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This professors was one the toughest that I've had here at UCLA. His class was boring at times, but he seemed to be very into the topics, which helps. The material may be tough, but the lectures help, also, you can get a good grade if your TA is a good one. My TA was not very good, so make sure that your TA helps, and doesn't talk down to you, if they don't help ask the Lottenbach.
As a senior philosophy major, I took 21 for fun (yeah, I'm a bit of a loser) this past quarter with Lottenbach. It's a relatively easy class if you already know your stuff as a philosophy major (finding/formulating/analyzing arguments, writing philosophy papers and exams, philosophers, etc.), but it is a difficult class for those with little philosophy background because Lottenbach is a rather poor lecturer. Don't get me wrong, the man is a genius, but he says "uh" "right" and "so" about 237 times each per lecture which can get distracting, and, more importantly, he takes the most roundabout ways to answer the simplest of question (which my non-major friends found confusing), making it difficult to understand some of the material. I guess it also depends on your TA, go for James or Mandel, those guys rock.
In addition, Lottenbach assigns rather obscure authors (Descartes was the only commonly known one we read), so if you're looking for a good introductory course so you can sound smart and talk about those philosophers all your friends know only by name, this isn't it. Lottenbach's expectations are certainly not high, but his lectures are rather boring, his answers to questions obtuse, his speech distracting, and his assignments obscure. All in all, not the most difficult class on paper, but rather hard given Lottenbach's style, especially if you aren't a major. Like I said though, he's a genius, so if you want to put up with his downsides to learn from someone who's read all the material in French, Latin, Greek, German, Italian, or English and basically seems to literally know everything, then take him, but be warned, Lottenbach's speech and way of answering questions makes things hard.
Prof. Lottenbach is a very knowledgeable and funny lecturer. While his material can be dense and dry, he tries to break everything down for the students. Unfortunately, many TA\355s do not understand the material themselves, though they try to teach it. The result is uneven discussions that bring only confusion into the material from the lectures. Thumbs up for the lectures, but discussions are a huge problem.
The subject matter for Lottenbach's class on skepticism was incredibly boring- however, I'm not sure what he could have done to change that. As a professor, he is animated and informative- he has an obvious passion for philosophy. Papers and exams were fair, especially since the class was given the final exam questions in advance. I would reccommend the professor, but stay far, far away from phil 21...
Prof. is okay, but the subject is really boring.
This may be a good class for philosophy major, but if you are a non-philosophy major just trying to get credits, don't take this class.
The class is really boring and if you are not interested in the subject, there is no way of getting an A.
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