Introduction to Ethical Theory

Barbara Herman

Introduction to Ethical Theory

Philosophy department

Barbara Herman

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from 16 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.8
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 1.9
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.1
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.8
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.6
Helpful
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Tags

  • Needs Textbook
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Participation Matters

Grades

Winter 2020
36.7%
30.6%
24.5%
18.4%
12.2%
6.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2015
27.3%
22.7%
18.2%
13.6%
9.1%
4.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted April 14, 2020 Grade Received: A

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!!!

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted April 5, 2020 Grade Received: A

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.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 31, 2020 Grade Received: A-

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.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2018 Submitted March 16, 2018 Grade Received: A

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.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted July 2, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

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.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted April 2, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

3 papers and 4 "examlets" (4 chunks of the final) distributed throughout the quarter. This class will sure keep you busy. A lot of tedious work, I'd say. Lots of reading and RE-reading in order to understand the material since it's so dense. The class isn't impossible though. I ended up with an A-, and that was the result of doing all the assigned reading and making sure I understood what the philosophers were talking about, paying attention and taking notes in class, and writing coherent papers. If you have trouble, go to office hours. Your TA can help you with your papers. See them after you get your prompt, and they'll help you get started; don't wait til the last minute.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 31, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

Herman's f'ing tight
take her class and stuff cuz you'll like learn important things

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 11, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

If your intention, by taking this class, is to garner a collection of solid writing samples , you're ends will not be met by those means.
Philosophy 22W is a course concerned with the regurgitation of the theories of happiness and morality. You will be provoked into rejecting the latter and failing to receive the former. Professor Herman seems genuinely concerned with the material she teaches as well as genuinely concerned for her students. Unfortunately, the material you will be so professed to by this infrastructure of caring is repetitive, not always sensical and only vaguely realistic.
-This is a class to be taken when every other Writing 2 is filled and you have exhausted all means of extracting a PTE from any other available course.

(Summary: Decent Professor, Awful Class)

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 29, 2007 Grade Received: N/A

22W was very demanding; there were 3 essays (draft and final draft) and 4 tests. She's a great professor, she always comes prepared for class, she engages the students by constantly asking questions, she's always available to answer questions and she responds to emails faster than any professor I know.
However because there we covered 5 philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hume, Mill) I don't feel like I spent enough time on any one of them to thoroughly understand their theories. Also, the grading for the papers was difficult but the TAs were great. Don't take this class unless you can show up to lecture ready to take lots of notes because paying attention in lecture is key to understanding the theories.

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Tags

  • Needs Textbook
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Participation Matters
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