December 28, 2004

Albert, David
[PHIL V3576] Physics and Philosophy

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

i hope this review helps people like myself (non-Philsophy/Physics majors) who look for enrichment in courses beyond their skill range and don't consider a "B" a shameful grade.

Albert is brilliant, pretentious, and a horrible teacher. 17 students were left in this class by December, the majority of them were grad students in Albert's grad program. Atleast 8-10 had called it quits before then.

Albert doesn't really teach you anything about the philosophy of quantum mechanics until you can master the linear algebra necessary to "talk competently" about it. We never "talked competently" about quantum mechanics because we never broached any philosophical arguments about quantum mechanics until late November.

Lectures are infuriating, ill-managed discussions dominated by grad students with undergrad backgrounds in Physics who are desperately concerned with minutiae of the course material that few others care about or understand. But Albert entertains all of their questions. Every last one of them.

Here's the kick in the behind: write a 15-20 page paper about a philosophical problem that interests you. Wonderful assignment, if discussion about philosophical problems took place before November 29th. But it didn't.

Text Book: Albert's own. An abstruse, grammatically flawed introduction to quantum mechanics that had students scratching their heads all semester.

At the end of the day, you will learn about quantum mechanics, philosophy, but it'll be up to you if you want to sweat blood doing it.

Workload:

15 page paper. Fair grader.