Professor

Sheldon Smith

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Easiness 3.4/ 5
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Most Helpful Review
Spring 2020 - I took this Spring of 2020 during the coronavirus quarantines/protests. This quarter was a bit different in design from the usual in-person class, so the grading may be different in future classes. Overall, I'd say it was really easy: there were originally supposed to be 5 quizzes (about 1 every 2 weeks) worth 50% and 2 papers worth the other 50%, but Smith was very accommodating and dropped the lowest quiz and paper, so only 4 quizzes and the highest scoring paper counted for your grade. Since I got 100s on the first 4 quizzes and did well on the first paper, I was basically exempt from the last ones. All of the lectures were pre recorded and uploaded so we could watch them at our leisure. They were also shorter than in a normal 1.25 hr timeslot so you can watch on 2x speed. The quizzes were 10 questions with a generous 20 min time limit that covered only material from the last lecture of the previous quiz to the most recent material, so it was mostly 2-3 lectures worth of material and was also open notes and book. The papers were also manageable, though it does depend on who you get as a TA and what they are looking for in your papers! There is one book that you are required to get, but it can be found online free in PDF form. You'll likely need it for the papers, but the quizzes themselves were based mainly on handouts from Smith that accompanied lectures. There are also two outside source readings you have to do, but it isn't hard and as long as you take notes in lecture or discussion on them, you don't really need to read them either unless it is what you choose as a paper topic. Overall, this class was an excellent and easy choice for a philos GE/pre-req compared to some other philosophy classes. The content is not difficult to understand at all either. I recommend taking it!
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