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Department News

photo of J. L. Austin

Library discovers lectures by J. L. Austin

February 6, 2017

Two recordings of a lecture and Q&A session given by the philosopher J. L. Austin to a Swedish audience in October of 1959 were recently discovered to be among the uncatalogued holdings of the Robbins Library of Philosophy. The recordings had apparently once been stored in a filing cabinet drawer but had somehow dropped out through a gap at the back. It was only upon removing the drawer that the recordings—along with a collection paper clips, envelopes, and other debris—were discovered.

rationality of perception book cover

Siegel publishes The Rationality of Perception

January 18, 2017

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.

photo of derek parfit

In Memoriam: Derek Parfit (11 December 1942 - 1 January 2017)

January 4, 2017

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.

portrait of William Ernest Hocking

Kickstarter campaign launched to digitize former department member's library

December 14, 2016

Although he has been dead for half a century, William Ernest Hocking, Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity in the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University—an endowed chair currently held by professor emeritus T. M. Scanlon—has enjoyed something of a revival of late.

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Graduate News

sadovsky and rabenberg

Rabenberg and Gura Sadovsky named Safra Graduate Fellows in Ethics

May 9, 2016

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. 

kate vredenburgh

Kate Vredenburgh receives Derek C Bok Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching of Undergraduates

April 14, 2016

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.

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