Thomas Pogge

Sep 2007

In my class, there was a general consensus that this man is a terrible professor. I cannot believe Pogge has a "silver nugget." I went into his class with great enthusiasm and passion for the subject but all my aspirations to "make the world a better place" were quickly shot down by this arrogant, self-absorbed professor who is nothing short of purely condescending. I had read his book before hand and loved it enough to audit his course despite my overwhelmingly packed schedule -- what a bad idea. He thinks his students are daft and doesn't put any effort into his course. I remain deeply interested in the topic, his book and the readings assigned but I'll never again take a class with this bitter, unimaginative man who has no genuine interest in teaching. I highly recommend getting the syllabus and teaching yourself since there's no good reason to put up with this patronizing, cynical curmudgeon And, mind you, I have no ax to grind since I simply audited the course without receiving a grade. I can't believe that one semester ruined my respect for what seemed like an idealistic,well-intentioned man who I initially related to through his writing.

Dec 2002

An historical survey of political philosophy from Plato to Rawls, with one or two weeks left at the end for topics selected by the class. I found Prof. Pogge to be a brilliant lecturer and a dedicated teacher who was always receptive to class discussion. I would take issue with the notion (expressed by previous reviewer) that he is unfair to students whose views are opposed to his own. He has studied (and done) political philosophy for many years, so the fact that he has some firmly held opinions on this subject is no surprise. But the standards to which he holds his students is uniform: he will press you on your views when he differs with them, but don't expect to get a free pass when he agrees with you, either. Attend class and do as much reading as you can, and you'll come away learning a great deal about philosophy.

Mar 2002

A former student of John Rawls, Thomas Pogge sure knows his stuff when it comes to studying the works of his dissertation adviser. He's in fact quite prolific and involved in the larger academic world of political theory outside Columbia. But that having been said, I'm not sure if Pogge is exactly the best undergraduate professor. He is very narrowly focused on his research and may in fact be more useful for graduate students. His views are very strict, and academically he is set in his ways. If you do not agree with his particular interpretation of Rawls and his place in political theory, expect to do poorly in the class. Pogge is also a very harsh grader (Do not bring up the old joke that there should be a theory of justice when it comes to grading--he will not be amused). This class is best probably only for students with a real interest in political philosophy/theory. But for those who think this might be an extension of the great philosophical issues of LitHum/CC should be very careful.