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Lottenbach is a great professor overall. The reading isn't that important, since he explains the material so well (which is funny because english is his second language). If you go to class, take decent notes, and listen well, you should have no problem with the essays. As other people have mentioned, he says "um" just about every 3rd word (I think he said about 10 ums in a row once), but it didn't really detract from his teaching since he keeps things very straightforward generally.
Although writing essays in his class became difficult at times, his lectures really helped the writing process. He is very thorough in his explanation of the readings and he also expresses a sense of humor. I recommend taking Prof. Lottenbach.
I had Prof. Lottenbach for Philosophy 6 (Intro to Political Philosophy) in Fall '00. It was a great course, and Lottenbach is a great instructor! As a result of his class I am now pursuing a major in Philosophy. When I look back on the four philosophy professors I have had so far, he stands out as the best lecturer. His explanations were very clear, even if it meant that at times he would have to explain the same thing over and over (interjecting his infamous "ummms").
I also think that his choice of material was very interesting. We read classical political philosophers like Rousseau, Kant, Mill, Marx, but he also added some non-conventional pieces by Bernard Mandeville and Benjamin Constant which I found very interesting. All in all, he presented the material with clarity and rigour, and he stuck to a well-scheduled syllabus.
Prof. Lottenbach was also very helpful in office hours, and I (personally) really enjoyed his sense of humor, despite what others may say. Just as an example, when we started reading Marx, he gave a brief biography of Marx, and mentioned how at one point Marx was a foreign correspondent for the London Times. Lottenbach facetiously remarked something to the effect of "Can you imagine this? A Marxist working for a major newspaper! That's not something you see today, is it?" I thought it was really funny.
Anyway, I would highly recommend him, both for philosophy majors and non-majors. I just hope that he is around for the next few years, as he is a visiting lecturer.
Ok the person who said that his class should be avoided is a retard. Professor Lottenbach's class was one of the best classes I ever took at UCLA! There was some reading but come on people you go to UCLA what did you think you could sleep through all your classes and get an A? Gimme a break. This guy is funny, effective and makes philosophy so interesting that because of him I'm making it my double major. Amazing guy and he IS concerned and available, take his class you WON'T regret it!
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