On Saturday, November 13th, 2021, Carleton will celebrate our Fall graduates! Celebrations moved online this year, and we would like to take the opportunity to celebrate all of our outstanding Philosophy graduates of 2021. We’ve asked MA graduate, Somerled Cameron, to reflect on his time at Carleton and his memories of his time in the Department of Philosophy.

If you could choose one word to sum up your time in the Philosophy MA program, what is it and why?

Using a hyphenated word might be a bit of a cheat, but I would have to go with “confidence-building” Going into the program with only a minor in philosophy from a three-year undergrad, I was definitely feeling a bit of that “imposter syndrome” they talk about. However, everyone from the professors to the other students were very supportive and my relatively limited philosophical background didn’t really hold me back.

I am also a generally shy person and the prospect of participating in seminar discussions, giving presentations, and defending a thesis seemed daunting at first. However, with the support and encouragement of the professors and other students, I quickly got over my shyness; in no time I was giving presentations like a pro and I even filled in for Annie and gave her second-year class a lecture on the Laches.

What is your favorite Carleton memory?

At the end of my last semester as a TA, I was surprised to find out that I had been nominated for a TA award. Although I didn’t win, I was touched by the glowing endorsements from my students.

What was your favourite course or who was your favourite professor?

I liked all my professors. That said, I especially enjoyed my seminars with Jay Drydyk on sufficiency as a method of distributive justice and on development ethics. In addition to his laid back and friendly personality, I appreciated the way he started each seminar with a recap of what we discussed in the previous seminar.

I also loved the pro-seminar with Dave Matheson for its mind-bending subject matter that caused me to lay awake at night thinking about the mind-body problem.

What was the most important lesson you learned during your time at Carleton?

That I am capable of a lot more than I think I am.

What’s next for you?

I’m looking for temporary work as a sessional lecturer and starting to think about a PhD. In the meantime, I’m applying to organizations that I think would benefit from the knowledge and skills I’ve gained through the program—basically research, writing, critical thinking and teaching skills but also statistical analysis. I’d also like to renew my pilot’s license.