Department News

david mwakima

Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: David Mwakima

March 21, 2017

What is the subject of your thesis?

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.

How did you decide on this topic?

I decided on this thesis topic because it is the area I had taken classes in and so felt comfortable approaching based on the knowledge base and skills I… Read more about Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: David Mwakima

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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.

How did you decide on this topic?

I started reading books in “legal philosophy” a few years ago, since I already had independent academic interests in law and in philosophy. I found that the… Read more about Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: Jonathan Slifkin

quincy cason

Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: Quincy Cason

March 20, 2017

What is the subject of your thesis?

My thesis is about plagiarism, ownership, and copyrights in music. It overlaps between epistemology and ethics.

How did you decide on this topic?

I'm a joint concentrator with music as my primary field, and I struggled for a while with finding a topic that really interested me. Then one morning last summer I woke up with the idea to do something involving copyright law in music. The process of narrowing down my topic involved me going through various high-profile cases and figuring out which ones I disagreed with, most notably the… Read more about Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: Quincy Cason

wynne graham

Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: Wynne Graham

March 17, 2017

What is the subject of your thesis?

I am writing about the genealogy of belief. In particular, I am addressing the question: does the fact that a belief is culturally contingent give one reason to doubt the belief.

How did you decide on this topic?

This question has always been of interest to me. In fact, it's one of the reasons I became interested in philosophy in the first place. I always wondered, for example, if I should adopt my parents' religious faith knowing that had I grown up in a different household I likely would have believed something drastically… Read more about Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: Wynne Graham

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)
Wendy Salkin (… Read more about Doctoral students receive Bok Center Distinction in Teaching Awards

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.

 

myisha cherry

Meet Myisha Cherry: Safra and Santayana Fellow, philosopher, podcaster.

March 6, 2017

For Myisha Cherry, a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, her year as a Graduate Fellow of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and Santayana Fellow of the Harvard Department of Philosophy has been one of surprises and firsts.

As Cherry readily admits, prior to coming to Harvard she was unsure about how supportive the environment would be. “I had this concern that there might be a lot of competition and posturing to appear… Read more about Meet Myisha Cherry: Safra and Santayana Fellow, philosopher, podcaster.

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. It is unclear who initially recorded the lectures, which concerns Austin's concept of the… Read more about Library discovers lectures by J. L. Austin

becca rothfeld

Becca Rothfeld nominated for ASME award

January 30, 2017

The Department of Philosophy is proud to announce that doctoral candidate Becca Rothfeld has been nominated for an Ellie Award by the American Society of Magazine Editors. Founded in 1966, the awards "honor print and digital publications that consistently demonstrate superior execution of editorial objectives, innovative techniques, noteworthy journalistic enterprise and imaginative design." Rothfeld, who was nominated for her essay "Ladies in Waiting" published in the… Read more about Becca Rothfeld nominated for ASME award