In today’s word, our morals and values affect our political, social, and economic systems. Some of these factors may be confusing: why do we do the things we do? However, philosophy is a very interesting subject that provides logical and potential explanations for these behaviors. Professor Joshua Hollowell makes learning the subject interesting, eye-opening, but also easy to understand. Here are the reasons why.

1. There Are No Midterms or Finals

Yup that’s right. The best phrase any college student could hear. Professor Hollowell’s class is meant to be about learning material, rather than just learning for the test then forgetting everything. In exchange for no exams, there are weekly quizzes that eventually total up to be 50% of your grade (10% each), but as long as you go to lecture and do the readings then you don’t even have to study!


2. Discussion Is Not Mandatory

It’s true. Discussion attendance is not part of the syllabus as a percentage of your grade, so it is completely up to you if you want to go or not. The TA’s are super friendly and helpful, so if you don’t understand a concept from class you just show up to discussion to get a better understanding and answer any questions you have about the quiz.


3. Lecture Isn’t Run Like a Lecture

You can relax because coming to lecture is actually enjoyable. The class is an hour and 20 minutes long, but it goes by so quick! Why? PHIL002 is not a class with a powerpoint up and everyone in the lecture hall is rushing to copy down every point on the screen. Nope. Hollowell leads a very intellectual discussion, where anyone in the class can provide input on certain topics. This course is basically one big debate.

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4. The Topics Go Over Current Issues

Hollowell ensures that the class is structured to relate to current problems, another reason why PHIL002 is a great class to take. Unlike other courses that may seem like general ed requirements you have to take, this class discusses social and political issues like racism that everyone should be aware of, making this class one you want to take. You will leave this class with much more knowledge about the U.S. governmental and economic systems, that will benefit you beyond being a student.


5. While the Class Is Serious, Prof. Hollowell Isn’t Always 

Besides his great teaching style, Professor Hollowell has a very laidback personality that makes learning exciting and enjoyable. During serious topics, he is always sure to add in some comedic elements to avoid harsh feelings in debate. Overall, he really knows how to treat his students as equal to him, and is always wanting to help them develop a better understanding of the philosophy of our society.


PHIL002 is offered every quarter at UC Riverside. Taking it not only fills a requirement, but it also helps build your knowledge on the current social, political, and economic state of our government.


Mina Vazirian

Hey y'all I'm Mina, a current first-year student at the University of California Riverside! I was a Media and Cultural Studies major, but I have switched over to Theatre, Film, and Digital Production to pursue a career as a film producer.

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