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Philosophy/Philosophy & Mathematics Personal Statement

I recently walked passed a homeless man who was asking for neither food nor money but for a book. He was seeking knowledge despite the adversities, he was the very embodiment of philosophy itself. For me, it is important to pursue disciplines like logic and philosophy because human beings act irrationally. During many of my insomniac nights of thinking and reasoning about the torturous human condition, logic and philosophy is my sanctuary. In it, I find truth and security.

Philosophy wreaks havoc on the shackles of society, politics, morality and religion exposing humanity for the fleeting, isolated and decaying entity it is. The intrinsic value I find in this discipline led to a remarkable change in my personal life. Fearful yet inspired by the fierce individualism of Nietzsche, I recently freed myself from the chains of established religion. The death of the old sees humanity flourish in new and exciting ways or as Hegel phases it "the owl of Minerva takes flight at dusk". Unlike Marx, Karl Popper believed there was no end to progress. I am against absolutist creeds that restrict progress, like Nazi Germany and as depicted in literary works such as Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave new world.

Although I am suspicious of fixed standards, I am aware that progress cannot be made without judgement of adequacy and judgement is impossible without certainty. For the philosopher logic provides that certainty. Hume's an 'Essay Concerning Human Understanding' was one of the firsts philosophy works I read and from this I adopted the radical view that certainty exists in limited form. All beings in the universe share one common property; they are bound by the elegant rules of logic. Logic is a powerful tool. Wittgenstein used it to show how the problems of language destroyed the most vital means for any idea to get off the ground. The certainty of mathematics shapes the fluidity of philosophy giving it direction whilst philosophy gives logic relevance to the questions of humanity.

Mathematical systems are grounded logical laws. Reading into the works of Euclid where he derives a complex set of mathematical propositions from simple axioms my understanding was gratified. These concepts are vital for assessing philosophical argument. From this I was able to evaluate William Lane Craig's argument on cosmology. Lane Craig's revival of the Kalam argument ignored the possibility of an infinite regress, claiming it was incoherent. Heavy contemplation, aided by my mathematics course touching on the concept of infinity via asymptotic functions, I eventually understood the significance of this. I went on to read David Papineau's Philosophical devices which brings to light Cantors work. Cantor's diagonal argument and his use of set theory showed coherence in the concept of infinity. I am inspired by this intriguing harmony between mathematics and philosophy to further explore how logic sheds light on the true nature of abstract human concepts.

Philosophy and logic are powerful tools of change with the ability to make a real difference to wider society. Working persistently with IARS - an independent think tank who evaluate government policy for a more egalitarian society - taught me the importance of humanitarian work as a necessity for progress.

I am a self-taught guitarist, bassist and pianist. By teaching myself from the basics I built an authentic connection with music. I appreciate a range of works from the classics like Pachelbel to the revolutionary melodies of artists such as Bob Dylan. Although music detaches my mind from the realities of philosophy and logic, they somehow find a way back in. There is intricacy and complexity in the structure of music, which I cannot ignore. Bach's Crab Canon for example imitates the philosophical structure of the Mobius strip.

I know I cannot escape philosophy but I do not mind for I find a beautiful freedom in thinking.

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Author's Comments

AS Grades - ABBC (Philosophy, History, Maths, Physics)
Predicted - AAA* (Philosophy, History, Maths)

Oxford (Bsc Mathematics with Philosophy) - Rejected following MAT
London School of Economics and Political Science (Bsc Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method) - Offer made (AAA)
UCL (BA Philosophy) - Offer made (AAA)
King's College London (BA Philosophy) - Offer made (AAA)
Royal Holloway (Bsc Philosophy & Mathematics) - Offer made (AAB)

I am starting the Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method course at LSE in September 2017.

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