Introduction to Philosophy of Mind

Samuel John Cumming

Introduction to Philosophy of Mind

Philosophy department

Samuel John Cumming

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Ratings

Bad
Overall 1.4
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 1.0
Easy
Heavy
Workload 1.0
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 1.6
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 1.6
Helpful
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Grades

Winter 2010
32.1%
26.8%
21.4%
16.1%
10.7%
5.4%
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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Reviews

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted May 15, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

I agree with the posts below saying that he will ruin your GPA. This class was by far the most ridiculous class I have ever taken. It was pointless going to lecture because it was nearly impossible to keep your eyes open. He goes off on random tangents. By the end of lecture, you were more likely to be more confused. I absolutely DETEST philosophy after this class. In fact, the mere mention of the word philosophy makes me want to run for my life. Don't take this class with this professor if you know what's best for you.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted April 2, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

Philosophy 7 with Cumming was by far one of the easiest courses I have taken at UCLA. Definitely possible to get an A. That said, if you are used to taking relatively easy north campus lower division classes, don't take Phil 7 with him. I heard Almog is much easier. Cumming is a really smart but not such a great lecturer. He just doesn't seem to know how to get the words out. He will repeat things over and over again so it makes lectures kind of boring, but know these subjects well for midterms. He posts study guides (with and without answers) which are really helpful when studying for the tests. Before explaining what a term means, he usually gives really complicated examples that just ended up confusing you more. Your safest bet is to just read the book for the material from the first half of the quarter and go to discussions because your TAs are very important in helping you understand what he is teaching.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 30, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

Horrible!
He is a wonderful man. He has a nice personality, he tries to help his students, he is smart (as mentioned here) and he loves the subject he's teaching. If that's all you need to know, then yes, take him. But if you need a good GPA (medical, law, masters, tech. etc. in the future) STAY AWAY.
You will have to learn on your own. We got together in study groups and had to look things online. He posted a "study" sheet for the midterm which was a list of words/terms he has used. SOOO HELPFUL! When 1/2 of the class failed that test, he posted a real study sheet for the final. He ONLY included the imagination, the second half of the course, and described everything we needed to know in detail. At the last review session with the TAs, we were told that if we knew that sheet, we would be ok. When I walked into the final, out of 14 questions, the fist 5 or so had NOTHING to do with the imagination but instead covered the same shit people failed on the midterm.
Just... ask anyone who is UNDERGRADUATE and has had him. The positive reviews are from graduates. That's the problem! He is used to teaching upper level seminars or small type lectures where he can go off tangents, etc. He is terrible for lower level and, most of all, he will most likely f*** up your GPA.
SO! IF this is your LAST quarter at UCLA, DO NOT Take or your GPA will drop.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 30, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

The evaluation for Phil 7 below is true. This should have been a fun introductory class and instead, he ruined more than 1/2 of the class' GPAs. I worked so hard for this class, attended lectures, never missed a discussion section, saw the TA, etc., and I still didn't get an A. I'm now going to have to work my butt off like crazy to get my GPA back to where it was before this class (let me just say how STUPID it looks when all I have is A, A- and then this grade!) Cumming saw that we were all struggling immensely and that people practically failed the midterm. Although the final was "sort of" ok, the guy would NOT budge and would not allow for a curve. In reality, I probably have one of the higher grades in class but because he wouldn't allow the TAs to lower the grade scale, it was impossible to get an A.
Bottom line, if you need this class see if you can find another teacher. It's a great subject but by the end of the course, I can't tell you how many people were turned off from philosophy and hated anything having to do with it.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Feb. 16, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

I think his greatest downfall is his age: he's way too young! Taking into account the fact that he has a PhD from Rutgers and that he has written some pretty impressive material, I was baffled by his explicit struggle and strain while attempting to explain basic concepts related to the Mind and Body problem. Many people, including myself, had to look at online sources prepping for the tests... my notes made no sense to me. He would jump into these convoluted examples even before he gave the generic, basic definition/description of the term on the board. By the end of the period, looking at the board, one would guess a chicken was playing tick-tack-toe. I think he's a great person with a lot of talent and knowledge. Having taken 3 Phil. classes with the same teacher thus far, I guess I'm used to a different style of teaching. He should prepare before lecture, look over things, etc. Overall, if you're not very knowledgeable about Phil. I wouldn't recommend taking this class with him.

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