professor
Jacob Segal

May 2004

Enjoyable class, engaging professor, and a reasonable work load. Despite what was said in previous reviews, I feel that I learnt a lot. Definitely recommend the class, for poli-sci majors and non-majors.

Apr 2004

Segal's quality is community college level. Yes, this class is easy, light readings, short papers, easy exams. But it's not easy in a good way. Segal will expect you to adore and worship Plato, even though in class he'll be dismissed as a proto facist. And because Segal knows nothing at all about ancient history you won't be able to say that the Spartans treated women well, that the Romans freed their slaves, that both Greeks and Romans were anxious and uncomfortable with the practice of infanticide because Segal knows nothing about ancient history and he doesn't want to because it would interfere with his clean little theories that have developed absent of historical analysis. Like the other reviewers have said, he is witty and intelligent, the class is lively and it's an easy A if you give him what he wants. Don't, however, come to this class if you really want to engage the material -- Segal only wants you to engage his ideas about the material. And his ideas, frankly, are isolated, poorly developed, and steeped in ignorance.

Apr 2004

Segal is engaging and funny, he is pretty intelligent and can quickly assess an argument with realtive skill. However, he is not interested in literary, historical or historigraphical perspectives. His historical knowledge is sometimes painfully lacking. He got his PHD from Columbia, and the Poli-Sci department here is not the best, it ranks well, well below Harvard, Stanford, Chicago and Princeton (i.e., it's far easier to get into Harvard and Yale law than it is the PHD poli-sci program at Columbia, hands down). Class discussions are lively and imaginative, but when it comes to the papers, mid-term and final: play it straight, he does NOT want big ideas or creativity. Anything idea, concept, perspective or author that ranges out of the bounds of his previous considertion will be met with a bucket of cold water, which can make things very dull.

Apr 2004

I liked his class. There is kind of CC in one semester. You go over several of the main thinkers in western thought, and have LOTS of class participation which is really fun. Segal has a way of surprising the class with an unexpected joke every now and then, and if you go along with his line of thought, you just might get to discuss how RousseauÂ’s ideas on a Common Will are like the Borg in Star Trek. I recommended him (and if you are a GS student, you really donÂ’t have many other options anyway).