Matthew Slater

Jul 2005

Slater is a nice guy and a good teacher. He assigns great papers to read and leads discussion well but occasionally it would be helpful if he'd zoom out and summarize the different positions on key topics -- I found that students who'd taken Epistemology with other instructors didn't have the grasp of a number of specific areas I did, sometimes tough ones (I'm not sure, but I don't think Quine's _Two Dogmas_ is usually the sort of thing you get in an introductory class) but they could summarize things off the top of their heads that I had to sit down and think through and occasionally check other sources to be sure I had the full view of. Some instructors in Philosophy give short take-home questions meant to force the students to work through this kind of issue. Something like that might have fixed the one minor complaint I have with Slater's teaching style -- as hard as it is to really suggest that an instructor give more work! All in all a good teacher.

May 2004

Matthew is an overall nice guy/cool dude. I hate philosophy and did very little reading, and I am thankful for having a teacher like him. He devoted himself in class to helping the students understand the texts better, and always kept in mind whether or not he was presenting material clearly. He gave really good paper writing advice, and had almost completely open paper topics. Over the course of the year, he honed his technique to what I see as the best way to teach such a course. He offers very enjoyable company and very earnest advice and assistance.