Miss Roxane Noël (2018)
As an B.A. student at Université du Québec à Montréal, I developed an accidental passion for medieval philosophy: I entered the mandatory introduction class thinking that I would not enjoy it, only to be pleasantly surprised by how intellectually rich this historical period was. I continued to explore this passion of mine during my M.A. at University of Alberta. My initial disdain with what would later become my research interest is a great illustration of what makes philosophy so fascinating: it invites us to explore topics that are not always salient in our everyday lives but nonetheless fundamental to how we experience the world. It encourages us to change our minds, to challenge our intuitions, and to marvel at the vast expanse of things that remain to be known. Philosophy is tied to our humanity: it draws on our capacity for rational analysis, our curiosity, our desire to go beyond what is mundane. As such, I believe that it should be made more accessible to the public, a commitment that is reflected in my actions, from making the discipline more inclusive to opening up the world of philosophy to non-academic audiences. In Cambridge, I will pursue a PhD in Philosophy to explore the evolution of nominalism in the second half of the twelfth century. By doing so, I hope to fill a gaping hole in the history of philosophy, but also to open up the fascinating world of medieval thought to a larger audience, as this topic is too often dismissed as being arcane.