Jeremy is honestly just a really good person who cares about his students and the philosophical texts in the curriculum. He really trims the fat for the readings to keep things manageable for the students and is always very understanding of circumstances that lead to missing a class or a reflection. Classes aren't always the MOST engaging but I suspect that had more to do with the people in my section than Jeremy. He discusses the text in such a way that you really get the core ideas without having to deal with fluff. That being said, if you're interesting in philosophy he makes sure you get your fill of the fluff. He puts a lot of effort in writing emails to the class chock full of historical context, interesting anecdotes, and various perspectives and analyses on the readings. Truly, these emails get to the lengths of UW papers. He's also very lenient on papers. We wrote very few compared to other classes and the ones we wrote were very short. Jeremy focuses on understanding of concepts and ability to argue rather than extensive knowledge of the authors and pieces and ability to apply MLA formatting. The guy also hates giving exams. He says this a lot and it's hundo p true. Exams are short and there's no funny business with the texts. There are passage IDs but the passages are extremely representative of the texts. To the point where if you only came to class without having read the texts you could probably get most to all of them.
By far one of the kindest, and most caring professors I've ever come across in any Columbia course. He works very hard to help you understand the material, and is very passionate about the source material. Furthermore, Jeremy tends to cut the heavy CC readings to a very manageable amount per week, which really helped me understand and appreciate the texts better. He was beyond flexible in accommodating virtually anything. I cannot recommend him enough! If you are not entirely sold on core classes, or have heard scary stories about CC, I definitely recommend attending Jeremy's class.
Best CC teacher hands town. If you have the chance to take his class you definitely should. Keeps things interesting even for those not interested in philosophy. Overall just a really good guy.
Jeremy Forster was a fantastic preceptor for CC, and I can see him working well for any type of student. If you're like me, and you're just in a philosophy course because it's a core requirement, Jeremy will really sell you on these texts. If you have a genuine interest in the field, Forster knows his stuff, and he can get into very nuanced discussions about the arguments that most of the class will enjoy. One of the best parts of the class was that Jeremy really limited the amount of reading required. Instead of trying to digest a book per week, Jeremy selects chapters and excerpts that you will actually discuss in class, and they were often only 40 or so pages per week (although occasionally you had to read the whole book). The class was usually structured as 1/3rd Jeremy lecturing on the work, 1/3rd class discussion on the work, and 1/3rd class discussion on a concept that was related to the work but allowed everyone who had not actually read the works to particulate. He also gave us a ten-minute break to eat snacks in the middle. Each week you had to write a one-page response paper, although I forgot to do one or two and it didn't end up having an impact on my grade. The papers were also very straight-forward, and you could either write a fairly straight-forward paper on one of the prescribed topics or a more creative paper on the topic of your choice. The midterm and final were both fairly easy, with one of them taking place in class and one as a take-home. The excerpts on the exams were incredibly easy to identity, and the essay topics were taken straight from the class discussion. Participate a lot, write good papers and you'll be fine!!
Great professor. I recommend him to anyone. He works extremely hard to have you understand exactly what he expect from you, as well as what each reading is about. He doesn't make you do pointless reading, but takes each book and cuts out reading that he believes isn't important. This allows all to do the reading, and makes discussion fluid and everyone gets involved. He is a fair grader. Not too hard, not too easy. He also has makes us do one page responses every week which is blessing because it makes you stay on top of the reading which doesn't leave you scrambling. Overall a good experience, with a professor that cares a lot, will make you care, but understand you take five other classes.