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First off, this class is incredibly interesting. I'm rarely interested in stuff I learn about via academics (even if I find it interesting before, usually classes lower my enthusiasm), but I found it impossible to be disinterested in this subject. It's just cool. I would actually talk to my friends about how crazy this class was, and I'm not the sort of person who normally does that.
That being said, it isn't particularly easy... but by no means would I call it hard. There are mini 2-question quizzes before each class that comprise 10% of your grade that you shouldn't worry about at all because they're insanely easy, and are basically just there to make sure you get the most basic takeaways from the readings the professor assigns. The readings he gives out can be difficult, but he acknowledges that and basically summarizes them the next day in lecture if you can't understand them (they also aren't long, its pretty much all killer no filler). Discussion participation also makes up another 10% I believe. The main coursework is made up of 4 papers (the first 2 are short and easy, while the last two are longer and more difficult). The cool thing is the professor gives you a detailed rubric for each paper that lets you know exactly what he wants, paragraph by paragraph, so you don't have to think too much. To do well on the papers you basically need to follow his provided outline, have a solid understanding of the material, and be clear and concise (also consult your TA from time to time). He also provides you with a highly detailed note sheet from each lecture that provides you with more than enough material to write your papers. There's also no memorization aspect of this class at all.
Greenberg is an excellent professor and lecturer, and manages to use a very casual vernacular and a chill tone and still make lectures very interesting and engaging. I think that this subject is just naturally sort of difficult to understand at first and he makes it as easy as possible (my TA even said that he was "over-simplifying" some of the content, but everything ended up fine). He's very approachable and his office hours are helpful.
I highly recommend this class. I came into it with zero background knowledge and found it throughouly interesting. It's basically (some of) the kind of stuff you would think about when you're high (are the mind and the brain separate things, how do I describe consciousness, how do I know my friend next to me is actually conscious and not an evil robot). Whatever I'm not doing it justice but you should take this class because I think it's extremely hard to not enjoy it.
Best class, best professor. Seriously couldn't be more grateful I took this GE. It's sooo interesting and makes you think about your mind in a whole different way! Professor Greenberg is hands down amazing- he shows so much care for his students and has super engaging lectures with mostly visuals on his slides. He's also really funny and goes at just the right pace. The readings can be pretty challenging, but you don't have to take notes and you just have to skim them to do well on the reading quizzes (which are super general and easy). In lecture, Greenberg will explain all the readings much more clearly and everything will make sense. You don't have to memorize anything because there are no tests, so you really can just focus on enjoying the material. I went to every single one of Greenberg's office hours and looked forward to them every week. In OH, we all just go around in a circle asking philosophical questions and bouncing ideas off each other, so it turns into a philosophical discussion that always left me feeling like I gained a new way of seeing the world. Loved this class so much- would recommend to anyone!!
If you're looking for a class where the professor is genuinely interested in his students learning something beyond getting a grade, wants to make lectures the most interesting part of your day and appears to connect with his students and reality: enroll in Phil 7.
On the first day of class Greenberg asked the students what they were thinking about and what they hoped to learn. One student said something about how they were interested in how the brain works. Another student started talking about how the world may be a simulation and how he wants to know the truth. This class allows you to take something away from the class no matter which student you may be.
Professor Greenberg was an awesome professor and a really cool guy. He knows that a lot of people are there to take a GE that interests them and he sets up his class so that you'll actually gain something from it. There is no textbook you have to purchase, all of the readings are online. The point of the class was never to memorize useless information, it was to have students look at how they currently view the world and how it works and question it all.
The hardest, and only, assignments are the papers which "test" your understanding of certain concepts by explaining why you believe in them or not. While these essays do take time, they can be interesting to write and very self-reflective.
Lectures are not mandatory to attend but your understanding of some concepts relies on you being in class. Greenberg creates funny examples including big stars such as Missy Elliott, Justin Bieber, Shakira on the Voice, and a Taco Hungry Robot.
This is a class I would recommend everyone takes at some point in their time at UCLA.
If you're a cognitive science major. TAKE. THIS. CLASS. I cannot emphasize this enough. It is by far the most relevant class to the major. It's honestly a joke that UCLA forces you to take a neuroscience class despite it being pure memorization of information you'll forget promptly after finals. This class not only gives you the major implications of cognitive science, but it actually sticks with you way after finals week is over. I know you're a cognitive science major because you like big picture questions. Don't take that stupid psychology elective that says inflammatory things based off of tiny sample sizes. Take Philos 133.
Also, this class is like the avatar. But instead of being the bridge between spirits and humans, it's the bridge between philosophy and science. One day Greenberg will be talking about the principles of computation and computer science, and the next day he'll be talking about its existential implications on our mind.
This class was full of mic drops and I had an absolute blast. If this class is being offered, I cannot urge you fast enough to hit that enroll button. Just do it. You won't regret it.
Professor Greenberg is a fantastic lecturer; he is engaging and funny enough. I stay attentive for most of the lectures. He loves discussing concepts with students and is very approachable. The class content is also very interesting.
Your TA makes or breaks your grade. There is no midterm or final, just 4 papers; very short but graded relatively harshly. This class is a very doable A but I would not call it easy, especially if you are unfamiliar with philosophical writing. However, I highly recommend it; it really challenges your world perspectives (I know a HUGE shock from a philosophy class).
~THE IMPORTANT STUFF~
-Twice Weekly Quizzes: 10%
-1st Essay (250 words): 5%
-2nd Essay (500 words): 15%
-3rd Essay (1000 words): 30%
-4th Essay (1000 words) 30%
-Course Evals: 1%
-4 bonus quiz points (If no one plagarizes)
Lectures are fun-not mandatory, and the information isn't that hard to understand on your own. However, Gabe does a phenomenal job of explaining everything and he often goes over paper requirements. There are also quizzes (2 questions) due before lecture each week that are based on the readings/ lecture, don't forget those like I did all the time :))
He has handouts every lecture that corresponds to the slides, which he does NOT post online- those little papers will make or break you. Therefore, either get a buddy who will grab you one when you can't make it, sneak in and snatch one, or just go to lecture because its interesting.
Oh, also no books, which is terrific because we're all poor. 10/10 would recommend.
Professor G is an absolute G. His lectures were extremely engaging, and the content was very interesting. As a philosophy major, I am so glad that my first philosophy class at UCLA was with him. He was very fair about making arguments for dualism as well as for physicalism. As a dualist, I was concerned coming into the class that it would only be about physicalism. However, he did a great job arguing for both sides and playing devils advocate. I really appreciated his fairness, although I do wish he talked about a more current view of interactionist dualism. He only really talked about Descartes outdated view which was a bit of a bummer. But overall, his class has made me so much more excited for my next 4 years of philosophy classes.
The class is based on 4 essays: 5%, 15%, 30%, and 30%. The first two essays are great for practice and learning what your TA wants to see. Then you use that to make sure you do well on the two finals essays that are worth more of your grade. The TA is what can make this class really hard or not depending on how hard they grade. However, the lectures are amazing and the readings that are required for lectures are fascinating. The quizzes on the readings are very easy, and are an easy 10% of your grade. The final 10% of your grade is just based on participation in discussions. He also gives a 1% grade boost at the end if you fill out the teacher evaluation, which comes in handy.
This class was dope! Professor Greenberg is awesome and chill. I really enjoyed his class. The reading is kind of heavy, but it's interesting material for sure. If you take this class, make sure you attend lectures. There is a quiz due before every lecture that consists of two questions: one from previous lecture, and one from the reading. Also, he puts time into his handouts for every lecture, which is awesome because they come through when you're writing your papers.
Overall, this was a great class, and I would definitely take Greenberg again.
This was a very interesting class and the readings, although they were sometimes lengthy or difficult to grasp at first, were relevant to each lecture. This made going to lecture worth the time because Prof. Greenberg made reference to the reading and explained it in greater detail. That said, there are no midterms or in-class finals for this class, which means your grade mostly depends on 4 papers. One short one (5%), a 1.5 page one (15%), and two 3-4 papers (30% each). I'd say the papers were toughly graded, but I can only speak about my TA. So though the class is chill as others have said, if you aren't a very great writer or aren't fond of philosophy in general, don't take this class (or take it as P/NP).
Let me start off by saying I am by no means a philosophy person and was dreading this class. I actually enjoyed the contents and loved my discussion. He gives handouts in class that helps with the 2x per week quizzes but they aren't worth much and they mainly test that you did the reading (only two questions). This class isn't an easy A but it is definitely a doable A. It is way more interesting than other philosophy classes and is a cool way of seeing the world from a different perspective.
This was an extremely great class to take, though lecutres sometimes got a little boring and in-class discussion got off-topic. Topics can be confusing but that may be becuase I didn't attend lecture that often. TA sections and handouts provided were extremely helpful and got me through the course easily