Abney, Keith  

Philosophy

2.27/4.00

143 evaluations


PHIL 124


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Feb 2007
oh dear...where to begin...i was one lost soul in this class. It was really boring and a little too abstract for me. His tests were extremely difficult and his papers were very hard to understand. The final paper which was something about personhood and what defines personal identity was sooooo hard, I have never dedicated that much time to a single assignment but it is what saved my grade. Basically what it comes down to is answering every single question he has or if anything I wouldn't take this class unless your really into philosophy.

PHIL 125


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Jan 2000
I have to say, Abney is a darned good professor. He is wonderufull at explaining things. The textbook that we used for this class was very confusing and akward to read, but he was able to expain everything using lots of examples and going over points in great detail. He made the material very easy to understand, he comes with my very highest reccomendation (I'm taking Philosophy 230 with him too :)


Freshman
F
General Ed
Jan 2000
Professor Abney makes difficult argument analysis a lot easier to understand with his clear, precise instruction. He was able to cover all the important material for the course in a relatively short time per session, so that we didn't need to sit there the full 3 hours. The class was enlightening and not what one would expect of the typically dry subject of philosophy.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Jan 2000
Dr. Abney explains things in a way that is easy to understand and he is very willing to answer questions both in class and in his office hours. He is also very fair in his grading policy.


Freshman
C
General Ed
Jan 2000
I did not enjoy my time with Professor Abney in the slightest. I know that is not the most important thing about a class, but it is hard to concentrate on subject matter when the professor is teaching in an absolutely dry and borning manner. Abney did a fair job of presenting the material and what he presented was basically on the tests, but I don't recommend that you take the 3 hour long section.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Jan 2000
Professor Abney explains the material very well. He uses examples that every student can relate to. The text was very interesting and fairly easy to read. Eventhough the class was three hours long, I never recall staying the full three hours. In the time he lectures, straightforward and doesn't jump around the subject.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Apr 2000
He's a pretty good teacher. He does take attendance and it is part of your grade. Yet he does offer extra credit and is a pretty open guy.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Dec 2000
Abney is a decent lecture, and is very willing to answre questions. He does provide some nice examples about concepts which are very helpful. My biggest qualm about him though is that his lectures are just about verbatim from the text, thus making it feel like you don't really need to buy the text. On the other hand, I loved the "How to Think about Weird Things" text, it was a great way to teach the topic because it related to things we've all heard/seen about, and I like that he is flexible enough to teach from such a book. I reccommend him--just don't expect to use the book much. Oh yeah--tests are fair, just make sure to study for them!


Freshman
B
General Ed
Feb 2001
Professor Abney is awesome! He knows his stuff and he can clarify anything you ask him. I thought this was going to be a boring ge class. And at the beginning of the quarter he started off by making a little comment about not getting paid enough to add students. Well that was just to scare people off. He lightens up quickly and makes subtle jokes that get the class chuckling. He explains things in a step by step fashion, allowing you to piece together the subject matter. He splits up the reading assignments wonderfully, so that they work together to help you learn. I would definitely suggest him for Phil 125 over Speech 125 or Engl 125. The class is a little tough but you enjoy it and get so much more out of it!


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Feb 2001
Professor Abney is one of the worst teachers I've ever had. His lectures are very confusing, long and boring. There is a lot of reading involved in the course and if you do not read thoroughly, you will be penalized when taking the test. He asks the most random questions and his tests very difficult. I do not recommend him at all.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Mar 2001
There is no homework in this class, and you can get away with not reading the text outside of class at all, except to study for tests. The grade is based on a couple five question quizzes, a midterm, a final, and participation/attendance. Every question is multiple choice. The quizzes are super-easy, but the midterm/final are far from easy, they definitely require some scratch paper and hard thinking. A typical lecture consists of going through a chapter in the text with Dr. Abney while he gives you examples and stuff. It can be boring at times, but I would recommend going every time because he takes roll and tells you when quizzes will be held.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Mar 2001
Abney is a difficult teacher! He offers a mid term (30%), a final (40%), a homework assignment (20%), and quizzes (10%). His tests are very tough and you need to really know the material well to succeed. He does use the same midterm every year though so find someone that already had him and study off that.


Sophomore
B
Elective
Oct 2001
Okay, so the material in this class isn't exactly the easiest to comprehend. To some people, especially those who are more closed minded or super religious (the same?) it may seem to go against what you believe. It addresses the issues of reality and, well, I believe there's a god, but how do we know for sure? If you're willing to take another perspective on just about everything you believe, this is a great class. Abney is an excellent professor that is very willing to answer any question and explain things as many ways as he can. The tests aren't difficult, but your grade comes from very few and small assignments. Try somewhat hard on all of them and you can get an A.


Sophomore
B
Elective
Oct 2001
Okay, so the material in this class isn't exactly the easiest to comprehend. To some people, especially those who are more closed minded or super religious (the same?) it may seem to go against what you believe. It addresses the issues of reality and, well, I believe there's a god, but how do we know for sure? If you're willing to take another perspective on just about everything you believe, this is a great class. Abney is an excellent professor that is very willing to answer any question and explain things as many ways as he can. The tests aren't difficult, but your grade comes from very few and small assignments. Try somewhat hard on all of them and you can get an A. DEFINITELY DO ALL OF THE READING!!


Sophomore
D
General Ed
Oct 2001
Professor Abney is extremely hard. I took him for his 3 hour session once a week from six to nine at night and it was extrememly long and sometimes hard to follow. Very smart and makes valid points. his grading scale is whacked though. only 2 tests and a little assignment. Tests are extremely hard. Its composed of tricky and confusing multiple choice questions that all seem to work! I would not recommend his 3 hour class. go for reguluar hour sessions.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Nov 2001
Watch yaself, and shake that ass, when you got Abney, cause he is awesome. His class materila is easy, he present s it pretty clearly if you do not bore yourslef to sleep in class. But talk about productivity!


Freshman
B
General Ed
Dec 2001
dont even bother reading the book, this fool tests completely of the lectures, which is good for those of us who dont like to read, i highly reccomend making flash cards cause that first quiz is really easy and then that first midterm isnt so easy so be prepared. also he uses the same tests so find a friend that already had him...hehe


Freshman
C
General Ed
Mar 2002
Boring and hard, his test were extremely hard but i boomed the two test and turned in extra credit and did the last writing assignment and got a c. But his test are hard and the info seems easy to learn but the way he states it in his tests is difficult.


Freshman
C
General Ed
Mar 2002
He is extremely boring, his subject matter is awful, and his test are hard! Avoid this professor at all costs. I barely pulled a C. This class is confusing and a complete waste of time. Keep in mind this is just my opinion.


Junior
C
Elective
Mar 2003
this guy smells like weed

PHIL 126


Freshman
C
General Ed
Sep 2001
They changed the course around so now in this class there is only one midterm worth 20% of your grade, then a final worth 30% of your grade. Also due on the day of the final is a term paper which is worth 50% of your grade So DON'T PROCRASTINATE because 80% is determined on that final day. He does a fairly good job at presenting the material covered in class, but some questions on his tests seem to come out of nowhere. Concentrate on the term paper, I thought I was locked into a B in the class but that paper brought me down to a C.


Junior
C
General Ed
Jan 2003
Abney is a piece of shit. His test are hard, his lectures are boring and he's a prick when you talk to him. Trust me you don't want this guy!


Freshman
B
General Ed
Feb 2003
Abney is an interesting character. he knows what he's talking about, and presents things at a nice pace.. the once-a-week 3 hour class usually was 1.5 hrs, which was always nice. i recommend him if you like to think and be challenged


Graduate Student
N/A
General Ed
Mar 2003
This evaluation system is a joke. How do you know students are not submitting multiple evaluations or professors are sending in multiple positive ones. I never even met this guy and yet your system let me evaluate him.


Freshman
D
General Ed
Mar 2003
Whoa, talk about lost all quarter. This man cannot teach and he talks with the same tone for two hours straight. Don't take him. It's the worst class I've ever taken and he's the dullest man I've ever met! He tries to tell us that God doesn't exist and faith doesn't exist and basically everything I belive in can't possibly exist!


Junior
B
General Ed
Mar 2003
Abney's first day of class was a bitter one. He does not let anybody crash the class if his roster is full. He does not want to take part in helping out the university and the students get the classes they need. The class consists of the midterm and the final. The midterm is worth 20% and the final 30%. The other 50% of your grade is the final paper on some topic of HIS choice. This was really frustrating to me because I don't give a damn about philosophy and I will never ever use it during my lifetime. So basically when you walk into your final, 80% of your grade is on the line. Attendance and participation don't count diddly in the class. The only nice thing about Abney's class is that he normally lets you out a early and that he knows the material extremely well. Teaching the material he does an okay job at. Take Abney if you go to every single class during the quarter and are already confident in your writing abilities.


Freshman
N/A
General Ed
Nov 2003
OK. The information can be considered easy. It's basically all memorization. However his presentation is horrible. He's smart, cocky and funny, but be prepared for unexpectedly hard midterms and random papers that are in no way related to anything we learn about really. No homework. You have 2 midterms and a final. 3 papers. That's it. And they're hard.


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Feb 2004
Although fairly monotone and apparently impersonal, Abney is a good professor. He takes his job seriously and is actually fairly laid back if you get to know him. The material was presented clearly. Take this class if you want to learn philosophy. If you're looking to skate through this probably isn't the professor for you.


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Nov 2004
This class was really really really hard. He gives papers on thing like proving if alien exist or not and you have to prove it. His test are very hard and if you have any thing else you can take besides this class I would do it. I would never recommend this teacher. Maybe I


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Jan 2005
Decent. Final is much easir than the midterm. Hat are worn sideways in the class. Recall the last time you had dinner with your parents. It like that for an hour. DOnt worry grades in his class are negoiciable. Once you own enough continents you can barter with him. If your a liberal arts major or a girl dont take this class due to the logic envolved. Try to visualise victory without the defeat. 85 percent of the grade is dictated to you on the second day of class


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2005
Abney presents the material clearly and if you go to class and take notes the tests are easy, no reading required. The essays are tough and no bull shit is allowed which is a huge change from most professors. Listen to how he grades the mid-term essay so you can write the way he likes it on your final paper.


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Jun 2005
Professor Abney is really into himself and it shows so unless you share his views on anything he feels like talking about avoid him


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Jan 2006
Abney seemed to know a lot about the subject and had a lot of knowledge to offer, but the way he presented it was a little difficult to comprehend. It could have just been the subjec matter, but it was definitely a tough class to follow, a lot of writing which was graded pretty harshly, and three overall exams which were somewhat difficult as well. It was a nice introduction to some philosophy and I cant really tell if it was the teacher or material that was hard, but probably a combination of both.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2006
Ok. Keith "Abner" is a very logical guy. that being said, he doesn't make any sense at all. He truly expects everyone to already know how to argue a point with perfect infallible logic in as little words as possibe before the first day of class even starts. He is condescending, pompus and says the word "right?" 247 times per class period (i know i took a tally) the only thing i liked about the guy was the irony that he is a logic professor and his ears make him look like a vulcan-esque spock character. so...grading... scantron multiple choice tests.... sound good?, well they are the only thing that will save your grade from the essays, which REQUIRE you to prove the existance of Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, Free will or fate, and person hood and personal identity in 200 to 500 words! I probably dedicated more hours to this class than i have ever dedicated to a class before just writing the final essay. Don't take this class to learn logic! learn logic and then take this class, if you HAVE to! unless your a phil major and cant get out of it, take some other argumentitive class to satisfy the GE's you do not, i repeat DO NOT want to take this class!


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Feb 2007
I thought Abney did a great job, especially since I'm not a philosophy kind of person. He's very willing to answer any questions and explain things thouroughly. Tests were easy, but make sure to do essays exactly how he wants, he can be a little tough on grading them.


Freshman
C
General Ed
Mar 2007
abney is ridiculous. he channels a less empathetic dr. phil in his public speaking techniques. he acts like he knows EVERYTHING and if a student ever, even politely, suggests he may have been in error, he will backtrack for as long as it takes to make it seem like he was right all along. it's so annoying and hard to follow him because he has a habit of adding "right" and other worthless phrases in between sentences and even mid-sentence. "so lets say i were to tell you.....right....that in 1 possible world....are you with me.....that it is logical to say.....right......" don't take this class for GE credit if you have ANY other option. he grades tough. and the material that should be interesting ends up being torture to go through every lecture.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Aug 2007
Great at explaining the material despite his repetitive interjections ("right...") His tests were fairly easy and his papers were alright once you got the idea. They were often very hypothetical and weird, such as a paper debating the detection of extra-terrestrial persons that began with arguing what a 'person' really is, but I suppose that one is to expect such papers in a PHIL class. His grading was on a straight scale, but it did not need to be curved, and the homework consisted only of the three tiny 'research' papers that required little to no actual research, and the tiny once a week quizes were very easy if you attended class. Don't bother buying the book, you won't use it.


Sophomore
D
General Ed
Nov 2007
This guy is a true dick. Not only is he an egomaniac but he also has extremely unrealistic expectations. He has no idea how to effectively TEACH and not just talk. He has more than a few irritating habits (which I'm sure has been mentioned already.) I have taken THREE other philosophy courses here at poly and I have gotten ALL A's ....except for Abney. Avoid this class...it's not real philosophy anyway. Take Ball or Schear.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Jan 2008
Although he is not a pleasant sight to look at, Professor Abney is very intelligent. His course is very easy as long as you take good notes and go to his office hours for help on the essays. I didn't open the book once since the quizzes and midterms were entirely based on what he said in class.


Freshman
N/A
General Ed
Jan 2008
his writing assignments are RETARDED do NOT take this class


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Aug 2008
Abney is the man. Someone already said below that he definitely knows he's smart, but he's not an ass. he'll say "is everybody with me" after every single thing he says, i began to count after the first week and had seventy something in a day. His lectures are very interesting if you have any interest in philosophy and logic. his grading is simple, i should have had a "B" if not an "A". midterm, final, 1 essay, and a couple quizzes that were easy (5 questions). Abney is a tight teacher, good lecturer


Freshman
C
General Ed
Mar 2015
Professor Abney does not care about his students whatsoever, going into his office hours will not help you because he won't remember your face to your name, or even make an attempt to do so. He thinks that his opinion is right in every matter, which is absolutely horrible for a philosophy class. He will argue with you until you just don't care anymore, and he loves the sound of his own voice, "is that clear?". DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS if you can afford it, if you do I highly recommend taking it as credit/no credit. I studied for over 9 hours straight for the final and because of how much he sucked at preparing us, still received a horrible grade. Followed his essay rubric outline perfectly and even had other philosophy graduates proofread it, still getting less than a c. Just don't deal with this dude if you don't have to.


Freshman
C
General Ed
Apr 2015
I didn't have the greatest experience in this class, but Abney's so-so. He knows what he's talking about, but I felt the way he taught the class difficult to absorb the information. He does a slide show every class and lectures as he goes through it. He kind of likes to hear himself talk, uses lots of big words and weird examples that made it confusing for me. He writes his midterm and final in the same wordy way, making it difficult to know what its asking. He does four 5-question quizzes which i never got lower than a 3/5 on, and the midterm and final are longer versions of this, but I still did horribly on both (or at least the final felt like it). He makes you write 2 essays, one which is peer graded. Final is 20%, midterm is 20%, all 4 quizzes are 10%, peer graded essay is 10%, final essay is 20% and debate (which you will do well on if you stick to your argument) is 20% . I wouldn't say don't take the class, because I've heard its the best one you're gonna get for an A3 (they all suck), but just beware that his grading system is unforgiving and he doesn't use Polylearn.


Sophomore
Credit
General Ed
Jan 2016
Honestly I'm not sure why there are negative reviews of Abney. I went into the class dreading it and it actually ended up being much better than I had expected. If you can take this class to fulfill your A3 I would highly recommend that. It seems like it's a lot more low key than some of the English 145 classes. But I'm not just recommending this class because it involved less busy work! I actually found Abney's lectures very interesting. I didn't mind going to class. That being said, you can do without buying the textbook, it was very rarely referred to.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Dec 2016
Abney's class consisted of 4 or 5 five point quizzes, a midterm, a group debate, and an individual paper. He gave us the option to take a written or multiple choice final. The topics for the written final were able to be emailed to you upon request, but all 3 were very complicated. He doesn't update your grades at all, and unless you ask, you will not know what you get on written assignments. The debate is extremely intimidating, and he will tear each side apart equally. This class is most definitely not an easy GE. The book he recommends is NOT needed. All test material is off of slides he posts in class. Also, he gives you the opportunity to type up class notes for an extra 2% on your total grade in the class, which is honestly a great way to study. He takes things seriously, and teaches some very confusing topics. I would suggest taking this GE area online, as this class has been the most challenging GE I have taken thus far. Good luck!

PHIL 145


Freshman
B
General Ed
Feb 2009
This course is extremely boring. Prof. Abney is knowledgeable and presents the information clearly but it doesn't really make this class any less of a joke. The tests and quizzes were pretty easy if you went to class regularly and took notes. The essays on the other hand were ridiculous. The format and content was pointless. As a science major it was frustrating writing a paper giving the logical reasons that aliens exist.

PHIL 201


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Mar 2015
Abney is an atypical asshole-philosopher. He enjoys being right, and he enjoys the sound of his own voice. The required reading, however, is amazing - The Republic specifically. However, I would strongly advise anyone taking Abney to take his class pass/fail. Cal Poly allows for students to take up to 16 units of courses pass/fail, and I wish I'd used mine on this class. In the end of the quarter, he prompts groups of students to debate with him, and he spent the entirety of this experience reveling in proving his students wrong. The class is a bore, and Abney is a dick - but if you have to take it, trust me, pass/fail is the way to go.

PHIL 230


Freshman
N/A
General Ed
Feb 2000
Abney is an extremely good philosophy teacher. He has a good sense of humor makes his lectures interesting and is very fair with his gradings. I would recommend taking him in a heartbeat. He uses a piece of chalk, the chalkboard, and a water bottle to explain and demonstrate some of the most radical concepts I have encountered.


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Mar 2000
Although Dr. Abney was a fairly thoughtful professor and seemed to care about his students, his tests were difficult. Have gave a couple quizzes which were easy, but the tests came as a shock because of the simplicity of the previous quizzes. Try to avoid taking this class at night, you will be sure to fall alseep if you do.


Freshman
C
General Ed
Mar 2000
While Abney's presentation of the material is well done, his monotone delivery (reminded me a bit of the counselor on South Park) can make paying attention a bit hard. The quizzes were pretty easy and can throw you off guard because the tests are a bit harder. All were multiple choice. I found the material rather easy to grasp and could figure out most of what we discussed simply by reading the book. Attending class still helps because he grades partially on attendence and does an ok job of clearing some stuff up. All in all, not a hard class even with 16 other units. The only thing I ever had to do outside class was the one essay due on the day of the final. ;p


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Mar 2001
the quizes were so easy and the final was anything but. i was shocked by the difference in the two. i went into the final with an A and came out with a C, and that's not because i didn't study.


Freshman
C
General Ed
Mar 2002
Abney is an incredibly tough teacher, but I felt I learned a lot from his class. You definitely have to go to every class for he explains the assigned readings in class (you don't even have to read the books - I didn't) and the tests are all taken from lecture. He is very motivated in philosophy, understands the subject well, and has a morbid sense of humor. Although this is probably the hardest philosophy 230 class to take, I advise you to take him because I felt like I got something out of the class.


Sophomore
N/A
General Ed
Dec 2002
Excellent professor - great at explaining the material and takes teaching seriously. I highly recommend him for anyone interested in learning about philosophy because he teaches clearly, unbiased, and covers a lot of introductory ground. His only drawback is his seemingly impersonal nature, but you get used to him really quickly. Do not take him if you don't want to learn.


Sophomore
D
General Ed
Jan 2003
do not take this teacher at all! not only was his lectures boring as hell, his tests were even worse. although i felt that i had a clear understanding of what he was saying in class, that did not reflect at all on his tests. they didn't have much of the information that he said in class. going to class every day and taking notes did not help at all, and his final essay is way too advanced for an introductory philosophy class. also, don't expect him to be much of a help during office hours. i went there to have him read my essay to see if i could improve on it, but all he said was that "if you have this and this in your essay, you'll be fine" and didn't touch it at all...that is complete bullshit. you might have the requirements for the essay, but that doesn't make it a good paper at all. and aren't we supposed to go to their office for help if we need it?? DON'T TAKE ABNEY!!!


Freshman
Credit
General Ed
Mar 2003
Despite his monotone southern drawl (yes, that must be a very hard acomplishment.. props to Abney!), Abney is a pretty good professor. I never read the books and foudn the midterm and final easy. If you go to every lecture, and take good notes, you should do fine on the tests (they're multiple choice!!!). Of course, 50% of the grade is a term paper due at the final on Personality Theory, not an easy subject. If you're going to take any GE credit/no credit use it on philosophy, and take Abney's course, there should be no worries about passing.


Sophomore
D
General Ed
Apr 2003
I found it hard to understand the material after class. In class I understood his examples, but outside was harder. Take very good notes, all you have to study off of are notes. Go to every class there is lecture, it is hard to catch up on missed days. He covers a lot of info in a short period of time.


Junior
N/A
General Ed
Jun 2003
Great professor. Period. He knows his stuff really well and teaches straight forward. No doubt his class is challenging and difficult, but the only ones who complain, whine, and cry are the ones who slack, don't go to class, and just want an easy A in everything without work - that attitude will accomplish a lot in life, really! Don't listen to the babbling babies (notice the grade, level of maturity, and school year of the people who complain below this evaluation... that discredits everything they say, end of conversation). If you are interested at all in philosophy (everyone has a philosophy of life, whether or not you care or know it) and like to learn and be challenged, take this course with Abney - he is awesome.


Senior
D
Required (Major)
Jul 2003
Dr. Abney seemed to me a solemn lecturer who was well-versed in any terminology relating to Plato, Descartes, and Berkeley. My concern, in retrospect, was his partial ability to relate to the sensibilities of students. His persona, for one thing, was a bit fuddy-duddy, robotic, and crass. That made coming to class tedious. Secondly, his exams seemed to discourage learning. He prefered students to remember things by rote, which I thought was anti-intellectual. I do not recommend Dr. Abney on the basis of his conservative and somewhat dopey lecturing.


Junior
C
General Ed
Jul 2003
Abney, as a proffesor, knows his material and tires to present it in a way that you can understand it. Abney, as a human being, not so perfect. But that is not the point of a class. He made seem like an arrogant ass at times, but he definatly TEACHING the material. All you have to do is go to class and pay attention. The book just reinerates what he is saying in class. Not a difficult class . . . I just didn't have the time to devote to the GE for the quarter. Major classes are more important!


Junior
N/A
General Ed
Oct 2003
I really enjoyed Professor Abney - he was very intelligent, fair, and (despite the impression you might get at first) a truly nice guy. The reason other individuals don't like can only be because they were looking for an easy ride through the quarter and wanted him to sing and dance in front of the class. Philosophy is intrinsically worthwhile (it deals with some of the most important questions in life - i.e. the nature of truth, the existence of God, the mind/body problem, ethics, and so on) and students who expect it to be a joke of a class... well... they are foolishly naive. Take Abney to learn, think, and grow.


Junior
A
General Ed
Jan 2004
In contrast to the infantile, name-calling, and whining reviews below, I found Abney to be a great professor. Although he may come across as impersonal, I think that is just his personality and he is really a kick-back guy, at least in his office hours and after class. What do students expect though? Someone to tap-dance in front of the classroom? Abney takes philosophy and learning seriously - and rightly so, it is important stuff. Life is not a joke, though many Cal Poly students act that way. I wish they would wake up and grow up.


Senior
B
General Ed
Aug 2004
Get used to hearing "are you with me?" and "right?" at the end of EVERY sentence this guy makes. It would be ok if it was an honest attempt to make sure students are with him, but several times students had hands raised where he saw them but he kept talking on and on, asking "right?" and "everyone with me?" like a drone. If you get bored, keep a tally how often he says them. He seems that he can't give a non B.S. answer to simple questions either. Tests are hard, the material is all presented verbally with drawings now and then. He told the people who tried to add the first day "no" even thought half the class was empty. He has a beef with the administration and told the students attempting to add to take it up with the administration.


Freshman
Credit
General Ed
Nov 2004
Professor Abbney is a good professor. You have to go to class and take really good notes (or get them from someone else) to get a good grade in the class. There is a midterm (20%) and a final (30%) which you will do fine on if you really study and understand your notes. Then there is a paper due on the day of the final worth (50%) of your grade. The paper really though isnt that hard, its basically your opinion that you make up. If you are willing to put in a avegerage amount of work, take hiM!


Junior
D
General Ed
Dec 2004
This is the worst most unfair teacher ever! Throughout the quarter you're required to write papers that are not even graded but critiqued and given a theoretical grade! 85% of your grade is dictated on the day of the final (50% final paper, 35% final test). I had "B"s on both papers throughout the quarter but I got a D in the class. What is that! This is the worst most unfair teacher ever! Avoid him at all costs! If you're views are not the same as his, you're going to fail in the class just like I did. He even said that i deserved a lower grade than what i got (D)!!!


Senior
N/A
General Ed
Dec 2004
Absolutely the worst teacher at Cal Poly. If your views are the not the same as his, you're going to fail his class even though he misleads you that you're doing well in the class. 85% of your grade is dictated on the day of the final!


Junior
B
General Ed
Jan 2005
THis class was very interesting, and Abney did pretty good job teaching it. He's not the most animated or interesting guy, but the material was very thought provoking which made class fun. Abney didnt seem too interested in student's views- my only complaint. This class not difficult if you just listen and take good notes (drawing pictures helps) Also make sure you don't fall behind; if you don't understand something one day, the next day becomes a lot harder. Overall Abney seemed like a very cool guy. He's really mellow (for whatever reason...) and funny to listen to. If you take him, look into counting how many times he says "everyone with me" in a single lecture. Its up there. BUT..The final paper is REALLy hard if you're a flowery writer, Abney apparently hates bullshit which is really difficult to leave out when you're writing a college paper. Stick to the facts (or at least semi-logical arguments) and you will do much better on your paper than i did. Most important recommendation: toke up before a few classes, philosophy will never seem so fun. (-;


Sophomore
N/A
Elective
Jan 2005
Decent. Final is much easir than the midterm. Hat are worn sideways in the class. Recall the last time you had dinner with your parents. It like that for an hour. DOnt worry grades in his class are negoiciable. Once you own enough continents you can barter with him. If your a liberal arts major or a boy dont take this class due to the logic envolved. Try to visualise victory without the defeat. 85 percent of the grade is dictated to you on the second day of class


Freshman
A
General Ed
Jun 2005
When I first read Professor Abney's evaluations on here, I was not excited about class with him. But when I went to his class I was shocked on how well he presented the material and how easy it was to understand. He doesn't test you on anything he doesn't lecture on. His tests are word for word taken from his lectures. You can't miss his class because it is so full of information and when you read the test, if you haven't lost too many brain cells over the course of the quarter, you might actually remember him saying word-for-word, every question. So pay attention, try not to drift off. If you care about philosophy at all--or your grade, he will present it in a manner that you can understand and will not throw shit at you on the test that he didn't talk about. For the papers, which are pretty hard, DO EXACTLY WHAT HE SAYS ON THEM. He gives you an outline and some ideas the first week of class on what he wants from your paper. Write it all down and do it. Then, write your paper soon, if you were paying attention and have done a little research (he gives you websites that he wants you to use) it will take about a half an hour to write the paper. Then, talk to him in office hours, take your paper, have him critique it, because he will tell you exactly what you need to do to get an A. I did this with my last two papers. The first paper--he told us we all could have failed because they were so terribly written. I got an A on both my second and final paper. Abney is a cool guy, if youre "not with" him, ask questions, odds are he can clarify... but don't just ask questions because you don't agree with what descarte, berkely, plato, or kant says; he is just teaching the class, those are not his opinions. Go in with an open mind and try to get over the monotone-ness of Abney, and this class won't be hard at all.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Sep 2005
Abney is a straight forward kind of teacher, just do exactly what he asks and you can get a good grade. Philosophy is already a hard class, I would advise against taking this class unless you really like it because he doesnt throughly explain things.


Junior
C
Required (Support)
Nov 2005
'Is everyone with me? mmmk' Abney sort of puts you in a transe with his comfortable southern drawl. He presents the material very clearly, so much so that reading the texts isn't even required. Just go to class and take good notes. I got a B on the first midterm, B on the first paper but ended up with a C in the class, i did not have to put in much effort here. If you pay attention in class and really study for the tests you'll get a B no prob. I recommend Abney.

PHIL 231


Junior
C
General Ed
Sep 2001
Keith Abney is a very good professor, he presents the material very well and has a great sense of humor. Aside from that, he is a very strict and unforgiving grader. His grading scale is horribly uneven. I would recommend taking his class but beware of the grading.


Freshman
Credit
General Ed
Dec 2001
I was very impressed with professor Abney. He was extremely good at getting his points across. HIs lectures were so imformative that reading the books were totally unnessecary. He made things very easy to understand. His class consisted of four mini essays, each which was given full credit as long as you did them and turned them, a midterm, a final, and a final paper. His tests are not too difficult, he is however a pretty strict grader when it comes to essays. I had him for a 2 hour class twice a week, and we always got out 30 minutes early. Abney is a great choice.


Freshman
N/A
General Ed
Dec 2001
Professor Abney did an excellent job at clarifying the reading material -- especially since the text was often difficult to understand. His lectures were well organized and extremely clear. Questions were often answered with examples and open class discussion of the selected texts were also very helpful. However, feedback on the assigned microthemes was not complete enough to be prepared for the final paper, though professor Abney did begin to elaborate on his feedback later in the course. I would definitely suggest any of professor Abney's courses to those interested in philosophy. Reading for 231 isn't absolutely necessary, though it does help to even further understand the several theories discussed in the course.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Dec 2001
He was very good at explaining the material you are supposed to read. His lectures are very interesting. He really gets into small details and then tests you on them, so really pay attention to all of the things he writes on the board during lecture


Junior
C
General Ed
Feb 2002
The tests are really hard, he does not grade things fair, i don't recommend him for any class. There are a lot better teachers out there for 213


Freshman
B
General Ed
Feb 2002
If you are going to take Phil 231, take Abney! There are very few writing assignments and he grades them super easy, plus the final paper is just a compilation of the work you have already done! No need to do a lot of reading or be a good writer, it's easy to get an A, but I didn't read anything really so I got a B.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Apr 2002
prof. abney was a great teacher, the lectures covered everything you need to know. no need to buy any books. just memorize the lecture notes and pay attention. its not rocket science and fairly simple to understand his lectures. there are 4 microthemes (short essays) about the 4 theories of personal identity, they aren't graded. only thing graded is the final paper where you put the microthemes together. not a hard class if you GO! and the teacher is a good guy. i feel i really learned something from him. definetly recommend him.


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Apr 2002
Don't Take His Class! He grades unfair and he is really boring to listen to. It was a waste of an hour to sit in his class!!!!


Junior
B
General Ed
Aug 2002
His class is 2 test. They are multiple choice test that are hard because they are based on the book. Study with a group and discuss the information that you have gone over in class. Take good outline notes and you will do okay. I didn't read the books. The final paper is worth 50% of your grade so if you do well on that you will do well in the class. I failed the midterm and I spent a LOT of time on my paper and I got a B+. So hey, if you show improvement he will give it to you. He gets the job done for fulfilling a GE.


Freshman
Credit
General Ed
Nov 2002
Abney covers all the material you need to know it class. Your grade is based on two muliple choice tests and a term paper. THe tests are based on the readings. However, if you come to class, he covers the readings, so it isnt absolutely necessary for you to struggle through them. I took the class credit/ no credit because 80% of your grade is determined finals week (the final and the term paper).


Freshman
N/A
General Ed
Apr 2003
ok, this guy is a complete ass hole. He is full of shit and wouldn't let me in to his class which was half empty on the first day. I wanted to yell at him but i am bigger than that. He was late to the first day and he was a stupid pice of shit and has a personal vendetta against the administration which clouds his judgement and makes him a huge COCK SUCKING CUM GUZZELING GUTTER WHORE! so there ass hole! TAKE THAT!


Freshman
C
General Ed
Jun 2003
If you want 80% of your grade to be based on your performance during finals week, then Abney is the teacher for you. I would not recommend taking him because in my class, the final was worth 25% and the final paper was worth 50%. Abney's lecture got pretty boring even though he did present the information clearly. Also, he was not a very lenient grader - wanted everything his way.


Junior
N/A
General Ed
Mar 2005
Okay, if you are a bad test-taker don't take Abney. He's a great teacher, don't get me wrong, but his tests are really hard. I memorized the notes like someone before me said and I still had a hard time with them. He grades essays really tough, too. If you decide to take him despite my warnings, go see him in his office hours and bug him for help.


5th Year Senior
N/A
General Ed
Mar 2005
I'm graduating at the end of this quarter and this guy would not let me into his class after sitting through the first lecture. If you want a teacher who is willing to make someone stay here an extra quarter or take a class from a junior college then i guess he's your guy. This guy is a piece of shit. Punch him in the face.


Sophomore
N/A
General Ed
Jun 2005
This class was intensely boring, and if you actually try to pay attention, you are CONTINUOUSLY distracted by his "is everybody with me?" and "Does everyone follow?" It felt like a waste of my life, and i had been really interested in philosophy originally, but this totally fell flat and disappointed me. The concepts were cool if you had the time to sit down and think about them on your own, but when does anyone have time to do that? The homework load was light, just a bunch of reading and a couple papers, but he expected you to argue the pro and the con of a philosophical argument AND conclude reasonably in 500 words! And not be writing total crap! He's a bit unrealistic and his tests are ridiculously random. Easy class, but crap crap crap. Do NOT recommend him unless you plan on sleeping...which is impossible because if you miss any notes you're screwed...


Junior
N/A
General Ed
Oct 2005
Abney is way hard. Unless you are REALLY good at multiple choice tests and LOVE philosophy, DON'T TAKE HIM! I'm re-taking philosophy this quarter with JOE LYNCH...TAKE LYNCH!!! I am getting an A in his class and I got a D+ in Abney's...and I am learning way more!! Just trying to help you guys get good grades in your GE's :)


Junior
C
General Ed
Dec 2008
Okay ...... Where do I start? First off, Abney is one of the worst professors I've ever had. He has a difficult time applying his intellect to his teaching method. You may approach him with a problem such as, "I don't understand why A+B=C." Abney's response: "Because B+A=C ..... got it? Are you with me now?" This is his typical reponse when he doesn't know the answer. Or he may say "We'll be hitting on that topic later in the quarter, okay?" Bottom line, Abney is incompetent and can't teach. Try not to miss class and if you do, get good notes from someone who was there. Write down EVERYTHING Abney puts on the chalkboard. His essays are pretty lame but he helps out quite a bit by giving you the information he wants. HINT: develop your essay outline directly from the instruction outline he passes out for the papers. His topics are complex (i.e. existence of God) but he'll want you to remain somewhat linear in you arguments. Using his instruction outline will help you remain on-topic and receive a decent grade. And if Abney instructs, remember to include your outline at the front of your essay; a lot of students in my class forgot and lost points. As for testing, the quizzes are very difficult, but combined are worth only 10% of the total class grade (I missed two quizzes and didn't study for the other two and that's why I got a C in the class). The midterm and final exams were pretty easy - 33 questions each / multiple choice. The questions stuck with main topics. The final is cumulative but only had two questions pertaining to the first half of the quarter. You don't need to remember dates but be able to recall what each of the philosophers stood for and against. If you have to take Professor Abney then God be with you. Seeking his assistance will rarely help, but if you're a female with large breasts maybe that'll make the difference. He seems like a pervert and probably has a cold dripping dungeon under his house with a couple of 13 year old boys chained to the wall. But that's a different story. Good luck!


Junior
A
General Ed
May 2009
I'm not too sure why everyone complains about this professor. One very delightful aspect about Abney is that he lectures over everything that you need to know for the tests, quizzes, and essays. You do not need to read a single page of the assigned textbooks. There are some tricky questions, so you do need to have a full understanding of the concepts. This can be accomplished by paying close attention to his class examples. There are two argumentative essays. He often gives you one or two arguments to start your essay which completes about half of the essay for you. He provides other example arguments in class that require simple modification to meet the requirements of the essays. Also, you can take your arguments to his office hours and he will gladly comment on them and even provide suggestions. Overall, I found this class to be pretty easy. I could see how it might be challenging for some, but Abney is not an unfair professor. Reminder people, this is a university. The classes tend to be more difficult here than at a junior college. Oh and, he almost always lets class out early.


Junior
Credit
General Ed
Jun 2009
Avoid at all costs.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jul 2009
BUM!


Junior
No Credit
General Ed
Jan 2010
Have you ever met a professor that wants you to fail? Well this is the guy. He openly gloats about how he enjoys when his students struggle. There are exams which you should study for, but only on lecture stuff, you dont have to actually read anything. The tests are also very poorly worded, so watch out for tricks. There is a debate where he sits and basically tries to find as much wrong as possible with your argument. My group did fine because we didnt let him intimidate us, but many began to panic, which he enjoys. There is a final essay, which is basically two essays in one. He requires an outline that you staple to the essay. I\'m 99% sure he does not read the essay and just grades the outline. He also says \"everyone with me here\" 30 times a lecture. Only take him if you really need the class and hes only left.


Senior
A
General Ed
Feb 2010
Everyone on here is complaining for no reason. Abney is a super intelligent dude with a funny southern drawl. He lays it down and makes sure everyone has plenty of opportunities to get everything. Best of all, he tests solely on his lectures, and lays out the questions in lecture. Take him, and ignore these f***ing whiners who obviously didnt go to class or pay attention.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Mar 2010
I was terrified to take Philosophy. Professor Abney assigns a lot of reading, but he goes over everything really thoroughly in class. I ended up not reading at all after the first week because he was able to summarize the reading so well. The class had 4 quizzes throughout the quarter, 1 midterm, a debate, an essay and a final. The debate and essay definitely take some time but I found it very interesting. Overall, a great class. I learned a lot and my interest in Philosophy has skyrocketed.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2010
Grades very difficult! If you have a question to ask him he kind of seems irritated especially if it is after class. He always seems like he is in a rush to get the hell out of there lol!


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Apr 2010
Abney is an interesting professor and I\'m gonna tell you everything you need to know if you\'re going to take him. Don\'t bother reading. All his lectures are is going over the previous night\'s readings. With that said, there are a few quizzes (10%), a midterm (20%), a final (20%), a group debate (25%), and a final paper (25%). 70% of your grade comes in the last two weeks. The quizzes and tests are all solely based on the lectures (the final exam was, however, much tougher than the midterm...) The paper has no length requirements, but you basically just follow an outline to discuss topics he gives you the first day of class. This may seem like you can get it done early. Nope. Up until the last lecture are topics that you need in order to provide arguments for/against the topic. The group debate is okay. Our group\'s topic was too ambiguous and then he attacked our argument because we took something the wrong way... Thanks man. You never find out your grades on the final, the final debate, or the final paper because they\'re all the last week or so of class- and you just end up with whatever you end up with. He makes a big deal about no one going to his office hours until the last 2 weeks of the quarter. Hmmm, I wonder, maybe its because everything is due then and you\'re not able to complete them until the last week of class! \"Are you with me?\" In all fairness, you can tell Abney is a very smart guy and well-versed in Philosophy, but I just didn\'t enjoy the structure of his class. You could probably do much worse though.


Junior
B
General Ed
Jan 2011
Abney is knowledgeable but unless you want to hear the phrase \"Everyone with me here?\" over 275 times during the quarter stay the fuck away.... I took this class over summer and was so involved in tallying every time he said \"Everyone with me here\" that I barely payed attention in class..........EVERYONE WITH ME HERE


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Jan 2011
Ok I'm going to be honest, I DREADED coming to this class. Abney did NOT encourage questions, and whenever one was asked he would simply say "We are getting to that laster in the course..." of course 90% of the time the question was never resolved. He also talks VERY slow, to the point where if he talked at the speed of a normal person the class would take about half the time. It seemed clear that Abney has a huge superiority complex over his students, he feels like since he knows the material already he should spend his time gloating over how much smarter he is than anyone else, rather than actually teaching people who wanted to learn. If you DO have to take Abney, don't read; don't even bother buying the books. Everything you are going to be tested on will be covered in class. His tests go into extreme detail, but you don't need to read if you take good notes and study them. On the end of class debate, he can be really harsh, and sometimes even combative with his questions, so make sure you think about your arguments and premises carefully. Of course he designs the debate so you can't possibly have time to explain everything you want to in the beginning when you make your statement. I know this was super long, I just had one of the worst quarters ever at CP, and Abney was a huge reason why.


Sophomore
Credit
General Ed
Jun 2011
I actually really liked him! you just have to accept what he says about the philosophers and soak up literally everything he says in lecture. if you dont go to class youre in trouble because the books are hard to read but he explains them really well in lecture. 3 easy multiple choice tests, im bummed i took it CR/NC because i would have gotten a decent grade.


Sophomore
D
General Ed
Jun 2011
Strange professor... I didn't get a great grade in the class because I had to focus on bio, chem and physics also. Overall as long as you write down EVERYTHING he says and get an understanding of the concepts you'll be fine. Don't bother reading. It will just confuse you and he'll make it easier to understand during class. His voice was very monotone and the class was boring. He says "does everyone follow me here?" pretty much after every other sentence.


Sophomore
N/A
General Ed
Dec 2011
this professor is rude, inconsiderate, and creepy. im actually doing well in the class but cannot STAND this professor. RUN THE OTHER WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sophomore
D
General Ed
Dec 2011
He seems like a very intelligent man but he doesn't have the ability to simplify concepts for the class. The concepts are very overarching and he has no way of making it simpiler for you. His examples just make things more complicated. He also has a tendancy to speak at you and assert his opinion into anything. As for the debates it isn't much of a debate more of you making an attempt at an argument and him telling you why your wrong and why he is correct. I wouldnt advise taking his course.


Sophomore
N/A
General Ed
Feb 2012
Abney has been a really good professor. He literally lectures on what you were supposed to read for homework, so there is no need to do reading for his class. The midterm and quizzes are easy to pass if you go to class and actually listen to his lectures. He comes off as if he thinks he knows everything at first, but as the class progressed I realized that he was only presenting information about how the philosopher we were learning about would have believed. So when he says something in a matter of fact manner, it is usually not because it is his own opinion, but rather because that is the opinion of that certain philosopher. He makes the information fairly easy to understand, especially compared to trying to read and understand on your own. However, if you ask a question he isn't the best at clarifying and usually says something like "stay tuned" because he thinks he will answer it later.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Feb 2012
Super easy professor. Just pay attention in class, take notes every lecture and you'll get an easy A or B. He was always available during office hours.


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Mar 2012
Professor Abney is a very passionate teacher. He teaches several different philosophy classes and is willing to speak to you outside of class or in office hours about any other philisophical topics that you are interested. He has quizzes almost weekly, a midterm, a team debate, and a final. He does not post any information at all online so keep track of the syllabus, quizzes or any other handouts. During class he will put up a slide show that will give out details about the lecture. I would suggest that you bring a laptop if you are a fast at typing or be prepared to write very quickly (There will be a lot of information). I also recommend to attempt to write down everything that is on the slides as well as much as you can from what he verbally lectures. The quizzes and midterm are sometimes worded strangely so you will really have to think about what his questions are asking. The class was very detailed and his tests will be also. I would recommend that you take Abney for the class but be prepared to lots of notes and to study those notes really well. Finally make sure to pay attention to what philosophers believe in what theories.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
May 2012
Abney is a very straightforward professor. All of the materials and tasks are presented to you at the beginning of the quarter and there are no surprises. Quizzes and tests are also straightforward. Abney is a great teacher and has a lot of experience in the real world. He has contributed to at least one published book and is a respected philosopher in every sense. Apparently he has given presentations to the government on various issues, and his actual research is very interesting. If you have the chance, take Abney.


Junior
Credit
General Ed
Jun 2012
good teacher. uses ridiculous examples but he gets the point across. no term paper/straightforward tests


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Dec 2013
Abney is a GREAT professor. I'm not only saying this because I received an A in this class, but because he is an awesome person all around. There is quite a bit of reading required for this class, but Abney goes over EVERYTHING from the reading in class so you don't have to do the reading if you do not want to. He clearly outlines what he will ask in quizzes and midterms in his notes too. If you pay attention, write EXTREMELY quickly, and study word for word, you'll do great. He is an awesome professor and really wants his students to succeed. Not only this, but you'll respect him because he is actually very smart. The class consists of 4/5 quizzes, a midterm, final, and a in-class debate. Extremely doable! All around, I recommend taking Abney. His class is not a breeze, but extremely doable and you will learn!


Sophomore
Credit
General Ed
Mar 2014
TAKE AS CREDIT/NO CREDIT. I took his class because a friend said he pretty much summarizes every book you will ever be assigned before testing you on it. This is true. Being a student enrolled in 18 units with 4 labs a week, I was not looking for a GE that required much time on my part. I didn't study much, got low B's on all the quizzes/midterms without picking up a book. I may have gotten a weird vibe from the dude all quarter (he talks about getting off to pictures of gorillas to killing babies - a lot) but it was pretty easy. However, the debates roll around. The dude is ridiculous and clearly thinks himself a superior to the rest of the world. Not only does he spend half the allotted time talking about the baby killings, but he doesn't compensate for said time. He spent an hour and a half arguing with one group, left my group with 10 minutes and no time for counterargument (the other group had three counters), then gave us a 65% on the debate. Needless to say, my grade suffered. I talked to him about it and he essentially said I was SOL.


Junior
D
General Ed
Apr 2014
A classic cake eater from Notre Dame. The guy lectures for 4 hours a week, does not care about his students, and turns an interesting subject into a dismal 10 week experience. Honestly take it with any other professor. I have never gotten less than a C in a class at Cal Poly, and this big shot (emphasis on big) had no problem giving me a D. He definitely reads these too, the guy's ego is bigger than he is, which makes his ego massive. Peace out Abney, enjoy your superiority complex, I'll enjoy being happy.


Junior
N/A
Required (Support)
Dec 2014
Class was a breeze, though it could have been a lot more interesting. Abney isn't particularly difficult to listen to- he explains the concepts well enough to keep your attention- but good luck trying to talk to him. During both the debate and office hours he enjoys cutting you off completely mid question and going off on tangents. As some of the other comments below have said, he definitely has this smug sense of superiority that can rub some people the wrong way. But regardless, if you show up every day and pay attention, the tests are very easy. I wish I hadn't wasted money on the book, turns out you didn't need it at all.


Junior
B
General Ed
Jan 2015
Abney isn't a bad lecturer. I barely read any of the assigned readings and just payed attention in class and took notes during lectures. Notes are the only thing you will have to study from as he does not post his lectures, nor does he use polylearn. It gets very annoying and I wish he would just post his slides, but the class has just 2 tests, a few quizzes, and a presentation, so it's not too bad in the scheme of things.


Freshman
C
General Ed
Jan 2015
Abney was decent. Not anything special. His lectures are pretty long and draining, even though he usually ended the class half an hour early. I found his grading really confusing, we didn't know more than 40% of our grade before the final. He doesn't use Poly Learn at all. Overall not my favorite, just glad I passed.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Apr 2016
Love love love this class. Literally learned so much from him. Like he's not the easiest teacher to understand and hes not super warm. However, he doesn't assign like any homework, and he REALLY teaches his students, and once you get to know him, you can tell he cares about his students a lot. Super interesting class. I would HIGHLY recommend taking this class. I wish I could take it again.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Nov 2016
I'm here to defend Abney! Philosophy isn't typically an easy subject for anybody but at least he makes it interesting. Not to say that he is an interesting person in the slightest, but he is a master at the topics of this class and will clarify any confusion. Don't bother buying the textbook, 100% of his tests are based off of lecture. Definitely go to class and follow along. Personally I looked forward to this class because through it, I gained worthwhile knowledge. I think I deserved a better grade, but I take actually feeling like I learned things of importance at a higher value than a final grade. Take Abney if you want to have the opportunity to understand the messages this course is meant to convey.


Junior
B
General Ed
Nov 2016
I would recommend Abney to someone who's looking for a professor with low workload, low time dedication to class. There is one, peer graded essay per quarter, two non-cumulative tests, several quizzes interspersed between midterms, and final group debate. I would consider this class enjoyable, as Abney makes an effort to contextualize a lot of the material with real life examples, like comparing ethics to fashion design, and he's very open to discussion in class and clarifying questions. The lectures are all covering the reading material and new content, and the reading assignments are lengthy, but not in depth, so you can usually take sparse notes and clarify key terms in class. A downside to his class is that the lectures are very dense and very necessary. He spends every class going over a powerpoint that covers new material, so prudent note taking is crucial. He also doesn't assign reading or study guides, so if you miss the class or don't write something down, it's on you to find it yourself. His attitude can be abrasive and a bit "holier than thou" but it fits his position as a philosophy professor. And his office hours can be very helpful as it's much easier for him to explain difficult concepts in a personal way. Summary: Not a difficult class, but it's a responsibility to keep up during lectures. Not much homework. Sometimes very interesting, sometimes fairly dull.

PHIL 251


Senior
D
General Ed
Aug 2003
horrible teacher!!!


Senior
A
General Ed
Apr 2006
Abney's classes are very difficult. Do not expect a 'cake-walk' GE. His tests are straight from lecture and are not too difficult. Conversely, his writing assignments are extremely challenging. You will be expected to argue for and against complicated subjects such as personhood, the existence of God, and freedom of speech. He wants an articulate, water-proof arguments that is typically no longer than 500 words. He grades you like your a 4th year Philosophy major and talks to you like your a 1st grader. He's very knowledgeable, but also very arrogant. I would only take this class if you really like philosophy and your already both an articulate writer and a strong syllogist. (If you don't know what a syllogist is, you probably shouldn't take this class.) If you do take his class, go to office hours and attend class. Run your papers by him as many times as you can before you turn them in.

PHIL 300


Sophomore
D
Elective
Dec 2007
Was terrible at presenting the material. He would write down some things you need to know, but not others. He also would start talking about one thing, then just move to the next without really emphasizing what the main point of what he said was. Also, forget asking questions, he would just rephrase the same thing he just said and act like you are a moron. Plus his office hours were just as bad.

PHIL 331


5th Year Senior
D
Required (Major)
Nov 2003
Oompa loompa sucks. He left the monastary, so he's bitter. I think he's got a bunch of Master's degrees, but no doctorate, so he's bitter. I retook Phil.331 with another professor, and I loved it. But Oompa loompa has no real sense of who he is as a person, and his teaching style reflects it--he has no self-confidence babe, and he's gonna act like a freak to compensate. Ask him if he has any empirical evidence of the ice cream running around in his belly. O my God, the guy's hard to look at. Life's too short to take a class with this dude; find another professor.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2011
The first day of class, the Abney stated explicitly that we were going to discuss various ethical theories throughout history (and he listed them out, along with the applicable philosophers), and that we would discuss each theory's logic, or lack thereof, and show why each theory was invalid, so we could learn to use a logical process, as well as see the improvement upon each theory as time progressed. However, when one student specifically mentioned one philosopher, Abney brushed it off by saying, "Well that theory was wrong, so we won't discuss it." Anyone else see the contradiction in his own words there? That attitude pretty much pervaded his entire teaching style.

PHIL 332


Junior
N/A
General Ed
Mar 2012
This guy treats you like your 5. Has a huge superiority complex. Presents material in a very confusing manner

PHIL 335


Senior
N/A
Elective
Dec 2002
His multiple choice tests are hard, but if you study you can do good. The problem is getting a decent grade on the paper (which is worth 50% of your grade). He seems to think that everyone is already a philsopher (instead of taking the class to LEARN about it). If possible, take the class CR/NC because 80% of your grade is determined on the last day (30% from the multiple choice test and 50% from the paper).


Junior
B
Elective
Dec 2002
Really good at explaining the points of view of the different philsophers and doesn't only focus on his own opinion. Be prepared to work really hard in the class, though.


Junior
A
General Ed
Mar 2006
First of all, only take this class if you can take good notes and will go to every lecture. The book it is terrible and you definately do not need to get it. All of the test stuff is directly from lecture. He is very slow (in a good way) and repeates things and will write a lot of stuff on the board. It's actaulyl a pretty intersting topic as he discusses a lot of modern subjects, such as abortion, cloning, capital punishment, etc. The papers due were difficult, but if you go to his office hours, you can pull it off. I think if I took this class credit/no credit, I would have enjoyed the material more and not had to stress about remembering some of the finer details for the exams. It's not a bad class to take, it is some work, and Abney is pretty good for teaching ethics. It may even change your opinion or help you get a different perspective on some things.


Senior
B
General Ed
Jun 2006
This guys pretty cocky but a great teacher at the same time. He's really smart and seemed to have the answer to every question that a student asked. You can't really miss a class unless you get really good notes from someone. You can easily pull off the papers if you know exactly what you're supposed to be writing about, otherwise, I've heard his office hours are needed for more help. I didn't go to office hours and got A's on the papers, so just make sure you know what your doing. He's pretty smart and mentioned once he went to Notre Dame, I'd qualify him as the best philosophy teacher I've had thus far. And, don't just copy what he writes on the board, especially because his tests ask a lot of questions about what he thinks is a valid approach to the issue at hand. Always note the answer when he says something like, "well Adney would say...."


Junior
B
General Ed
Aug 2006
Abney is definitely a smart prof and he knows a lot about the material but he sometimes makes things way too complicated. If you take good notes you will do well. Do not take this class if you actually have an opinion on these topics because when you write essays your opinion counts (aka...if your opinion isn't the same as Abney's then you are "wrong"). He does a good job of covering all the reading material in class and his tests are based on the lectures so buying the text is not really required, you can do fine without it. Overall the class was interesting and I actually looked forward to it, just don't make the mistake of thinking you can miss class or that this is an "easy" GE.

PHIL 336


Junior
A
Elective
Dec 2005
Abney is very good about clarifying exactly what he wants both format and content wise in the papers for this class. I didn't find him very helpful in his office hours, as he always seems too busy for his students. He does provide room in class to ask questions about the papers and exams, so take advantage of that. The textbook only reiterated what he says in class, I didn't find it very useful. There's a midterm (15%), a final (30%), a business memo (10%) and a BIG final paper (40%) - or you can choose to do two papers for 20% each, but then you have to turn one in earlier so no one really chooses this option. His tests are clear, straight out of his notes, no tricks, but the writing is fairly difficult. He's a strict grader, so if writing's not your thing, especially argumentative writing, I wouldn't recommend this class. And that's Abney in a nutshell! (You do learn a lot about moral theory, I'll admit.)

PHIL 337


Junior
B
General Ed
Mar 2005
I know that people thought he was pretty dry, but overall he's a great teacher. If you go to his office hours and ask questions, he is more than willing to help you out because he cares about students doing well. He says "are you with me" ALOT but you'll get used to it...His tests are a little hard, but overall it was an easy class. Definitely take 337 if you're a biz major, it's a great class!


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2005
Abney is a cool guy. I read the ratings on him and he sounded dreadful. It turned out that he's a good teacher. Everyday you have class it's a new topic packed with very interesting material. Some times he uses his job as a pulpit for his own views and challenges the students to prove him wrong... Yeah a student vs. a professor I wonder who would win? Anyways class has two tests and two papers. The first paper is 500 words the last one is like 2000 words. I was worried when he returned the first essay and I and others got a B and he said "I was lenient typically your B papers would be C papers." So he's a hard ass for grading but I pulled out a B so there you go.


Senior
C
Required (Major)
Nov 2005
I took Business Ethics with Abney. I thought maybe I could learn something useful (seeing how it is Business Ethics), but we didn't learn anything useful! All we talked about were theories and hypothetical situations that would never happen. One assignment we had to do was write a memo to the CEO of the company we worked for saying why we thought testing a new cosmetic on a baby seal was ethical or not. How does that help a student with business ethics? IT DOES NOT! He needs to restructure that class completely. As for him and his teaching style, they also need to be completely restructured. I felt very uncomfortable being around him (just got a creepy vibe) and his teaching style is BLAND! Steer clear of Abney unless you want to fall asleep and feel like you have learned nothing...


5th Year Senior
N/A
General Ed
Nov 2005
Go to class Take good notes Don't buy the text Study the notes only before exams Get an A. Abney is good for this class. Yes, his physical demenor resembles the movements of a bobble-head doll, nevertheless, you'll like his methods of instructing. I would take ABney again!


Junior
N/A
General Ed
Mar 2007
This is my first time taking the time to fill an evaluation out because I feel just that strongly AGAINST this professor. I have never had an issue with a teacher thus far at Cal Poly (I'm a 3rd year), and although the curriculum is obviously hard to master for any non-philosophy major, Abney was the least helpful as well as RUDEST professor I have ever had. I took the class knowing it would be not be a walk in the park, but it is worse than that. He expects not only for everybody to be as smart as him but to also agree with him. He was sharp and cocky in answering just simple questions during class. I was afraid to raise my hand just to ask how he spelled something on the board. (because I could never read his terrible hand-writing half of the time!) His tests are based on very specific things he said instead of the overall concepts. I tried to attend his office hours to see how he was outside of lecture, and because I desperately needed help on the papers. I thought this would work with him...NOPE! Again he had no intent of helping me and was also very harsh and unkind on top of that. I do not know what grade I will be receiving but that is beside the point of what a terrible teacher Abney is. Avoid him at all costs!!


Junior
Credit
General Ed
Apr 2007
Abney is a nice guy and pretty good professor. His midterms aren't too bad, but his papers seem impossible! His instructions for the paper seemed like they contradicted themselves. For example, he said one of your arguments had to have a flaw, but if you had any flaws he'd mark you off. Word of advice: Take this class, it's interesting and relevant especially when it comes to moral issues, but TAKE IT CREDIT/NO CREDIT. I took the class credit/no credit, did my work with a decent amount of effort and just chilled the entire quarter while people around me were stressed out about trying to pull a decent grade on their papers and in the class.


Senior
B
General Ed
Mar 2008
Abney is THE most boring person ive ever listened to. he drones on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and so on and so forth. I thought that "Business Ethics" would be an easy A and not much work. i was wrong. the essays you have to write are confusing and he doesnt explain them very well, and consequently no one did very well on them at all. i would steer away from him as much as possible, but if you do have to take him its not the end of the world.


Junior
A
General Ed
May 2009
This class is titled "business ethics" but it is really a philosophy class. There is very little discussion of what i would consider current or practical business issues. When Abney does try to talk about economics and business he only has a surface level understanding. Do not expect to learn anything about "business ethics" from this class. On the other hand, the class is somewhat useful for learning to formulate arguments. I'm sure there are a lot worse C4 electives, but Abney is just not a good professor for a class called "business ethics".

PHIL 339


Junior
C
General Ed
Jun 2012
Dr. Abney is a very intelligent professor. At first you will think what did you get yourself into, but after a bit you will get accustomed to his teaching and the class gets alot better. I'd say a laptop for taking notes is almost necessary since there is so much notes to take in this class. His tests are basically all from the notes. I never opened the book once and I highly suggest to not buy it. His examples early on were pretty stupid and annoying but eventually you got the point. If you like lectures and multiple choice tests and a debate then you will get an A in this class. Had low expectations early on but the class turned out pretty good.


Senior
B
Elective
Dec 2013
The material in this class is very interesting and I enjoyed Abney's lecture style. I had a high A going into the debate and final and thought I did very well on both. I got an A on the final as well so I was surprised to see that I got a B in the class. Abney grades extremely hard on the debate. My team thought we did well since our argument was valid and strong, despite the fact that we were cross-examined about details of our argument that we thought were not at the heart of the debate and did not have sufficient time to argue when it was our turn. In addition, we spent many hours working on the debate and learned so much about the topic in the process. I was very disappointed to realize that Abney would allow a full letter grade drop for a student who clearly learned and understood bioethics. For future students, Abney will tear apart your argument from angles you don't see coming. Even though some of his objections are absurd, if you are not someone who has mastered the art of argument, you won't do well on the debate and probably not in the class. For the record, I think that debates are an absolutely horrible way of assessing students in an elective course.


Junior
N/A
Elective
Nov 2014
Boring voice. Say's "Let's be clear" approximately 36 times per lecture. Tests are really specific. Interesting topic, not interesting teacher.


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Dec 2014
His lectures consist of him reading powerpoints word for word. He doesn't put them up online because he knows that his job would be pointless if he didn't force students to show up. I disagree with the superiority complex that some folks say he has. Either he has gotten better at communicating with students or it might just be misinterpreted. I just think he's an awkward dude that doesn't have the best communication skills. He seems nice overall though and the tests and quizzes are fair. I definitely got a C because of my workload in other classes taking away from time I could have spent working on this class.

PHIL 666


Graduate Student
N/A
General Ed
Dec 2006
I would advise any students reading evaluations of any teachers to be very critical of what you are reading. Check out the grades and class level of the people who give the most negative evaluations. Interesting also that the people who are so negative in these evaluations are the ones who have trouble spelling. Maybe some of them need to forget about taking philosophy and take remedial grammar and spelling.


Graduate Student
A
General Ed
Oct 2007
CHUMP!

GRC 686


Senior
B
Required (Support)
Nov 2016
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PHIL 999


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Nov 2003
Keith likes to be called Phil. I don't know why but he does. Sometimes when you call him Keith, he doesn't even look at you.