Review Comment

[PHIL V3251] Kant

January 21, 2018

Kitcher, Patricia Silver_nugget
[PHIL V3251] Kant

Professor Kitcher is arrogant and cold, just like Kant. Probably why I won't be majoring in philosophy.

Workload:

Not too bad, the usual for a philosophy class.

December 11, 2013

Kitcher, Patricia Silver_nugget
[PHIL V3251] Kant

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Patricia Kitcher is an expert on Kant, so it's hard to hope for a better person to explain what's going on in the critiques. She was also helpful one-on-one in discussing the papers. The only thing I would criticize is that in lecture, she sometimes has a tendency to take the class's silence as a signal that everyone is following her. She often starts her sentences with "does everyone see that..." and tends to assume that people do. With Kant, sometimes you yourself don't even know when you have a question or need to clarify, so I get that this is hard to gauge. I don't know if I would say that she presented a whole lot beyond explicating exactly what is going on in the text, but she did that really, really well. In general, Prof. Kitcher's lectures made Kant's writing clear enough that I was able to reflect on it in greater detail on my own and with friends in the class. I definitely would say that I understand Kant as well as I probably could hope for after a first reading of the first and second critiques.

Workload:

3 short papers (2-4 pages) and a final paper (mine was around 10 pages, but it's up to you). The pace of the reading varies. Often page-wise it's not too much, but it's Kant. Towards the end we had to speed things up and so I didn't end up finishing the Critique of Practical Reason (I had been more or less caught up most of the semester), but my impression is that that part isn't as worth reading as most of what preceded it. We read almost all of both the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of Practical Reason.

June 06, 2005

Kitcher, Patricia Silver_nugget
[PHIL V3654] Philosophy of Psychology, [PHIL V2201] History of Philosophy II: Aquinas to Kant, and [PHIL V3251] Kant

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I guess I'm in the minority of CULPA reviewers, but I didn't think Kitcher was too great (why did I take 3 courses with her then? I don't have a short answer to that).

The good parts: She's an easy grader. Just turn in average papers of adequate length and you'll get your A minus.

The bad: All texts covered are interpreted through the lens of the philosophy of science. Science is GOD (she'd hate me writing that, since she absolutely despises religion of every form and lets you know it at least a couple of times each lecture. She's ALWAYS making fun of Leibniz, for example. I'm not religious, but I find people who are so vehemently opposed to the religious mindset to be more deluded than even religious fundamentalists - but that's just me). And like most people in awe of science, she has an idea of almost inevitable progress in all things, including philosophical thought. The latest stuff is almost always the best. Well, that may not be a bad aspect of a professor for everybody, but it was for me. What else is bad? She seems to get lots of things wrong - or at least dumbs them down to the point where the author's point is completely obscured. She'll find fault with every position she teaches (don't worry, she's not so critical in grading student papers and will let stupid arguments pass if you write enough pages). I didn't find her very good at answering student questions, either. The really good professors can think on their feet and quickly tell which questions are stupid and which are worthy of consideration. Kitcher can't do this. Often, in response to a question she does not understand, she just restates what she said in lecture a minute ago, hoping the student will politely nod and go away. Other times, she'll concede a huge point that's completely devastating to the text she's teaching, only to come back next class to explain why the crticism did not apply (there were a couple of examples of this from Kant, but I've forgotten them - but someone who really knew her Kant would have been able to right away see the problem the student was pointing to and explain why Kant wasn't making that mistake). I've gotten the impression, after taking all these classes with her, that Kitcher does not have a great a grasp of the texts she teaches. She has her set lectures and she'll guide you through the main points of the text, but she doesn't have the thorough command that a really great professor has. I'd give her a B plus.

January 27, 2004

Kitcher, Patricia Silver_nugget
[PHIL V3654] Philosophy of Psychology and [PHIL V3251] Kant

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Patricia Kitcher ia able to convince students that she knows what she's talking about without intimidating the hell out of them. Her lectures are always insightful and bring clarity to even the most obscure of texts (by way of saying, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason isn't exactly a page-turner). She is also extremely approachable, and her patience in answering questions is a great resource. A thoroughly wonderful professor.

Workload:

Kant: 3 short papers (2-3 pg), 1 long paper (10 pg); Phil of Psych: paper (8 pg), midterm, final. Grading is on the generous side of fair.

December 16, 2003

Kitcher, Patricia Silver_nugget
[PHIL V3251] Kant

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Kitcher is simply a model teacher. Very devoted and enthusiastic, generally, and clearly devoted to the care of her students - just what a Chair ought to be. She is non-intimidating, kind, and goes out of her way to be sure that whatever is presented is understood. Her real charm is her ability to communicate very complex material in a coherent manner, which was certainly no easy task in this class. She's also quite likeable, and is warm and compassionate in the classroom and office hours. Just a top-shelf professor, here.

Workload:

Three short papers with flexible deadlines. One longer, final paper. Lots of required reading.

December 08, 2003

Kitcher, Patricia Silver_nugget
[PHIL V3251] Kant

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professor Kitcher is phenomenal (But how is she noumenally you might ask? [please shoot me]). Actually, with a few islands of serenity (the introduction and the second analogy) the text may as well have been written in Greek, or German for that matter. Professor Kitcher provided vital translation services and guidance as to which of LeibnizÂ’s absurd theses Kant was currently debunking (for the/a guy who invented calculus, he wasnÂ’t the philosophically sharpest knife in the drawer). Anyway, with KitcherÂ’s explanation the Critique actually makes sense which is a testament to her understanding of said tome of mystery and the context in which it was written. An essential course for the philosophically inclined. Others might reconsider.

Workload:

three short (2-3 pg) papers due "whenever" and a 10 page termpaper. Oh, and 600 pgs of confusion.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
PHIL / PHIL PHIL PHIL V3251: Kant Patricia Kitcher 2011 Spring MW / 2:40- 3:55 PM 1
PHIL / PHIL PHIL PHIL V3251: Kant Patricia Kitcher 2009 Fall MW / 11:00-12:15 PM 1
PHIL / PHIL PHIL PHIL V3251: Kant: Kant-Critique of Pure Reason Patricia Kitcher 2005 Spring MW / 1:10- 2:25 PM 1
PHIL / PHIL PHIL PHIL W3251: Kant Wolfgang Mann 2001 Fall TR / 1:10- 2:25 PM 1