Introduction to Ethical Theory
Fall 2020 - As a transfer who has taken a lot of philosophy classes, this was one of the most painful I have taken. There were 3 essays (3-4 pages), and for all of them, I got no useful feedback. Part of it was the pacing; we had two of the three essays due in the last few weeks. The other part might have been just because of my T.A. Colleen, but for the last two essays I only received 5 comments in total that said either "good" or "nice" at different parts. I ended up getting a B+ on every essay. Yes I know, a B+ is not bad, but it is annoying because you can't improve on what you did wrong when you never receive comments about what you are doing wrong. The main gripe I had with the professor was that half the lecture was spent answering long unrelated questions that students should have asked during office hours and the other half of the lecture was the prof. reading almost word for word out of a text document. If you are looking for an easy intro philosophy class, this is not it.
This was my first philosophy course and I didn't know what to expect, but I loved this class, and Prof. Herman is a great teacher! I really enjoyed going to lecture--she explained the ideas/concepts really well and used funny examples. She is extremely knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor. We read Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Hume, Kant, and Mill. The readings weren't too bad...definitely got progressively harder though. Thankfully she gave handouts with notes on their main arguments. Know the philosophers' arguments well, discuss the study questions, and read Herman's notes, and the midterm shouldn't be hard at all. The paper (5 pages) was harder to write than I expected and I thought I was going to get an A but got a "high B+" ..wut-_- I also thought the final was harder than the midterm. Overall, awesome teacher, interesting class...definitely recommend taking if you get the chance!
I really do not want to sound mean, but this professor is by far one of the worst at UCLA. She stumbles over ideas, confusing the students. She asks the class: "Is that clear?" and she expects someone to raise their hand and say what? "Uh, I have no idea what you've been talking about for the past 30 minutes." She is so unclear and extremely difficult to understand and follow during her lectures. Her teaching style needs a serious overhall.
Spring 2019 - Okay, I guess students do not bother writing reviews, so here's mine! YOUR GRADE SOLELY DEPENDS ON YOUR TA, but I bet you already knew that. The lectures lasted for the full two hours and it was a bit difficult and unmotivating to get up for an 8 AM that last for two hours on philosophy and the fact that the lectures are recorded doesn't help the cause either. Attendance is not taken in lecture or discussion. The professor does not use a microphone, but that isn't much of a problem because the lecture hall is dead silent and there are not many students who attend the lecture, sadly. In the course you will mainly learn about Aristotle, then a little Kant. Honestly, I only read part of the texts, but it is not necessary to read everything unless you want a full understanding. The TA will go over some points in the text. My TA made things very confusing, but not on purpose. This TA was just very disoriented, but philosophy can make one that way. YOUR ENTIRE GRADE is based on three essays. One on Aristotle, one on Kant, and the last one on various readings. Reading materials are posted on CCLE, so you will not need to buy any books. Philosophy is pretty open-ended, but the main goal is trying to understand what the original authors meant, which can be difficult to translate into an essay especially if your TA does not fully agree with your statements even if you had backed it up with evidence. I only took this course because it fulfilled a GE, but to be honest this class was a bit boring at times.
I got a B+ but I didn't expect it since I got a B- on my essay which was 40 percent. So, it is worth it to study hard for the final. For the final, I listened to his lectures on the podcast while walking at the park. Good times lol! I thought the lectures were pretty interesting but sometimes missing one word or getting distracted in one instance will get you lost in what he is saying. I listened to the podcast for each lecture twice because i never went to discussion so that helped me. However, If you need an elaboration on what Lawrence says, then you should go to discussion. Also, use sparknotes.