Professor Anders Kraal Reviews
Prof: Anders Kraal / Winter 2021
Mar 15, 2021
This class was really great. The focus on Kierkegaard's works was excellent, since it allows for a real depth of understanding rather than a quick skim. Dr. Kraal is an excellent professor who is incredibly knowledgeable about Kierkegaard and how theology works within his texts. He also shows some opposing interpretations to his own and encourages you to think for yourself and decide what you think is more convincing. Absolutely recommended.
This class was, for my section, graded based upon three in-class exams. The first wasn't so bad. The second was more nuanced and difficult, etc. All this to say: study the texts well, annotate them, pay attention in class and take diligent notes. As long as you are familiar and comfortable with dealing with the nuance of the texts insofar as it's explored in this class, you'll do great.
Prof: Anders Kraal / Fall 2021
Dec 9, 2021
This is a brilliant course. Dr. Kraal surveys a good range of voices in the philosophical debate surrounding metaphysics in the areas of ontology & free-will.
This is all very useful for someone who's going to study philosophy deeply or get interested in metaphysics for graduate study (me). It gives you an excellent taste of the the contemporary fields and debates in metaphysics. The content is solid and fun. I had a great time with ontology given its complexity. Dr. Kraal has said we could have surveyed other topics like time and possible worlds, but he said he preferred to give us the other topics seeing as this was an introductory course.
Dr. Kraal is a wonderful lecturer, and is incredibly accessible and helpful. He is professional and kind with his students, cracks jokes, tells great stories and is willing to have fun, honest, conversations.
I don't think there's anything too surprising here. It's a standard Kraal class--two exams and a paper; favouring your expression of your opinion; and great lectures with fun stories. Take diligent notes and study well--you'll be rewarded.
Prof: Anders Kraal / Fall 2022
Nov 27, 2022
This class' saving grace is of course Dr. Kraal. He's just a brilliant instructor. Otherwise, I'd have skipped over this if I could. It's just a requirement for me, like the social and political one. I really don't care about this content. You may like it if you're into Descartes, Leibniz, or Pascal. Edit: funny, this has been my highest grade in my entire career. I spat out my drink when I found out.
Like I said, it's Leibniz, Descartes, and Pascal. You should note that we spent all of our assessment covering Descartes. That might change for you. Essentially, we spent all of the term on Descartes and only now at the end are we touching on Lebiniz and then Pascal. That disappointed me, because I was getting a little tired of Descartes, but at least it kept the scope of the exam tighter. I don't much care for Leibniz's Metaphysics or Monadology which is what we're reading of his. For Descartes it was close reading of the Meditations and the Discourse on Method. That segment was less annoying, but personally didn't entice me. It's unclear what Pascal is going to be, but I'll update that when we finish up. Edit: also funny, there was a bit of Pascal that we covered but subsumed under the ...read more
Kraal is of course excellent. However, even the brightest stars have their limits in terms of shine, and this course was just rough for me personally. I can't complain about my grades--they're treating me really well. However, the material is to me insufferable. In truth, it is tolerable and indeed worth attending because Dr. Kraal is there. He teaches so well that you'd be remiss to not attend his class, even if the content bothers you.
Take it if Dr. Kraal is teaching it, don't otherwise (unless it's another particularly brilliant faculty member). If it's your requirement (hist. of phil), this goes doubly.
Prof: Anders Kraal / Summer 2022
Jul 17, 2022
Super interesting course content and laid-back class structure (a lot of the lecture will be spent discussing with the class). The only reason I give it a 3/5 on the easiness rating is because I reckon it's pretty hard to get an exceptional (90+ mark). However, it's easy to do decently well as long as you're engaging with the material. As someone who hadn't taken a course like this before, I was worried it was going to be too abstract for my understanding, but this definitely wasn't the case. The course content is very accessible to all academic backgrounds (hence no pre-reqs).
Arguments for and against the existence of God, along with discussion about what makes an argument rational.
Super laid-back professor that welcomes discussion and challenges on any of the arguments presented in class. Also explains concepts in a very clear way so that no matter what your discipline is, you'll have no problem understanding most of the content.
Prof: Anders Kraal / Winter 2022
Apr 24, 2022
This is a pretty darn good PHIL class. Kraal is a great instructor, no surprises there. Area covered is huge, and hopefully it leaves you less certain about your initial thoughts on atheism vs. theism. Super neat if you approach things honestly.
Content works like this: first you tackle purely theistic arguments, then you start doing problem of evil, then get theist replies, then atheist replies to those replies. There's even modal logic in there. You write two exams, one paper, so really there is not a lot going on, work-wise. Take lecture notes with substantial detail and include every little detail you can because that's what'll put you in A territory on your exam. Merely getting things right doesn't net you an excellent grade. Content is diverse, as you cover such authors as William Lane Craig, Epicurus, Darwin, Hume, (lots of) Plantinga, Irvine (modal logic), Anselm, Kant, Russell, etc. There's a lot in the class but it's manageable because it's essentially a big old dialogue between the authors and the kinds of arguments the...read more
Dr. Kraal is great. He welcomes challenges to what he argues for or what he's explaining, provided they're smart and well-delivered. I had several conversations about authors' arguments or his own in class to dig deeper into their flaws or merits. It was really meritorious to do so, in my opinion, because it lent depth to certain points of the course so that I could give better exam answers and think about problems of religion in more depth. Dr. Kraal just knows how to make the class interesting and fun to take.
I recommend you take it and be realistic about challenging your assumptions. A lot will come down to your intuitions, but I think it's okay to keep your mind open and not dogmatic, especially if you're decidedly a theist or atheist. Exams are chilled out if you study well and take good notes. The paper was good fun, really not that hard when it came down to it, just make sure you do it enough in advance to get someone to peer-review it for you so that you can see if you've made it logical and grammatical.