Review Comment

[PHIL W3264] Hegel

December 28, 2016

Neuhouser, Frederick Silver_nugget
[PHIL W3264] Hegel

Seriously incredible professor. Like, the best professor you're likely to have at Columbia. He WILL make you want to be a Philosophy major. This class is no joke though, and neither is Hegel. It's more work than any other philosophy course I've taken, even though the reading is usually just a couple of pages. The material is difficult, and requires a lot of time to seriously digest. It is essential to go to every single class, and write down pretty much everything Neuhouser says. Only when you're writing your paper and go back to those notes do you realize how well he has deconstructed the text.
Grading: he says on the syllabus that satisfactory work will receive a B, and only good work will receive an A. His grading is on the harsher side of fair, but still isnt too bad. If you put in the work, there's no reason not to receive at least an A-. Also, if you do better in the final than the midterm, the midterm isnt counted for your grade. If your second paper is better than your first, then it counts for double your first paper. The comments are constructive and helpful, and the midterm and final are seriously straightforward.
The main thing to remember, as others have noted, is not to pad your writing. Be AS clear and succinct as possible, and write to the point. For inspiration, use his own paper on the Structure of Hegel's Philosophy of Right.
Neuhouser will change your life. He is the most caring, giving and motivating professor most of his students have ever had. I only wish I had taken his class sooner so that I could take his other ones before graduating too.


2 papers: one due mid-october, 6-8 pages and one due on the last day of classes, 8-10 pages. one take-home midterm and one final. Paper 1: 25%, Paper 2: 25%, Midterm: 17%, Final 33%.

May 22, 2005

Neuhouser, Frederick Silver_nugget
[PHIL W3264] Hegel

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Neuhouser is absolutely fantastic. Really, I can't say enough good things about him. He seems like a really good person, too - not just a good teacher.

Probably the thing that really sets him apart from other professors is how much he genuinely cares about the ideas in the texts. How a person can attain freedom in the world is a really important question, and you can tell it matters to him to figure out what these writers (here, Hegel but he's also into Rousseau, Marx, Kant, Sartre and others) have to say about it. The excitement he brings to the course carries over to the students in the room. We all end up wanting to figure these texts out.

The other thing that sets him apart is how good of a teacher he is. I can't really put my finger on what makes him so exceptionally good, but he's really fantastic. Lots of graduate students sat in on this undergrad-level (not even 4000) course. That should tell you something about how good he is. Also, if you go to Amazon, you'll see that students of his from Cornell actually wrote positive reviews about his books without having read them. They took a course with the guy and were so impressed that they actually went to Amazon and praised him! Wow, right? Okay, maybe that's a bit freaky, but it shows that he's inspiring.

And he's not such a hard grader. I've taken a few courses with him now and found him to be really very fair. Just don't B.S. on the papers and finals. That stuff doesn't work with him. If you attend all the lectures (he always teaches 9am classes - ugh) and do the readings you should do well. Really - either repeat what he says or back up you're own ideas well and you'll do fine. Random B.S. without backing it up will get you nowhere with him.


Take-home Midterm, in-class final. Two papers.

Not very much reading, but it's Hegel so it's hard going. He explains it well. I would recommend re-reading the stuff after lecture. It's not so much, so you can actually do that.

For the final, he gives you the sections of the texts that will be covered beforehand (this was really nice of him), and he gives you three questions that are very similar to the three options you have to choose from for the second question on the final. That was unclear - for the second half of the final you have 3 questions to choose from. He gives you three similar questions beforehand, so if you prepare one of those you'll be in good shape to answer the similar question on the final.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
PHLB / PHIL PHLB PHIL W3264: Hegel Frederick Neuhouser 2005 Spring MW / 9:10-10:25 AM 1