Introduction to Political Philosophy

Katie J Gallagher

Introduction to Political Philosophy

Philosophy department

Katie J Gallagher

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from 29 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 4.0
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 3.6
Easy
Heavy
Workload 3.4
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.2
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.2
Helpful
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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Participation Matters
  • Would Take Again

Grades

Fall 2020
48.2%
40.1%
32.1%
24.1%
16.1%
8.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2019
33.3%
27.8%
22.2%
16.7%
11.1%
5.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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1 of 3

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Jan. 4, 2021
Grade Received: A-

The class is ok. There isn't that much reading if you just want to listen to her lectures and not do the assigned readings, but some of the harder concepts may be unclear. The two essays are graded by your TA, I had Saraliza and she was wonderful! The first essay was more about explaining a concept and the second essay is a little more argumentative.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted March 21, 2020 Grade Received: A-

YOU NEED TO GO TO CLASS in order to get enough information to write the essays because you will NOT be able to adequately dissect these readings yourself. But the catch is that you need to PAY ATTENTION in class which can be hard because I have def napped in more than one of these lectures. Her voice is very soothing and the material can be boring so at any given moment you will find at least 2 people asleep. Please TAKE GOOD NOTES because you'll use them for the papers and to glance over before your quizzes in section. The readings range in difficulty and annotating the readings never took me less than 1.5-2 hours. Otherwise the class was not bad and discussion was very engaging (thanks to Sam). Philosophical writing is hard and different from other types of writing- so you will probably struggle a bit trying to change your writing style but because it is an intro class everyone is learning alongside you.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Jan. 4, 2020 Grade Received: A-

This class was fine, as it was neither great nor terrible. Grades are based on three essays (ranging from 20-30% each) and participation (25%). Essay grades, as I've heard, vary a decent amount based on your TA, although they do cooperate with grading.

The papers are not very long, as the shortest is 3-4 pages, and the longest is 6-7. There are also assigned readings (not from a textbook), but by the end of the quarter the amount of people doing them... diminished. Her slides cover a lot of the material very well anyway, and she posts them on CCLE.

The topics are fairly interesting, but for some reason I often found myself fighting off sleep in lecture. Even though I was intrigued by some of the philosophers we covered, I couldn't help but find my attention drifting off. After reading the other reviews on here, I am clearly not alone.

If you're interested in philosophy, this isn't a bad choice for a GE, but there may be easier options out there if that's what you're looking for.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 23, 2019 Grade Received: A

Pretty clear, straightforward class. Your grade consists of three papers and participation. The papers aren't too hard, especially if you go to your TA for help (I had Kyle Scott and he always gave me great advice for my essays). Participation does matter, so you do have to talk sometimes during discussions, not just show up. Again, I had Kyle as a TA, so he considered anything from asking questions during section to giving your own take on a philosopher to going to office hours as participation. There are also pass/no pass quizzes that go into participation that were pretty easy. Dr. Gallagher posts all the possible questions on the slides and pretty much all the answers were on the slides too. As long as you pass three out of the four, you should be fine.

Dr. Gallagher posts readings that you're technically supposed to read before every lecture. However, she explains everything really clearly during lecture so I personally don't think doing every single reading is necessary, just make sure you do the reading for the prompt you're going to write for your papers. She posts slides that have quotes and page numbers on them and I found that super helpful as a guide for writing my papers and citing stuff.

I honestly found discussion more interesting than lecture, just because we were able to discuss and debate the content. Basically, lecture's to help you understand the content in a concise, straightforward way, discussion's then a place for you to give your own interpretation.

Overall, I really did like this class, would definitely recommend taking it.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2021 Submitted Dec. 29, 2021 Grade Received: A

Here's my comprehensive guide on Philos 6 (online)
The classes were held synchronously, but recorded and posted very soon after class ended so if you didn't attent live, it was completely fine. The first two weeks I actually did the reading for the class and it did help a bit, but it was SO. MUCH. READING. The amount of clarity I gained from the reading did not help enough to make the time commitment worth it. Honestly, google, talking to my TA, and bouncing ideas off of my classmates was much more helpful. Professor has slides that she uses, which contain direct quotes from the text + page numbers and by my second essay I really gave up on finding most of my own quotes from the text and just ripped them off her slides. Her slides were super important to my understanding of what the hell we were discussing in class because they always captured the essence of what the philosophers were trying to get at, so if you do anything... READ THROUGH THE SLIDES!!
The lecture itself was oftentimes dry and hard to pay attention to. I tried my best to take notes but Professor uses a lot of jargon and for someone who's never had real experience with philosophy or ethics, it was kind of hard to understand what she was saying live (I looked up stuff after class a lot).
The class itself has 3 essays, each one getting slightly longer and weighing more of your grade. there were also 4 'pop' quizzes, which are randomly pulled from the study questions that professor provides at the end of every lecture. there is quite a few of them and doing it each week was pretty time consuming, but I always tried to do them because the quizzes are essentially free points to buff your grade.
Your TA MATTERS IN THIS CLASS!!! A LOT!!! I had Shan, and we was lovely for creating discussion and the more philosophical aspect, but I was oftentimes too intimidated to speak in his class because it was almost always "What do you think about ____ Philosopher's ideas?" and some hypothetical situation, and the more experienced philosophers in the class always had some stunning, huge brained answer LOL. But he was an angel in office hours and very helpful when I asked for advice on revising my essay!
Overall, this class is a relatively easy GE if you know how to manage your time and if you're a decent writer and can BS your way through topics that you don't know much on. It also got me thinking about the world around me and started a lot of interesting discussion whenever I'd bring it up to my hallmates :) However, if you are not a good writer STEER CLEAR of this class, it's not worth it! GOOD LUCK!

Quarter Taken: Fall 2021 Submitted Dec. 22, 2021 Grade Received: A

The class wasn't too bad if you're just looking for light work as a GE. Three essays are the only real work we have to worry about; although they graded the essays a little more harshly than I had been expecting. I wouldn't recommend taking this if it's online, though, because the professor turns off her video during lectures so if you get easily spaced out I can assure you that will happen.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2021 Submitted Nov. 10, 2021 Grade Received: S

Didn't finish the class yet, but would like to post a review since I just want to, lol.

Great class. I have a personal interest in philosophy and in particular political philosophy.

Some people said the lectures are boring - to me they're not - she has a very positive vibe that is very bright and nice. This is a huge plus to the class because it makes listening to hour long lectures somewhat engaging and fun and nice. I believe she is a good person, but ultimately the question is: does she believe in Jesus Christ, God the Son, but that is a separate issue.

Truly, you don't have to do all the readings or all the lectures. Like the others said, just listen to and read the pertinent parts to your essay, as essays are the main grades for your class. But to keep you on your toes, they have pop quizzes to see if you read or listened to the lectures - but they're really easy - I copied off a lecture slide one time when I didn't know the answer and probably passed the quiz just fine - it's a pass or no pass. Easy.

Easy class and enjoyable. I can't say I'll get an A - not putting that much effort or sell-out. But it's a nice class. I'm very happy to have taken it.

But I must say, if you aren't philosophically minded or fit this kind of style of thinking, it can be hard. I know some people who are having hard times with writing the essay because the essays require comprehension of the lectures and require also reading comprehension of difficult to understand texts and also even requires your critique or analysis on these topics (which requires you to really understand the material). But if you're curious about philosophy and political philosophy, I recommend it. Even if you get a bad grade, if you pass, it is a good thing to learn. Political philosophy is interesting to me, so I'm biased in that way. It's a field that is philosophical, but has lots of practical implications - how our government should function and what rights/liberties do we have or ought to have. What is justice?

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Feb. 15, 2021
Grade Received: A

THIS CLASS IS EASY IF YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE YOUR WAY AROUND IT.

At the beginning, you're faced with multiple (difficult) readings every week and super long (semi-boring) lectures. HOWEVER, you can get through the class quite easily without having to read or even attend lectures. The KEY to this class is the discussion (saraliza is amazing) and the slides. Dissecting the slides themselves & sometimes going over it with the lecture (on 2x speed) are more than enough for you to be able to write your weekly journal (literally one paragraph on what you thought about the material) and to do the Midterm Essay and Final Essay. ALTHOUGH, key mistakes that people make in this class is that they do not know how to write a philosophical paper. It is MUCH different than how one would write a typical paper so you should definitely do some research/speak with your TA. I was able to write both my midterm and final essay in about 2-3 days and got A- on both of them just by grabbing content from the slides and my own outside research. Section participation is points so make sure you can attend (this is the one portion that I really recommend paying attention to). OH and there are REALLY EASY one-question quizzes during section every week, but they are literally so easy it's laughable (plus they drop your lowest 3... and if you have saraliza she'll give you extra quizzes to help you out at the end) The only thing that annoyed me was at the end of week 10, they told us that our section participation and journal entires would be marked a 90% even if you did 100% of the work to make some sort of curve?? It definitely put pressure on making sure I got an A- again on the final, but overall was not too bad. The content is also really interesting but sometimes could get boring if you're into politics. OVERALL, easy class once you get the hang of it.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Jan. 28, 2021
Grade Received: A

Not a big fan of philosophy, but nevertheless Gallagher did a good job of explaining content. Her slides are kind of a headache to look at, with lots of all caps and bolded font, but they're super helpful when you're writing the papers. No tests, just 2 papers (I think it was 3 before covid) and participation/quizzes/weekly journals. You can honestly write whatever in the journals, I don't think the TAs really read them. In any given grade, the highest you can get is a 95% which is super frustrating, but that is mitigated with the generous grading.

You do not have to do any of the readings. Seriously. They're long and confusing, but Dr. Gallagher lectures on all of the content anyway. I read 3 pages of the first reading then stopped and still pulled out an A.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Jan. 4, 2021
Grade Received: A

This class is a nice GE if you're looking for a light workload (asynchronous and most of work was just the essays). You basically don't have to do the readings, since Gallagher breaks them down very thoroughly during lecture. Just make sure to take good notes, so you have content to use during your papers. This quarter, we only had one midterm paper and one final paper; these two papers essentially determined your grade, so you had to do really well on them. I highly recommend attending office hours to go over your ideas/thesis with your TA or the professor; they're generally very open to helping. It's also helpful to peer review! Find some people in the class open to peer review, and it will definitely improve your grades on your papers. It was a bit of a boring class, but it was a decent GE.

1 of 3

Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Participation Matters
  • Would Take Again
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