professor
David Armitage

Jun 2002

Armitage is very intelligent, has a lot to share, and leads discussions really well. Unfortunately, he expects his students to understand and discuss the works at a level that's really beyond even a very smart college student who's never taken another philosophy course. His intros to each book show he really knows his stuff on a deeper level than most CC profs - I think students' opinions of the intros really depend on their interest in each author and other, similar factors that Armitage can't control. Discussions are usually pretty good for a CC class, but you'll definitely hear some long speeches from kids who mistakenly think they're smart and profound. He does not appreciate absences. You can get an A, but it's really really hard.

Jan 2002

David Armitage must be very smart, I suppose. How else could he manage to concentrate for such a long, boring class with out falling asleep as do half the students? Perhaps his amazing skills of concentration are due to the fact that he talks for the majority of class time. His discussion questions were often so verbose that some brave individual found it necessary to ask him ". .. what?" He begins each class with a recitation of the author's life which can last from ten to fifty minutes, depending upon Armitage's own interest. He then intends upon discussion, but is lacking communication skills. He actually called another student "pitiful" within hearing of the class, snapped at several students for such heinous offences as moving a chair, opening a bag that crackled and being late more than once. This snappiness is gaining notoriety; on one occasion as I talked about it with a friend, a girl nearby recognized the description - - she had a friend in the class. Armitage's strictness with his students is especially jarring considering his laxity in explaining himself to them. His grading appears absolutely arbitrary and remained unpredictable as the semester wore on. He was, however, proud of this, likening himself to a Calvinian God, for both are "unreprehensible and incomprehensible." I don't know about the former adjective, but the latter is certainly applicable. I do not recommend this class to anyone who cares about grades, unless your opinions exactly coincide with those of Armitage. I left after one semester, as did about six other students in my section.

Nov 2001

He cares much about history, is very smart, but really pretentious. He's a hard and sometimes unfair grader although an A is not impossible. He does little to keep the classes interesting. There is way too much reading, even for CC- usually just one class for the whole book, of which you read selections. the result is you know many books semi well. he's obsessed with linking each book to another, even to the point of streaching it too far. in short, don't take this class. I switched out after one semester

Jan 2000

Armitage demands that his students both do and understand the work. Challenging but worth it if you are willing to expend the time and effort.

Jan 2000

I took first semester CC with Professor Armitage. Contrary to other students' opinions, I found Professor Armitage too verbose for my taste. At the beginning of the class, he does indeed give a spiel of the historical context of each reading, but I would emphasize: NOT succintly. To his credit, the guy is very eloquent, he knows his transitions and is basically a verbal essay writer. He fails to convey a true sense of enthusiasm for history and lapses back into an arrogant air of didacticism.

Jan 2000

The weekly papers should be identified as brief summaries of the previous week's reading, useful come exam time. Might also add that this transplanted Brit is a historian who believes that 'history matters', so at the beginning of each class he succinctly and very helpfully puts each work in context. If you're dead set on reading Plato's Republic, find someone else in the fall, since he does not feel the class has enough time to do that work justice.

Jan 2000

A professor clearly devoted to leaving his students more knowledgeable through hard work and thought. It's a tough courseload, but well worth it if you want to leave CC knowing more than the CC Reader. If you do the work, an A is possible.