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Disclaimer: I just took this class to fulfill CPA credits, and have no prior experience or interest in philosophy.
This was by far one of the worst classes I've ever taken at UCLA. Jewell is a nice guy and clearly very knowledgeable in his field, but he is not a good lecturer. He tends to just ramble forever and very rarely writes anything down on the board. I found his lectures very boring and difficult to follow so I just stopped going by week 3. The readings are very dry and dense, so good luck getting through them.
The midterm and finals consist of in class essays which are graded harshly for a GE class. You are given the prompts ahead of time which does aid in preparation.
I recommend skipping section as well and trying to figure things out on your own based on the readings. My TA had the interpersonal skills of an eggplant and was of no help.
Summary: If you must take this class, just take it pass/no pass and put in the bare minimum to get a C. It's structured very poorly and just isn't worth the time required to earn a good grade.
The only reason to attend lectures for this class is the participation points from the in-class worksheets. Listening to him lecture didn't help with the midterm or final paper at all, and the only readings you actually need to do are the ones that have quizzes or are covered in the midterm or final paper. He gave out the midterm questions over a week ahead of time, so if you prepared it was very manageable.
Jewell is great. I'm a Psych/AfAm major, and I've had no experience with Philosophy, and Jewell made that transition super easy. I highly recommend taking this for a first timer. Make sure to read the text he assigns; they take a while to get through, but aren't that hard to understand.
I'm selling the course reader (w/ annotations) for $35! Email me @ *************
Andrew is fantastic. So sweet, so helpful, so approachable. He is a very considerate professor, as he postponed our midterm due to the strike that occurred to ease the stress of any TAs or students who wished to participate. He clearly wants everyone to succeed: he gives the midterm questions in advance, he gives a clear outline of what the final paper is to be about (which you are given about a week to complete), and ensures that the reading responses are fairly graded. I attended his office hours over my TAs because he is so knowledgable and easy to talk to. I have never seen a professor so quickly come up with great answers to difficult questions, both in class and in office hours. I'm not a philosophy major, but if I was I would take every class he taught. Philosophy is daunting subject because it is rarely taught in high school and it can be a shock to students with no prior experience, and Andrew makes the transition into the oftentimes difficult subject easy and enjoyable. 11/10 would recommend this class with Andrew.
Midterm: 38% (in-class, questions distributed in advance)
Final: 40% (essay via TurnItIn, prompts given about a week before the due date)
Reading responses and quizzes: 17% (3 reading responses submitted through TurnItIn and 4 online quizzes)
Participation: 5% (calculated through turning in the in-class worksheets and participating in section)
In sum: enjoyable class, thought-provoking subject, amazing professor, great for philosophy lovers and haters alike
Walked in 20-30 minutes late every day to this class, didn't pay much attention during lecture. But I worked hard outside of class, reading every assignment, asking questions over emails and office hours. The class has interesting material because it answers questions we face every day of our lives: did something create us and why are we here?
We had two main exams.
For our midterm, he gave us roughly 15 questions a week in advance and told us he would pick 10 for the test and we had to answer ~6 of those 10. Our final exam was an essay we submitted online. He gave us the prompt over a week in advance.
Jewell is a great teacher, really nice guy, and I'm glad I took the class. Just make sure you do the work and understand the content and you should be good.
Overall pretty good class. The material is interesting and the work is pretty easy, but you do need to do some of the readings. Definitely worth taking if you're looking for an easy and interesting GE.
Selling the course reader and book (God, Reason & Theistic Proofs) for $40 or best offer. Will be here during C Sesh. Text me at **********.