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.
I am delighted to be participating in a Wittgenstein seminar at Walaker Hotel in Sogn, from May 11-13. The seminar includes a trip to the site of Wittgenstein’s cabin, which I have never seen. I am honored to find myself in the company of Knut Olav Åmås and Kjartan Fløgstad. (This whole event will take place in Norwegian.)
The distinguished philosopher and feminist, Sandra Laugier, professor of philosophy of language at the Sorbonne, will be giving an informal talk on “Wittgenstein in France” at PAL, on Thursday. I am very much looking forward to welcoming her to Duke!