Heidegger OR Phenomenology and Existentialism

Apr 2003

By far the best philosophy professor I've had at Columbia. (Still mid course.) Don't make the mistake I've made and take him the last term of your senior year! Engaging and animated lecturer, astonishingly open to student questions. Carman is one of the few professors who truly cares about accurately surmising the point of confusion -- too many professors misunderstand what's being misunderstood and only further mire the class in confusion. Elegant thinker, quick on his feet, incredibly illuminating examples (and drawings!!) that show how Heidegger makes intuitive sense. You can tell that he's truly in touch with his students *and* the process of reading Heidegger for the first time. Obviously cares about his work -- both in his involvement with the texts and the class. The first class lecture was positively breathtaking, it was so exciting. I've never before had such a clear and precise lecturer who also inflames excitement about philosophy. Just had his book (Heidegger's Analytic) published by Cambridge UP as well. A real gem, don't miss out.

May 2002

Prof. Carman is a pretty good lecturer-he is clear, somewhat animated, well organized, and he is always open to questions and discussion. He is not a nice person, however. He says inappropriate things to students. One time he wrote on my paper, "It was a great paper because Heidegger wrote half of it."-which is not something to say even if it is true. Another student told me something not nice he said to her but i forget what that is.

Jan 2000

Really an excellent professor. Extremely knowledgeable about the texts, peppy and animated as he moves through the lectures, you couldn't ask for a better speaker. Be careful not to get ambushed on the papers. He's careful and picky about every attempt to stray from the accepted line on a given issue. This is hardly a fault--when he gets up and tells you something in class, it's because he thinks it's right. When you sassily refute him, he's usually going to think you're wrong (and be right about it). The papers are short, but require great care and methodical exegesis of your invariably confused notes (he sort of jumps around a lot) into a coherent and steady position.