Undergraduate News

aaron suduiko

Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: Aaron Suduiko

March 29, 2017

What is the subject of your thesis?

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.

How did you decide on this topic?

I've been played video games for 13 years in much the same way as people read novels: I immerse myself in their stories, interpret those stories, and so on. Once I took up philosophy in… Read more about Q&A with Senior Thesis Writer: Aaron Suduiko

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

brynn elliott

Three chords and some Kierkegaard

December 1, 2016

Kierkegaard and Sartre are to Brynn Elliott what Rimbaud and Blake were to Patti Smith: sources of deep musical inspiration. A junior philosophy concentrator, Elliott '18 is also a working musician, traveling on weekends to perform shows with her L.A. based band. But while some might find the demands of a music career and of being a philosophy concentrator overwhelming, as Professor Alison Simmons notes, "thinking through complex--and even some bizarre--ideas in class is Brynn's power source."

You can read and hear more about Brynn's experiences as a musician and philosophy… Read more about Three chords and some Kierkegaard

jessica levy

Levy, Delwiche, and Westbrook named Edmond J Safra Undergraduate Fellows

April 1, 2016

The Edmond J Safra Center on Ethics at Harvard University has announced its list of Undergraduate Fellows for 2016-17. Of the ten undergraduates joining the center next year, three are concentrators or joint-concentrators in Philosophy. They are Noah Delwiche, Jessica Levy, and Thomas Westbrook.

Noah Delwiche is a junior in Mather House studying Philosophy. His academic interests include metaethics, the philosophy of religion, and classical rhetoric. Most recently, he has begun studying the art of spoken and written Latin after living in the Accademia Vivarium Novum… Read more about Levy, Delwiche, and Westbrook named Edmond J Safra Undergraduate Fellows

garrett lam

Garrett Lam '16 named Rhodes Scholar

March 29, 2016

Garrett Lam '16, a native of Wellesley, MA and a joint concentrator in philosophy and neurobiology, has been named one of thirty-two Rhodes Scholars for 2016, and one of five Harvard seniors to receive the award. Lam, who is also editor-in-chief of The Harvard Review of Philosophy and Executive Editor of the Harvard Crimson, plans to spend his time at Oxford studying philosophy with a focus on issues of free will, moral responsibility, and punishment. Lam told the Associated Press that he hopes to pursue a career in criminal justice reform and change the "current punitive… Read more about Garrett Lam '16 named Rhodes Scholar

rebecca panovka

Rebecca Panovka '16 named Marshall Scholar

March 23, 2016

Rebecca Panovka '16, a joint concentrator in Philosophy and English, is one of two Harvard University seniors to be awarded Marshall Scholarships for 2016. While at Harvard, Panovka, a native of New York City, has served as editor of the Harvard Book Review and The Harvard Advocate’s 150th Anniversary Anthology. In addition, she has held internships with The Paris Review and is currently editing a documentary filmed in South Africa in 2015. 

Panovka's senior thesis, ‘The Geneva Idea:  Dostoyevsky, Rousseau, and the Confessional Personality,’examines three ways in which the work and… Read more about Rebecca Panovka '16 named Marshall Scholar