May 26, 2005

Mercer, Christia Silver_nugget
[PHIL V2201] History of Philosophy II: Aquinas to Kant

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

This class and Mercer are AMAZING! I missed one lecture due to an intense week and realized a) how much i missed her wonderfully entertaining/informative/organized lectures and b) how much more lucid the reading was when accompanied by her explanations (which made it crystal clear as to which nuances of the texts we should pay attention and how to interpret them). My only regret is not also taking Philosophy and Feminism (despite the fact that I find other subject matters in the philosophy department infinitely more interesting) this semester, as she is going away next year. I never once fell asleep, despite a 9 am right before her lecture, I thought the grading was extremely fair (perhaps a bit easy), comments on the exams and papers were very helpful (especially in directing how to study/write on subsequent topics/examinations). I never once went to office hours, asked maybe 2 in-class questions, never had outside contact with her, and ended up with a very good grade--clearly, the "favorites" comments are very misled, if not simply bitter. It is important to be familiar with the reading, if not during the course then at least before the exams, and to write very clearly (if not too simply) on papers. I enjoyed the class immensely and hope that she comes back to the Philosophy department in 2006-2007 teaching numerous other courses so I can have her as a professor again. As for the course material, it's based in metaphysics and epistemology (as aforementioned in others' reviews), which was not only a great choice for narrowing down topics in view of the time period covered, but also interesting and very useful as an intro philosophy class (which it is considered to be). In all, I recommend that aspiring philosophy majors, or even just students interested in the subject, seriously consider taking this course.

Workload:

Weekly readings (vary in intensity, none are ridiculously hard--Kant and Aquinas are the most dense), midterm, final, 2 papers. Not bad at all, especially considering the number of philosophers covered.