Lachlan Nutting ’18 Selected to Present Philosophy Paper

By Alana Aamodt ’18

Philosophy major Lachlan Nutting ’18recently attended the 20th annual Midwest Undergraduate Philosophy Conference at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, to present her paper, “Emotionally Determined Destiny.”

Nutting says she has been interested in determinism, the philosophical theory that all events are determined by causes outside of human will, since sophomore year, but doubted that she could write a paper on it. It wasn’t until her senior year, in the class Philosophy of Emotions, when the themes that had originally interested her reappeared and she decided she would write her final paper on the topic.

“I argued that emotional responses are determined based on Cheshire Calhoun’s idea of biographical subjectivity and Max Scheler’s individual destiny,” explains Nutting. “This basically means that emotional responses are determined by who you are at your core as an individual, and they allow you to actualize your destiny by telling you what is significant in your life.”

After having this topic swirling around in her head for years, Nutting decided that her final paper was worth submitting to the Midwest Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, and she was honored to have the opportunity to speak, saying that “everyone there was amazingly nice and supportive. I think more people should submit their papers to conferences; it was the most wonderful experience.”

Reflecting back, Nutting says she was drawn to the many diverse frameworks of philosophy, and how the subject took on huge questions about life and reality. Her studies required her to keep an open mind and, as she describes, “see how these different ideas might apply to my life, making studying philosophy incredibly worthwhile.”

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