Burge is a very smart man. He knows and understands Kant in a way that most professors in this country do not. Seriously. Google him. And he can teach Kant very well. The only problem is that Kant is really, really, really hard. It's not that he's so hard to study for an exam, it's that to actually truly understand him and to have a real philosophical dialogue out of studying him, you need to know Descartes, Hume, Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, and whoever else came before him. So, if you're going to take the 115 class, and you really want to get a lot out of it, then your philosophy better be rock solid. That being said, 115 is not at all a class that is difficult to get a decent grade in. But as far as real knowledge goes, if you want to maximize that and do justice to Kant, then listen to Burge when he says that you shouldn't take this class without at least 2 upper and 2 lower phil classes beforehand. Even with that, you'll still probably not get as much out of the class as you could if you were about to graduate with a phil major and this was your last class in the department. The problem with the class is that the vast majority of people really does not know what Kant or Burge are talking about the vast majority of the time. Yes, that does mean an easy B, because that just means being just like everybody else. If you dont want this class to be about just a grade, then be very, VERY devoted to the subject of philosophy and know a lot of it before going into the course. Something I personally didn't do at all and wish I did. Final word on Burge as professor- he is kind of dry, and he does repeat himself a lot and the lectures are really long and they are a drag. The biggest reason for that is because he really wants people to actually get what he's talking about, even though that's hopelessly wishful thinking at most times. Go to his office hours or just talk to him out of class if you want to really get an edge on the material without trying to stay awake all the time.
Spring 2015 - Not the class to take if you're looking for an easy A. Two papers and final. Dr. Burge knows his stuff and does a fantastic job making the dense material clear. I got an A but you have to be willing to put in the effort and time. Take him if you're up for a challenge and dislike easy classes! Selling required texts for this course, origins of objectivity by Burge and origins of concept by Carey. Both for $50. email *************
Fall 2023 - The worst class I have ever taken at UCLA. I can't believe I paid thousands of dollars to take this course. With all due respect to Burge, he is a legend in his field and is very knowledgeable but both he and the TA are horrible at teaching this content in a structured and comprehensive manner. There are two essays and a final test so the workload is not that bad, but they are incredibly difficult. This branch of philosophy is extremely complex, but Burge is not good at structuring his lectures at all and almost everything he writes on the board is extremely hard to understand. There are a bunch of readings listed on the syllabus, but he has never specified when to read what. Even though there is a BruinCast set up in the classroom, he and the TA don't bother to adjust the microphone to normal levels and therefore ditched recording the lectures halfway through the quarter. The TA is a mess and constantly interrupts Burge in class, asking questions that only pertain to her and her comprehension. She constantly speaks out and does not offer anything except erratic headshaking and comments from the front of the class which is honestly so distracting. It does not help that she is trying to teach us something that she does not understand completely. Her sections are all over the place and hard to follow, and her own stress is palpable. Burge's ego about his own intellectualism is unbearable. His assertion that this is the most exciting field of philosophy is depressing, especially when the first half of the course felt as though it was largely focused on semantics. This course has not taught me anything of value whatsoever. I severely regret taking this class.