The Department of Philosophy is proud to announce that Patricia Marechal is one of five recipients in 2017 of the Derek C Bok Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching of Undergraduates. The Graduate School announced the establishment of the Derek C. Bok Awards for Excellence in the Teaching of Undergraduates in 2008. These awards are made possible by an endowment gift from Jean F. Nathan and David G. Nathan ('51, M.D. '55). Five awards of $1,000 each are offered annually.
Hubert Dreyfus, a renowned philosopher and a professor of philosophy at UC Berkeley for almost 50 years, died early Saturday morning. He was 87 years old.
Dreyfus studied philosophy at Harvard, arriving from Terre Haute, Indiana as a freshman in the fall of 1947. He received his B.A. with highest honors in 1951, completing an undergraduate thesis in the philosophy of physics under what he once described as the none-too-strenuous supervision of Quine. He stayed at Harvard for graduate work in philosophy, receiving an M.A. in 1952 and a Ph.D. in 1964. Read more about In Memoriam: Hubert L. Dreyfus (1929-2017)
My thesis is situated in the areas of aesthetics and philosophy of narrative. Specifically, I explored video games as a new mode of storytelling: I argued that the ontology of video games allow us to relate to narratives in ways that radically diverge from our engagement with novels, film, and other narrative media. Read more about Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: Aaron Suduiko
The subject of my thesis is Berkeley’s Immaterialism as presented primarily in his A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. The topic of the thesis is in early modern history of philosophy although its subject matter intersects with metaphysics, philosophy of mind (perception), some epistemology and philosophy of science. Read more about Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: David Mwakima
I am writing my thesis on a topic in the history of legal philosophy. To put it as briefly as possible, I am offering a new interpretation of the debate between two of the most influential legal philosophers of the 20th century (H. L. A. Hart and John Finnis) by tracing it to its heretofore unrecognized roots in the philosophy of social science. Read more about Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: Jonathan Slifkin
We are the home of James, Whitehead, Quine, and Rawls, but we aren't stuck in the past.
We are the home of Gertrude Stein, W. E. B. DuBois, and T. S. Eliot because we aren't simply a training ground for future philosophers.
Today we are home to a distinguished faculty of nearly forty women and men, working in a variety of areas, crossing disciplinary boundaries, and ranging from early career academics to esteemed emeriti/ae. We are home to more than 100 intellectually curious and talented undergraduate and graduate students. And, every year, we are home to visiting scholars from around the world.
We are also the home of ideas, of diverse and sometimes divergent views on the nature of mind, on what our ethical and political responsibilities are, and even on what it means to do philosophy.
We are home to all of these things and more because diversity and inclusivity matter to us.
Where is your home? Whether you are interested in taking an elective, declaring a concentration, or pursuing doctoral study, we invite you to consider making your home with us.
Philosophy is a lifelong apprenticeship in thinking, so the not-so-simple answer is that we teach "thinking."
Since "thinking" is a broad field indeed, it should come as no surprise that philosophers think about virtually everything. This includes thinking about very large questions on topics widely shared by human beings across time and space:
What kind of life should we live? What kind of society should we want? What makes one system of belief better than another? What are the limits of human knowledge?
As well as thinking about questions that arise in particular fields, such as law, economics, mathematics, the physical sciences, psychology, art, and religion.
Philosophers seek to think about these questions in a systematic, explicit, and rigorous way, not simply to arrive at answers but to understand better just what is being asked in the first place.
Given philosophy's special focus on thinking, it might seem obvious why philosophy matters.
Because the ability to think rigorously, analytically, synthetically, and creatively is a useful ability in any field, studying philosophy is actually one of the most marketable degrees you can pursue.
But philosophy matters for more than just securing a career.
Because it increases our understanding of ourselves, philosophy helps make us more thoughtful, engaged members of our various societies while also broadening our understanding of the various ways of being and thinking that humans have and, historically, have had available to them.
Philosophy matters, then, because it places us in a conversation, one begun more than two millennia ago and continuing into the present, a conversation involving people of varying cultures and in which we are as subject to their questions as they are to ours.