May 09, 2010

Helzner, Jeffrey Silver_nugget
[PHIL W3551] Philosophy of Science and [PHIL W4565] Rational Choice

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

First off, Helzner is a really nice professor. I thought of him more as a dude. Very approachable, jokes with his students, but very conscious of bullshit.
Go to his office hours for homework help and he will help you more than is due. But he expects you to try very hard.

Rational Choice and Philosophy of Science tackle pretty technical subjects in philosophy. You won't ever have had anything like it. The readings are dense, and his lectures will work off of them. If you intend to cram for homeworks or exams, you will have a grueling (but not impossible) time.

The thing to note about Rational Choice and Philosophy of Science is that while they are philosophy courses, learning the material is like learning in a science or math field - the material builds up sequentially, and it takes time to sink in. Don't expect to strap down last-minute with a few essays for the final paper and expect to come up with brilliance.

Grading: Helzner himself said that an A should be an earned grade, should feel special to a student. He gives very few A's. He says he gives out a lot of B's.

Workload:

Philosophy of Science: 4 homeworks, one 12pg take-home exam