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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
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I really loved professor Herman's class. She's definitely one of the smartest people I know, and yet she has a way of explaining material that makes it digestible. This class taught me a lot and changed my perspective on ethics and philosophy. Go to her office hours!!!
Professor Herman is one of my favorite professors I’ve had at UCLA so far. She is a leading scholar in Kantian ethics and a decent portion of this class discusses Kant and it’s awesome to learn from someone like that. Her lectures are interesting if you’re interested in philosophy or think you might be and she’s super approachable in office hours.
The course requires a course reader from a printing place in Westwood but getting it was much easier than I expected. I found the writing portion of this class to actually be helpful because you are given a chance to revise your work and improve your grade. The final exam is split into four different “examlets” with short answer questions. Although it was a little annoying having them on Friday mornings I ultimately preferred this method because you are tested on material when it’s still fresh in your mind. The two hour lectures are a bit long but there is a break in the middle. I would recommend this class and this professor.
Prof. Herman is a brilliant professor who really helped me change my perspective on ethics in general. I had a decent philosophy background going into this class and I never really liked discussing ethics. (Mostly because I'm religious and I find it hard sometimes separating logical justifications for my moral beliefs as opposed to my religious beliefs. Not that they're mutually exclusive, but I digress.) However, Prof. Herman was excellent at explaining the philosophers in an engaging and humorous way.
The three papers can be fairly daunting at first, but if you want to make them more manageable, I have two suggestions. 1) Talk to your TAs. They help you revise the first two papers anyway, and if I ever had a conceptual, philosophical, or writing question, they were really helpful in offering counsel in that regard. 2) Have someone else read your papers who isn't in the class. My rule of thumb for the papers was if someone who doesn't know the content going in or didn't take the class read my paper and they could understand it, then I explained my points well. Because of this, I did well on all three papers, and I feel my clarity really improved as a result. My writing is definitely better after this class.
Finally, there's the topic of the readings. When I took the class, the texts we spent the most time reading where Plato's Republic (discussing the Ring of Gyges), Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, multiple texts by Hume (Treatise of Human Nature and An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals), Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, and John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism. We also read some other supplemental texts such as ones by Mensius and Wollstonecraft. Honestly, across all these readings, there's a fairly diverse set of ideas presented before you. Prof. Herman's tests asked you to explain certain quotes by these philosophers (each one tended to focus on one philosopher) or answer a question related to their ideas. So long as you do the readings, pay attention in class, and write good notes, you should be fine.
This isn't to say that this class is easy, but it's definitely manageable if you work smart and use the resources available. Overall, Prof. Herman is also an amazing professor, so if you're willing to put in the work and do some thinking, then I'd highly recommend taking this class with her.
Professor Herman has the capability to make an extremely boring subject a little more digestible and often times interesting! This is not an easy feat as you can imagine. This is a Writing 2 course so you're crazy if you aren't expected a writing-heavy course; that being said, each essay has a rough draft that the TAs go over with you individually. The TAs are great–USE THEM! My writing improved tremendously due to their help and the fact the papers require so much critical thinking. If you could hear her lecturing you did learn a great deal and the pace of the course, while fast, was not unmanageable. I enjoy her wit and humor, and feel as though I learned a great deal from this course. Overall an excellent course if you are willing to put in the effort it requires.
Professor Herman was amazing. Her lectures were interesting and always elaborated on the readings--incredibly helpful since the reading can be quite dense. She really cares about the students and wants everyone to learn moral and ethical theory--not just memorizing principles, but application to scenarios and whatnot. She says attendance is "mandatory", but she doesn't actually take attendance. Even though she does not take attendance, I highly recommend going to lecture since they were very beneficial. She tends to test on material she discussed during lecture. She is very willing to answer questions and slow down lecture if you don't understand anything. Discussions were also very helpful- my TA was Greg. He was really nice and definitely knew his stuff. The class was composed of four examlets (the final broken up into four 25 point "exams") and three papers (roughly six pages each to fulfill the writing aspect of this class).
The examlets weren't too difficult. She held a review session for the last three-- the first one on Plato and Aristotle was pretty easy. She also gave out handouts highlighting key points and some with example questions/quotations you would be expected to understand and explain. The first examlet was on Plato/Aristotle, the second one on Hume, the third on Kant, and the fourth on Mill/Utilitarianism.
The papers have a mandatory first draft-- you will get docked points if your first draft is poorly put together, i.e., written last minute. The TA's, not just my own, were really nice and very receptive towards your ideas and wanted you to keep your style, but tweak it for philosophical writing. You must meet with your TA before you submit your final draft. This meeting is super helpful and as long as you follow your TA's suggestions, you should get do fine on your paper.
I highly suggest taking this class with Professor Herman. Three of my other friends took 22, and ALL of them hated it. I think it was the professor in all honesty. I am not a philosophy major and I got an A in this class. I only took this class because I wanted to fulfill both requisites, but I am so happy I took it. It is incredibly applicable to everyday life. I was mindf*cked so many times by the parallels I saw from class and everyday life. This class is a good amount of work, but if you make effort to keep up with the reading--at least skim over it, pay attention in class, and attend sections, then you will do fine.
Professor Herman is so engaging - I hate writing, philosophy, and pretty much anything liberal arts, but taking this as a writing II GE is a good choice. There are three graded essays and four examlets that all are a percent of your final exam. Your TA matters a lot because they grade your essays, but the essays are made easier by first submitting a rough draft, then meeting with your TA to get feedback, and a week later submitting the final paper. The examlets are fair and if you work at the examlet review guides she gives you'll do well on those.
Professor Herman opened up the door of philosophy for me. She made this class and Kant understandable and approachable. Before taking this class I thought that philosophy is something that I would never be interested in my life. I gave this class a try as I needed to fulfill my writing 2 requirement. It turned out to be one of my favorite classes. The three essays are all manageable and doable. Also the professor holds plenty of office hour to help answer questions.
Professor Herman is super charming and she aims to help students learn, not to destroy their confidence. I definitely recommend this class if you are interested in ethics and philosophy. It's an intro class and the difficulty is not too bad.
I took this class as my writing 2 requirement and I actually really enjoyed it! I was nervous going in since the reviews at the time did not look too appealing but Professor Herman is so great and the class is fascinating. It is very concept based and you really have to pay full attention in order to understand the concepts being discussed. I wish I would have received a higher grade and I feel that if I had put in more effort I would have been able to. DO THE READING. I personally kinda skimmed the assigned book and looking back I feel that just reading the book would have made all the difference. Overall, if you need a writing 2 requirement and are interested in philosophy, this is a fantastic class to take!
Professor Herman is one of the wittiest, most endearing, and influential professors I’ve had at UCLA. Although the lectures are quite long and sometimes dry, she never fails to make you think for yourself and stay engaged with the material. She was always very helpful, and a total badass all the time.
The class is a lot of work, not going to lie. But it does count as a writing 2 credit which can justify it. If you’re looking for a very easy philosophy/writing 2 class with minimal workload, there are better options. However, if you’re looking for an engaging class on ethics and are willing to put in the work, the class is totally worth it.
Professor Herman is a brilliant and engaging lecturer, whose lectures are not difficult to grasp and entertaining at times as well. The examples she brings up are not only insightful, but relevant and thought-provoking to the extent that you are able to develop your own questions as she breaks them down. Overall, Professor Herman's organization of this class is highly efficent and easy to follow: Do the readings, attend lecture/discussion, complete Four mini-examlets, Complete 3 papers which are alloted approximately two weeks to complete, and she provides many opportunities over zoom for office hours.
Her examinations are fair, and straightforward. Additionally, she provides a "review" office hours usually the day before an examlet, which provides students an opportunity to clarify any last minute questions.
Her lectures mirror a large socratic seminar but she encourages student participation through thought provoking inquiry.
Overall, I would take this course again because Professor Herman is able to take large amounts of information and transform them into comprehensive, amusing, and reflective information for students to apply to their own lives.