Department News

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Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: Jonathan Slifkin

March 20, 2017

What is the subject of your thesis?

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.

Doctoral students receive Bok Center Distinction in Teaching Awards

Doctoral students receive Bok Center Distinction in Teaching Awards

March 13, 2017

Six doctoral students in the Department of Philosophy were recently honored by Harvard's Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning for their excellence in teaching during the fall of 2016. Each semester, the Bok Center presents Certificates of Distinction and Excellence to teaching fellows, teaching assistants, and course assistants who have received an overall rating of 4.50 or higher on the university's Q evaluations. The six students recognized this past fall are as follows:

Olivia Bailey (PHIL 97)
Javier Caride (PHIL 97)
Jen Nguyen (PHIL 120)

2017 prize announcement

Submissions open for Bechtel and Bowen prizes

March 9, 2017

The Department of Philosophy at Harvard University welcomes submissions for the Bechtel and Bowen prize competition for 2017.

This year, both the Bechtel prize and the Bowen prize will be awarded to one undergraduate and one graduate student. Please see the attached submission guidelines.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday April 26th at 5 PM.


photo of J. L. Austin

Library discovers lectures by J. L. Austin

March 3, 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.