Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Firstly, professor McHose is amazing. His lectures are superb. They are clear, concise, and super easy to follow. My favorite thing about Professor McHose is that he tells you what he is looking for in the assigned essays. It makes for a relatively straight forward writing process. Philosophy essays are not easy, and most people taking this class have not written one before, so it is difficult to score top marks on the first and second essays which makes it difficult to get an A in the class. In addition to this, there is not much graded work outside of the essays. There are a few small quizzes and some short response questions but other than that, you grade is largely determined by how you do on the essays. This class is not an easy A, but it is certainly doable if you are willing to go to office hours to improve your essay drafts. Basically, you can do pretty well without putting much effort into the class or you can take a little extra time and go above and beyond to finish at the top of the class.
As an introductory political philosophy class, I wish we had done a more broad survey of different topics instead of spending the entire ten weeks mostly covering distributive justice. Despite the readings, which were for the most part quite dry, I think Brad did a good job of making the lectures as engaging as possible (many, many zoom polls), and illustrated topics well by going over lots of different hypothetical cases. The quizzes were somewhat tricky, but you can do pretty well on them by just relying on the handouts he provides which the lectures are based on. The first paper was far more straightforward than the final paper, which had an 11 page prompt that made writing it kind of a chore.
This was not an easy ge, but i definitely enjoyed it. The professor uses lots of examples and repeats himself a lot so that you understand the material, which is pretty helpful. In regards to the quizzes, they can be pretty tricky but if you go over the lectures and review them a lot you should be fine. In regards to the papers, just make sure you pay attention to what’s going on in class and really use the material you know, because that will help to show that you understand it (and that’s a good portion of the paper grade). The professor has a lot of extra office hours leading to the paper due dates, so take advantage of them if you feel like you’re lost on what to do. Overall, I enjoyed the class but I don’t think it’s for everyone. The professor was pretty funny and I thought he lectured well. We went over distributive justice almost the whole quarter and the papers consisted of explaining certain viewpoints on distributive justice and arguing for a certain type of distributive justice in the context of a health care policy.
Professor McHose took a different approach to political philosophy than I expected, the entire class emphasized exclusively distributive justice, so if you're interested in Nozick, Rawls, and Parfit, you will certainly enjoy the course.
My biggest complaint is the way he structures his quizzes, multiple answers are correct in each question and you're deducted points for not selecting all the correct ones, I averaged a B- on the quizzes despite feeling fairly confident about the material. But he does curve the quizzes so it wasn't two bad. He's certainly not the only professor to do this, but I felt it was worth mentioning.
Grades were made up of 3 papers, 3 quizzes, and participation.
If you haven't written philosophy papers before, listen very closely to his instructions, he helped me with my writing a lot!
Lecture was necessary because your papers had to reflect examples that were given in class. Lectures were recorded and uploaded after.
He was very flexible with the pandemic and meeting students needs, which I appreciated!
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