Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy Susanna Siegel has published a new book, The Rationality of Perception, with Oxford University Press. The Rationality of Perception makes an important contribution to our understanding of the human mind and, specifically, to how we think of perception. According to a traditional conception of the human mind, reasoning can be rational or irrational, but perception cannot. Perception is simply a source of new information, and cannot be assessed for rationality. Susanna Siegel argues that this conception is wrong. Read more about Siegel publishes The Rationality of Perception
It is with deep sadness that we report the loss to the philosophical community of Derek Parfit. For many years, Derek made this department another philosophical home, and during his time here he greatly enriched the lives of his faculty colleagues and students. It was a mark of Derek's generosity that, despite his eminence in the field, he could often be found talking enthusiastically with undergraduate students well after his class had ended. Read more about In Memoriam: Derek Parfit (11 December 1942 - 1 January 2017)
In a country of obvious wealth—and one that purports to embrace the ideal of equality of opportunity for all of its citizens—why do American ghettos persist? Many theories have been advanced over the years to explain the persistence of American ghettos and various measures proposed and, occasionally, undertaken to address the problem of concentrated urban poverty. But for Tommie Shelby, Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy at Harvard University, the social scientific discourse about the ghetto has been marked by a curious omission. Read more about Shelby's Dark Ghettos fills "normative gap" in discussions of urban poverty
Michael Rabenberg and Ronni Gura Sadovsky will join the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics as Graduate Fellows for the 2016-2017 academic year. As part of their year-long fellowship, the two will take part in the Center's weekly seminar, which brings together graduate students working in areas of practical ethics from across the university. This coming year, in addition to doctoral candidates in Philosophy, the Center's list of Graduate Fellows includes students in Environmental Studies and Geography, Health Policy, Modern European History, Religion, Sociology, and Education. Read more about Rabenberg and Gura Sadovsky named Safra Graduate Fellows in Ethics
Doctoral student Kate Vredenburgh has received one of the five Derek C Bok Awards for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching of Undergraduates awarded in 2016. This marks the second year in a row that a graduate student in the Department of Philosophy has won this prestigious award. The award includes a $1,000 prize from a gift given by David G. Nathan ’51, M.D. ’55 (Robert A. Stranahan Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School) and his wife Jean Louise Friedman Nathan.
Harvard Library recently announced that Paul Marcucilli will be one of five graduate students to receive a Pforzheimer Summer Fellowship for work on a library project this summer. Paul is the second graduate student from the Department of Philosophy to receive this fellowship, succeeding Olivia Bailey, who received it last year. Read more about Paul Marcucilli receives Pforzheimer Summer Fellowship
Eight graduate students in the Department of Philosophy have received Certificates for Teaching Excellence from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University. The students, and the courses for which they were awarded these certificates, are: