All Ratings and Reviews for Joshua Armstrong
This was my first philosophy class and honestly I feel like I lucked out. Armstrong is a fantastic professor: really engaging and helpful (definitely go to office hours if you're still confused!). I also had a great TA, so the discussion sections were perfect for clearing up any lingering questions.
The grade consisted of:
1. Weekly quizzes (about two questions long. One question about topics covered in the previous week and one question about topics covered in the readings) [20% of grade]
2. One short paper (like a page long; served as a sort of tester paper so you get used to the formatting of writing a philosophy paper) [5% of grade]
3. Two longer papers (4-5 pages; one due around midterms and one due around finals) [30% of grade each]
4. Discussion Attendance/Participation [15% of grade]
I rated the workload as "neutral" because there is quite a bit of reading, but the grade is essentially the papers. I'd definitely recommend attending lectures, Armstrong really clarified a lot of the readings. Philosophy readings can be pretty confusing to follow (and contain a lot of ideas) Armstrong definitely narrowed down the scope of the papers and talked about the important points.
I wouldn't consider the class difficult, because it's really just a matter of giving some genuine thought to the topics and then articulating them via the papers/quizzes/discussions. It's all about how you've taken in the information and formulated your own thoughts/opinions about the material. Armstrong and my TA really stressed that they enjoy seeing students engage with the material and contribute their own ideas.
This class was a breeze. There are no tests, only weekly online reading quizzes that are very straightforward. There are three easy AND SHORT papers to write that your TA will grade, so you could really afford to miss some lectures, and focus more on attending discussion and most importantly, TA office hours. Very straightforward class, and the topics are interesting. Pretty easy GE.
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