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Took this class for my philosophy minor.
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.
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.
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.
- 2 Papers
- Final (you're given 15 practice questions, and the entire exam is 3 asked verbatim)
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