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"You must take a class with Burge before you graduate"
My first encounter with Burge was in my sophomore year, when I just decided that I'm going to take philosophy as my major. I accidentally ran into the wrong classroom at the beginning of the quarter where Burge was giving a lecture about Kant. I was so impressed, but knowing that I still wasn't at the level yet to take Kant's philosophy or to fully understand Burge's interpretation, I left after 10 min. After that, the closest encounter with him was a reading from Phil 170, philosophy of mind, taught by the phd student Luca Struble (I think he graduated last spring, congrats to him, he is a really intelligent and great instructor), which was written by Burge. That reading was HARD. Then I thought Burge's classes might be crazy hard as well (I heard Phil 129 and 170, when taught by him, is hard). Now I'm fourth year and I decide to take Kant, I signed up for C115 and C151B (taught by Herman, about Kant's ethical theory). I got blasted away in the first lecture--professor Burge is so powerful, knowledgable, and clear. He is unlike every other philosophy professor I've taken--he definitely have very , very, very deep insights about the material and he is confident about it. His explanation makes Kant's reading 10 times easier (that;s why, as people said before, you don't really have to do the readings, because Burge explains them in class very thoroughly). Burge is definitely making this class easier, a lot. So take it. Plus, he only gives a midterm and final, no paper (he says he used to let students writes paper, but since the material is too hard, "it seems asking them to write a paper is meaningless")
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!
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