Yes, professor Avital does speak English with a thick Israeli accent. Yes, he does make cryptic statements which dumbfound the class. However, if youÂ’re a philosophy student looking to learn symbolic logic, I strongly recommend this class. About two-thirds of the class is spent learning the Â“mechanicsÂ” of logic Â– the symbols, the operations, laws etc. The other third of the class is spent discussing the various philosophical movements intimately related to logic, mainly Wittgenstein and his ideas on language and meaning, but also Russell and Frege along with discussions on philosophy of science and mathematics. As a philosophy student, it was these Â“digressionsÂ” that made the class interesting and worthwhile (as well as kept me awake); without them, the class would seem to belong in the math or computer science departments, not philosophy. So, again, if youÂ’re taking this class to learn symbolic logic for the LSATs or otherwise donÂ’t care about the philosophical digressions, donÂ’t take this class Â– but if you want what amounts to an introduction to symbolic logic and analytic philosophy, I recommend professor Avital.
CAUTION! Avoid at all costs!! If you think about taking this class, I strongly urge you to think again. Boring doesn't even begin to describe the mental agony this class puts one through. HOURS of homework, along with obtuse teaching from a teacher who speaks broken English and doesn't want to be there. He should be teaching a higher level class. I didn't speak to one person who liked this class or wasn't having problems with it. You grade is pretty decent in the end, but not deserving of the hard work put into the class. Stay away!!
Well, I didn't really enjoy Prof. Avital as a teacher, though I thought he was a good guy. He is rather disorganized and sometimes difficult follow during lectures. Ever single day he would ask the class a question, in a really cryptic manner, about something he is talking about and the whole room would be silent. It wasn't that we couldn't figure out the answer to his questions, it was just that no one had any idea about what he was asking. Then we would just sit there while he got mad at us and told us that we had to know the answer if we had been paying even the slightest bit of attention. Whatever. The book was the only way that I had any idea what was going on in that class--though it has its own problems too. On the whole, Avital is a very intelligent man who is passionate about Philosophy and Logic and will really trying to help you to grasp the more complex concepts. When it comes to the more elementary work, however, I suggest you look elsewhere.