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Professor Kaplan is an impressive and unique person to take a course with. A lot of philosophy classes cover hundreds of years and dozens of thinkers. Kaplan, on the other hand, gives you an appreciation for the insights possible in analyzing a paragraph. The entire class is on one paper important to the Philosophy of Language. The midterm and final are each an 8-10 page paper answering a list of questions. They ask for a little original thought and understanding, so pay attention! If you're here, take Kaplan! (If you can only manage one, take 127C.)
I've taken Kaplan for 127B&C. Kaplan's midterms and finals cover a large amount of material, and there are usually a few questions that demand a some original thought (non-regurgitation) on behalf of the student. As a student, if you can take proper notes on the concepts explicated in class, then you are bound to do well on the exams. With that said, his philosophy of language classes will be hard to follow without a mathematic/logic/formal philosophy background. His courses are filled with technical terminology, so don't try to reinterpret what he or other philosophers say. What is said by Kaplan, Russell, and Frege is technical and original, so use the language that they use.
Having the opportunity to work as an undergraduate with the David Kaplan is a very special opportunity to learn a lot of philosophy.
He likes to treat his students to coffee, it is to the student's advantage to take that trip to get some coffee.
Professor Kaplan's Philosophy 127A, B & C are conceptually dense yet fairly easy to do well in. He usually gives a midterm and a final, both of which require some philosophical rumination but are still relatively straight forward.
There does seem to be a divergence between the material that is discussed in class and the material for which you are tested on. Kaplan is fair, and only tests you on the material for which he knows undergrads can succeed. That being said, I encourage you to attend the lectures not due to their practical utility (you can probably do well without attending all of the lectures), rather I encourage you to attend the lectures due to their intellectual utility. For Kaplan's lectures are both deft and erudite. He draws upon concepts ranging from advanced mathematics to contemporary psychology. I often find myself staggered by the sheer depth of his thought on seemingly intractable problems. Then again I often find myself bored as well, because it is remarkably difficult to maintain the necessary unyielding concentration during his lectures.
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