Philosophical Analysis of Contemporary Moral Issues

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Ryan Cook Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Ryan Cook See Full Profile

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Janelle DeWitt See Full Profile

Overall 3.6 Easiness 3.8 Workload 3.8 Clarity 3.8 Helpfulness 3.8

Most Helpful Review

Professor DeWitt is a sweet and helpful professor! There is no attendance requirement and when I took the class online, the lectures were all pre-recorded. Her lectures can be dry (if it was in-person, I can see how some people would fall asleep), but she is genuinely passionate about her subject. It consisted mainly of her talking over screen-recordings of her notes. There are no PPT slides you can annotate, and her notes were not posted to encourage students to watch the lectures.
Also most of her lectures went over the allotted time, which she made up for by cancelling some lectures at the end of the quarter.
She's very friendly and approachable during office hours so don't be afraid to go in even if you're the only student there! Her midterm and final were both very reasonable as long as you watched the lectures and took notes. The midterm consisted of two essay questions, and the final consisted of around 50 MCQs. There was also a 3-4 paper written with a moral perspective on the issue of our choice. She also provided an extra credit opportunity in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and BLM movement, which was very understanding of her.
The first half of the quarter focused mainly on Kant and Bentham's moral theories, and the second half was moral applications to issues (like abortion, death penalty, etc). It's often easy to pinpoint where she stands on certain issues but she emphasizes that each student should learn to form their own educated opinion on the subject.
There are many long readings but I honestly didn't read all of them, just the ones relevant to my paper (and I also read parts of Bentham and Kant). Don't feel pressured to read through all of them because she goes over the important parts of the text during lecture.
It's a good idea to find a study buddy to split readings with if you're planning on writing the paper on the same subject.
Last note: She takes plagiarism seriously, and the paper isn't even that much writing, so try not to be tempted to take content directly from online resources without citing it. The professor emphasizes that she wants us to take content only from the lecture notes and the assigned text, because often the Internet is "wrong" in their interpretations of certain topics.

Spring Quarter 2020
Keith Kaiser See Full Profile

Overall 4.5 Easiness 2.5 Workload 3.5 Clarity 4.2 Helpfulness 4.5

Most Helpful Review

Ok, you know he's an easy prof. He gives out the midterm and final questions before both tests and answers any question you might have on them. I didn't get an A in this class however because I got too lazy because it was THAT easy. You don't HAVE to go to lecture, but you should, for the tests. Sometimes he goes over the same topic for like 2 weeks, but thats a hint right there that that's going to be on a test so you should write down what he says. If you don't go to lecture and you don't know the answers for the questions for the midterm or final, go to his or his ta's office hours and they will TELL YOU THE ANSWER!

But if you're too lazy like me to do any of those things, you can still easily pull off a B, at the least.

July 3, 2002
Bradley McHose See Full Profile

Overall 4.5 Easiness 2.9 Workload 4.0 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness 4.8

Most Helpful Review

Stunningly fantastic class. Hands down, I can confidently say that Brad is one of the best professors at UCLA. Great clarity in lecture, despite the convoluted concepts we wrangle with throughout this course. Extremely engaging and often displays his concern for students' learning. Never harsh or judgemental when students participate, ask questions, or even challenge the material!

There are two exams (one midterm, one final) and two papers. A very manageable workload, with lots of time and material provided to prepare. Both the TAs and Brad often host extra hours in the week(s) leading up to exam dates and paper due dates. They are extremely helpful and really get you to practice philosophy and increase your understanding.

There were no materials students needed to purchase. Brad would upload chapters and articles for us when necessary. Read them! Lectures often center around the arguments provided in those chapters, and Brad helps clarify and organize them to better suit learning.

Brad also uploads (nearly) weekly handouts that contain the specific wording of certain concepts and moral arguments. Extremely helpful and important! Most of the exam material can be sourced from the handouts as well as the lecture explanations regarding them.

Waner was my TA, and she is fantastic! Very willing to meet up for extra office hours, and provides easily understandable clarifications on the course material. Also, the most fashionable philosophy TA :))

Please take this class. I've had an amazing time in it; it really expands your understanding of moral issues today. During this quarter, we discussed obligations of aid towards people in need, abortion, as well as the issues regarding medical experimentation. If you thought you were informed on your stances before, think again. Put in the effort to learn in this class; you'll find that you'll get a lot more out of this than you initially thought!

Spring Quarter 2019
Alex Rajczi See Full Profile

Overall 3.8 Easiness 1.0 Workload 2.0 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 3.5

Most Helpful Review

His lectures are boring if you have no personality and are bitter. Yes his Philosophy 4 was early in the morning, but he always made it a cheerful atmosphere with his little jokes about odd human behavior, and he always adds in his behavior to laugh at as well. He is not monotone and explains all his concepts in full depth. The midterm was not that hard. The papers are a little more challenging but your TA will explain will help you out. I would definateley recomend this class to someone.

July 19, 2001
Abraham Roth See Full Profile

Overall 2.5 Easiness 2.7 Workload 2.5 Clarity 2.7 Helpfulness 3.2

Most Helpful Review

Prof Roth is cool. He does his best to make a fairly uninteresting subject appealing to everyone who is a non major in Phil4. Do not bother reading anything, especially if you have a great TA like Justin. The paper topics are just based on your notes and the TA's tell you what to include and the professor repeats the same concepts constantly. The final is also easy. Just know the review sheet and you will ace it. This class=A if you go to lecture and stay awake.

March 2, 2002
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