This was my first philosophy course and I didn't know what to expect, but I loved this class, and Prof. Herman is a great teacher! I really enjoyed going to lecture--she explained the ideas/concepts really well and used funny examples. She is extremely knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor. We read Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Hume, Kant, and Mill. The readings weren't too bad...definitely got progressively harder though. Thankfully she gave handouts with notes on their main arguments. Know the philosophers' arguments well, discuss the study questions, and read Herman's notes, and the midterm shouldn't be hard at all. The paper (5 pages) was harder to write than I expected and I thought I was going to get an A but got a "high B+" ..wut-_- I also thought the final was harder than the midterm. Overall, awesome teacher, interesting class...definitely recommend taking if you get the chance!
Professor Herman was amazing. Her lectures were interesting and always elaborated on the readings--incredibly helpful since the reading can be quite dense. She really cares about the students and wants everyone to learn moral and ethical theory--not just memorizing principles, but application to scenarios and whatnot. She says attendance is "mandatory", but she doesn't actually take attendance. Even though she does not take attendance, I highly recommend going to lecture since they were very beneficial. She tends to test on material she discussed during lecture. She is very willing to answer questions and slow down lecture if you don't understand anything. Discussions were also very helpful- my TA was Greg. He was really nice and definitely knew his stuff. The class was composed of four examlets (the final broken up into four 25 point "exams") and three papers (roughly six pages each to fulfill the writing aspect of this class). The examlets weren't too difficult. She held a review session for the last three-- the first one on Plato and Aristotle was pretty easy. She also gave out handouts highlighting key points and some with example questions/quotations you would be expected to understand and explain. The first examlet was on Plato/Aristotle, the second one on Hume, the third on Kant, and the fourth on Mill/Utilitarianism. The papers have a mandatory first draft-- you will get docked points if your first draft is poorly put together, i.e., written last minute. The TA's, not just my own, were really nice and very receptive towards your ideas and wanted you to keep your style, but tweak it for philosophical writing. You must meet with your TA before you submit your final draft. This meeting is super helpful and as long as you follow your TA's suggestions, you should get do fine on your paper. I highly suggest taking this class with Professor Herman. Three of my other friends took 22, and ALL of them hated it. I think it was the professor in all honesty. I am not a philosophy major and I got an A in this class. I only took this class because I wanted to fulfill both requisites, but I am so happy I took it. It is incredibly applicable to everyday life. I was mindf*cked so many times by the parallels I saw from class and everyday life. This class is a good amount of work, but if you make effort to keep up with the reading--at least skim over it, pay attention in class, and attend sections, then you will do fine.
She is definitely the expert in Kant's moral theory. But I feel like she is not a good at explaining them clearly (compared to Burge's lectures on Kant's epistemology). Kant is hard, his invents new vocabularies for his philosophy, which makes it harder. Professor Herman's lectures are usually too dry and she keeps using those abstract terms without explaining them very clearly (might be my problem, but when the examples she gives are quite unintuitive sometimes, plus she doesn't really focus on using example to make things clearer to you, maybe she is counting on you to understand the terms or theories by yourself). Phil 151B is a great class about Kant's ethics, but IMHO there's still room for professor Herman to improve.