I am thrilled to announce that Michael McCreary, a philosophy major at Duke, has won Duke’s Bascom Headen Palmer Prize for the best senior thesis on a literary subject for 2012. Michael’s thesis, which I had the great pleasure and honor to direct, is entitled “‘They are Shut’: Confessing the Truth of Skepticism and Acknowledging the Possibility for Tragedy. A Reading of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations with Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground.‘” This is an exceptionally well written and thoughtful investigation of what Dostoevsky’s text can tell us about the attractions of skepticism, and of why the philosophy of Cavell, Wittgenstein, and Austin can help us to see this. I am proud to be associated with such excellent work. I believe this is the first time in recent memory that a Philosophy major wins this award at Duke.
PAL — Duke’s Center for Philosophy, Arts, and Literature has completed its first year! Here’s a pdf file that shows what we did! PAL First Year
In April, the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty at Duke approved a new Graduate Certificate in Philosophy, Arts, and Literature at Duke. This will add a new possibility for interdisciplinary immersion in philosophical questions relating to different art forms. By the beginning of the fall semester, the PAL website will be updated with information about the new certificate.