Tyler Burge

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CLASSES

PHILOS 115
Kant See Full Profile

Overall 4.4 Easiness 1.6 Workload 1.6 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 4.4

Most Helpful Review

Do not take this class if you are not invested in Philosophy. Kant is incredibly difficult to learn and a lot of the material taught requires hours of studying to fully understand. Although Burge is a good professor the class IS hard, plus his writing can be fairly illegible considering how he writes his lecture notes in any open space he finds on the board even if it overlaps other ideas. No papers assigned but there is an in class midterm and final (study guide was provided). Not an easy A

(Fall Quarter 2018)
PHILOS C115
Kant See Full Profile

Overall 4.8 Easiness 1.2 Workload 1.4 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness 4.6

Most Helpful Review

Burge is one of the best professors I've ever had. He writes pretty much everything you need to know for the midterm and final on the board. Extremely organized, respectful and pleasant man. Doesn't waste time or wonder off like other profs. For 115 we had 1 midterm and 1 final, both in class. A study guide is given for each with 8?s, out of which 4 were chosen and 3 needed to be answered. I didn't read the book at all and got an A-. Discussion were slightly helpful but the midterm and final are completely based on Burge's notes. I took thorough notes including the notes he wrote on the board and also what he talked about but didn't write on the board. TA Will is great in OH and via email. Answered my ?s regarding the study guide, which were very helpful for the midterm and final. Try to answer the study guide questions couple days beforehand and give about 2 days for studying. a lot of memorization but not as intense as described by some commenters. no essay, he pretty much tells you what you need to know for the exams and you basically need to memorize the answers for the study guide/regurgitate. You just need to extract the proper answers from the notes. I would take him again!

(Dec. 24, 2013)
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PHILOS 117
Late 19th- and Early 20th-Century Philosophy See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 1.0 Workload 1.0 Clarity 4.2 Helpfulness 4.2

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PHILOS 129
Philosophy of Psychology See Full Profile

Overall 4.5 Easiness 1.6 Workload 1.5 Clarity 4.3 Helpfulness 4.6

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This is my second class with professor Burge, and I loved it. Granted, I took Kant with Burge the quarter before and it did take me a little time to get used to his teaching style. Taking him before definitely gave me some generally useful philosophical knowledge that gave me a bit of an advantage in understanding the material, mostly knowing the concept of representation beforehand helped.

I also knew that in order to do well in his class, you should attend lectures which are super interesting for this class, listen and maybe even record the lectures, write down everything on the board but also write down some key points he discusses when lecturing that he might not put on the black board. The material may seem intimidating, but if you just pay attention and keep track of it, it all pieces together. I did the papers in only 1-3 days and got a B+/A- . I personally just found it interesting so it was easy for me to pay attention and when it came time to write papers, I remember going over everything in lecture. There were two (roughly short, 4-5 page) papers and a final in-person exam.

The material is interesting/exciting stuff, the terminology is a bit meticulous but not hard to grasp after a while.
He also assigns/uploads a lot of his own work online which helps immensely. I really like that there is never any ambiguity about where to find more clarification on a topic if I need it, he always gives the resources and is willing to answer all questions with patience. Yes, the material is not fed to you on a spoon and there aren't middle school power points but you're learning pertinent, advanced theories in philosophy of science so it does take some effort. Just read some of his material/relevant chapters in his book, it is worth it because all of your answers are in there.

Professor Burge is very knowledgeable and interested in this material. He's an intelligent, accomplished professor with a wikipedia page that still manages to be so relatable, funny and insightful! If you ever need clarification, he is very helpful after class and during office hours. I did not find the class to be as difficult as the reviews are saying and I definitely procrastinated on some of the assignments - but I eventually found time to just read over lecture notes, read some of his work and ask him a couple questions after class, and I got an A.

I truly enjoyed being taught by professor Burge and will definitely try and take one more class with him before I graduate. You should too, he's insightful as hell. I definitely recommend taking this course!

(Winter Quarter 2019)
PHILOS 170
Philosophy of Mind See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 2.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness 5.0

Most Helpful Review

Took this class for my philosophy minor.
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First off, Tyler Burge is an absolutely superb professor. There's a reason he's widely known (read: famous) in the field—he knows his stuff and teaches it well. All the ideas presented are put into the context of their time period, so instead of merely deconstructing individual arguments, you come to learn their broader evolution and subsequently their historical importance. It's a real treat.
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That being said, this class focused less on the 'fun' stuff I was hoping to learn more about (think Searle's Chinese Room, the 'hard problem' of consciousness, mind-body distinction and dualism). It was much more language heavy. The class was split into three units: descriptivist theories of reference, works of Hilary Putnam, and works of Tyler Burge. Poke around a bit online and you'll likely get a sense of what this entails.
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The course, in sum, was more technical and academic than most philosophy classes at UCLA. If you're looking for a 'mind-blowing' philosophy course, I don't think this is it. On the other hand, if you're seeking rigorous training with a first-rate analytic philosopher, this course is definitely worth it. I'm personally in the camp of the former, so I admittedly lost motivation towards the end.
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Structure:
- 2 Papers
- Final (you're given 15 practice questions, and the entire exam is 3 asked verbatim)
- Participation

(Winter Quarter 2020)
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