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Smeenk is a nice guy. Very helpful. His class, on the other hand, is an entirely different story.
Philosophy of Science, right? Wrong. Try "History of Science" or "Science of Science". I actually think the best name for the class would be "Science, with Interesting Questions". If you are generally bad at science: BEWARE. In this class, we use vector calculus and other things that I haven't heard since high school calculus and have mostly forgotten. Math/physics majors are better suited for this class than Philosophy majors.
If you are planning on taking one of his classes, I encourage you to talk to him before the course begins and ask about the specific content of the class and what sort of a knowledge base he is expecting from his students. If I had known that "Philosophy of Science" was going to focus on quantum mechanics and theory, I would have never signed up for it. But I'm there, I'm stuck, and my GPA is going to take a serious thrashing.
If Prof. Smeenk ever reads this, PLEASE add more philosophy to your philosophy classes and make the material, itself, more accessible. I am worried that the actual philosophy of science is not being discussed in any undergraduate courses at UCLA; which is a shame because it is really a very interesting subject. Also, Prof. Smeenk, on behalf of those who had to drop Phil 131 because of its content, you need to add the appropriate prerequisites to your courses. I know two people that dropped because they didn't know calculus, which was necessary for the class but not required to enroll. It's only fair to make those things required if your course depends on them.
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