Introduction to Philosophy of Mind

Gabriel J Greenberg

Introduction to Philosophy of Mind

Philosophy department

Gabriel J Greenberg

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from 25 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 4.7
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 3.2
Easy
Heavy
Workload 3.2
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.6
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.7
Helpful
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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again
  • Snazzy Dresser

Grades

Winter 2019
33.4%
27.9%
22.3%
16.7%
11.1%
5.6%
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.

Spring 2016
23.7%
19.8%
15.8%
11.9%
7.9%
4.0%
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.

Spring 2014
26.2%
21.8%
17.5%
13.1%
8.7%
4.4%
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.

Fall 2014
26.5%
22.1%
17.7%
13.2%
8.8%
4.4%
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.

Spring 2013
26.3%
21.9%
17.6%
13.2%
8.8%
4.4%
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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1 of 3

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Jan. 1, 2020 Grade Received: A

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.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 27, 2019 Grade Received: A

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!!

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 25, 2019 Grade Received: A

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.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 24, 2019 Grade Received: A

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.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 12, 2019 Grade Received: A

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~
Grade Breakdown:

-Twice Weekly Quizzes: 10%
-Participation: 10%
-1st Essay (250 words): 5%
-2nd Essay (500 words): 15%
-3rd Essay (1000 words): 30%
-4th Essay (1000 words) 30%

Extra Credit:
-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.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Aug. 6, 2020 Grade Received: A

The topics and ideas in this class were FASCINATING. Greenberg was a fantastic lecture and really managed to break down complex philosophical concepts to make them more understandable. The only problem I encountered with this class is that your entire grade is based off of essays that are super subjective and severely limited by word count (Greenberg even asks you don't write sentences over a certain word count). I consider myself a strong writer and managed to pull off an A, but I was definitely unsure of what my final grade would be throughout the quarter. My TA, John Abughattas, was fantastic when it came to talking through ideas expressed in class and facilitating further discussion, but the way he graded essays was questionable at times to me (this might just be how I feel about philosophy essays in general though, so no hard feelings). It was definitely frustrating to be graded on such subjective topics, especially because we were often encouraged to write about what we personally believed, not what previous philosophers thought. Talking to other people, if your writing style didn't click with your TA, it didn't seem like there was much you could do to improve your scores, especially since TA's refused to read/comment on essays before submission (which is understandable, I just wish they offered some way to get better feedback). Overall, if you know you are a strong writer I recommend this class, as a lot of the ideas introduced in it have stuck with me even until today, but if you know you struggle with writing I might suggest looking for another course or prof.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2016 Submitted April 23, 2020 Grade Received: A-

Professor Greenberg is one of the best professors at UCLA. He is very passionate about the material and genuinely cares about his students learning and success. He is very responsive to emails and accessible to his students.

The class is graded fairly, and class expectations set clear since the beginning. The essays, which are graded by the TA, make up a large chunk of your grade so make sure you take advantage of discussion sessions.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted March 21, 2020 Grade Received: A

This class was pretty easy. I did not pay huge attention in lectures, but he always provided pamphlets of his slides. They were super helpful when writing the papers. All of the necessary information is on the pamphlet and it made it so much easier to understand the more complex topics in the class.

I really liked my TA and attended his office hours regularly. I would really recommend it if you need help on the papers because they make up the bulk of your grades. I did not thoroughly do all of the readings, but I still got the gist of them for the quizzes and section.

I was not personally interested in philosophy or anything we discussed in class, but if you need to take a philosophy course, do Phil 7 with Greenberg.

tldr; didn't really pay attention in class or really do the readings, but still got a good grade because I knew what my TA wanted on the papers

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Feb. 19, 2020 Grade Received: B+

The bulk of your grade will be made up by four essays that increase in length and are limited in words per sentence. There is no midterm or final, but there are online quizzes due before every lecture starts.
You won't have to take lecture notes, he gives out pamphlets that go over basically everything on the slides. There are a lot of readings, but you'll be fine as long as you take notes on them - they are discussed in lecture.

Because your TA grades every one of your essays, this means that the TA you get dictates what your grade will be. If you've never taken a philosophy class before, then you should know beforehand that writing for philosophy is different than writing for any other subject, and includes having to prove everything you propose to be a fact (everything, even stuff like gravity and that the sky is blue). HOWEVER, if your TA simply dislikes how your writing style differs from their own, as was my situation, then you'll suffer trying to fit your essays to the prompt as well as to what you TA wants to see.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Jan. 6, 2020 Grade Received: A

Philosophy 7 with Professor Greenberg was always the highlight of my week. Not only is the class extremely interesting, but Greenberg is an amazing lecturers. He makes amazing presentations and always provides useful handouts. His readings and quizzes are easily doable. The essays are difficult, so it’s important to participate and even attend office hours. The class is reasonable in the sense that your grade reflects the work you put in. That being said, the class does require work. However, I found myself wanting to attend office hours and spend extra time on our assignments because the material was genuinely interesting. I loved this class and really would love to take similar classes!

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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again
  • Snazzy Dresser
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