What are Ethics? Telebears XVI–Philosophy

Posted by: Avinash on Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Philosophers used to be beings of greatness, counselors of judgment, of right and wrong, the classical intellectual heroes. Now with science having rendered their contributions to society useless, they now throw out useless hypotheticals to each other, like “If you’re moving in a speeding car at 30 mph, and there are children playing in a yard to your right and a helpless baby flailing on the road right in front of you, is it the ethical decision to dump yourself off on that cliff to the left, hurtling to your death?”Yeah, these guys will have all sorts of fun in law school. And drive every hard working man and woman to drink their woeful nights away. Their professors who led them down this path shouldn’t be too annoying though, right? Here’s what their students have to say.
Philosophy 2, Individual Morality and Social Justice
Niko Kolodny, MWF 9-10, 145 Dwinelle
“What comes out of his mouth is just so captivating that you listen just because what he has to say is so cool….subject itself is confusing but he does a decent job at teaching it…don’t buy the books. Almost all the readings can be found for free online…some of his essay prompts were pretty vague and open to interpretation–a lot of people were unsure what approach he wanted.”

Philosophy 3, The Nature of Mind
John Campbell, TuTh 2-330, 120 Latimer
“Best lower div class around next to Fillapenko’s Astro C10…love that he takes time out of his lecture to clarify any questions students have…I talked with him after class one time for some clarification, and we ended up talking for 20 minutes or so…his Scottish accent does help to make things more interesting!”

Philosophy 12A, Introduction to Logic
Branden Fitelson, MWF 2-3, 120 Latimer
“Intersting class, fairly easy if you have decent analytical abilities…material is simple at first, but then it quickly picks up and gets increasingly difficult…Allows you to work in groups throughout the course (except on in-class exams). You learn a lot….In class he tends to go on and on sometimes (they may get boring at times), but he’s great fun!”

Philosophy 25A, Ancient Philosophy
John MacFarlane, MWF 11-12, 145 Dwinelle

“Fair in papers, exams, but the material was boring and made it a challenge to pass…if you come to class and do the study questions he provides for the reading you will be set for the final. But if you dont the final will assault your loins…Subject matter is naturally thought-provoking, but MacFarlane makes these thoughts understandable and interesting.”

Philosophy 104, Ethical Theories
Samuel Scheffler, MWF 10-11, 50 Birge
“Terribly boring…Very organized and passionate lecturer…Scheffler is a much better and more clearly spoken lecturer. I found the subject matter to be quite engaging and easy it was easy to study for Scheffler’s tests…The best professor I’ve ever had. He is definitely the most brilliant lecturer Berkeley has to offer.”

Philosophy 107, Moral Psychology
R. Jay Wallace, MWF 11-12, 213 Wheeler
“The best professor I’ve ever had. He is definitely the most brilliant lecturer Berkeley has to offer…the material was very interesting, but frankly i think wallace is a rather mediocre teacher….easy grading, very straight forward. pretty easy to understand, if not just ask him. looks like richard gere except funnier.”

Philosophy 140B, Intermediate Logic
Paolo Mancosu, TuTh 930-11, 130 Wheeler
“The textbook was clear so I didn’t attend lecture…could have done a little more to make logic interesting, maybe by tying it in with metaphysics or something pertinent to philosophy…found reading and discussion were, for the most part, unnecessary. Go to lecture regularly and discussion when you need clarification on a particular topic…not very entertaining but an all-around good teacher.”

Philosophy 185, Heidegger
Hubert Dreyfus, TuTh 11-1230, 159 Mulford
“Very friendly and he loves teaching…I gave him a 4 for Easiness because the subject matter wasn’t easy. That’s a dumb category for these ratings. His real score is 6. That’s right. More than 5…doesn’t confuse himself so much as he is constantly searching for truth, willing to re-think premises that he has studied for decades and never stops learning from.”

Do you have any memories about professors in this department for a class or in general? Leave them in the comments.

(Data taken from RateMyProfessors and Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes)
(Image from Logic Nest)

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