander Nehamas’s The Art of Living, (New Nietzsche Studies, (SUNY), Spring, 2000); “Nietzsche Vs. Habermas: Emancipation, Truth, and Ethics,” (New Nietzsche Studies, (SUNY), Winter, 1997); Nietzsche, Transformation and Postmodernity (UMI, 1992), “The Problem of Reflexivity in Habermasian Universalism,” (Auslegung, V. 19, #1, Winter, 1993); Logic, Truth and Reasoning: A Textbook in Critical Thinking, (PCAF Publications, 1997, 2009), “Frege’s Concept of the Thought,” (PCAF Publications, 1992) and “The Idolatry of Doctrine versus Genuine Ethics.” (PCAF Publications, 2010)   In addition, he has been an invited speaker at various conferences, where he has given presentations on both philosophy and martial arts.

In addition to his primary academic roles, Dr. Pickard is a fifth-degree black belt who founded the United States Karate League, serving as its chief instructor from 1970 to 2004.  Dr. Pickard has published writings on martial arts, including an article for Black Belt Magazine titled “Achieving the Artless Art,” (1979) articles published by USKL titled “Philosophy, Spirit and the Martial Arts,” (1984) and “The Dao of Martial Arts,” (2016).

When asked “What factors or attributes do you feel have played a role in your success,” Dr. Pickard answered “I have a multifaceted personality and diverse abilities and interests.  I was a top athlete when young, physically disciplined, curious, and sensitive.  I inwardly questioned authority but felt the need to work hard to carry out fair criticism of other points of view.” Dr. Pickard says the combination of these traits and abilities and his parents’ influence led him to seriously pursue learning in his late teens. His mother hailed from New Zealand and was artistic and well-read despite having little schooling.  His American father, who grew up in the Great Depression, also initially had little schooling, but high intelligence. After serving in the U.S. Marines from 1939 to 1952, his father earned a high school equivalency certificate to enter university and then completed a bachelor’s degree and some work toward a master’s before being called back into service during the Korean War.  Dr. Pickard attended six different high schools, all in different states and briefly, one in New Zealand.  He had no siblings and each new school was a change of environment which taught him how to adapt and gave him a considerable advantage in developing a broader perspective.

Dr. Pickard believes teaching is a calling that arises from passion for learning and for sharing this with others. Only a teacher who is caught in this throe of wonder can provide the best environment for students. This can more readily elicit their own passion for discovery, wisdom, and self-overcoming. Dr. Pickard saw students as “fellow travelers” faced with the same basic challenges and rewards of life.  He was thrilled to share with them the best insights the humanities and sciences can provide as well as what his own diverse and practical experience had given him. Modern institutions of education are based on a corporate business model. So, it essential that individual teachers breathe powerful life into that structure. The word education, comes from Latin “educare,” and literally means to educe or bring forth.  In Goethe’s and Humboldt’s sense of Bildung or “formation of self” it means the process of enquiry, discovery, and self-overcoming in which the critical, creative, and affective potential of human beings is brought forth. It is a “spiritual” development of the whole person, not merely an intellectual process or preparation for a profession. Dr. Pickard would like to be remembered by his students as a turning point in their lives or a great enhancement of the path they were already on, and that he, in the most deeply human sense of education, elicited in them a sense of wonder and facilitated their Bildungs-process.

As a testament to his success and esteem, Dr. Pickard has been featured in multiple editions of Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in the West, and Who’s Who in America.

Upon Dr. Pickard’s retirement in 2014, he began to pursue his interest in China, visiting the country frequently.  Presently, he splits his time between China and the United States, additionally traveling the world for three to four months out of the year. Dr. Pickard is the proud father of two sons, Justin Matthew and Christopher Dean.

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