Philosophy Personal Statement Example 23

I have invariably been fascinated by speculative enquiry into topics concerned with the fundamental nature of reality, knowledge and existence. My interests are wide-ranging, yet I am always drawn to metaphysical or analytical questions concerned with of the subject at hand. As such, I find Philosophy, the rational and critical investigation into basic principles, ideas and systems, to be a subject that I excel at.

Since reading Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, epistemology has been an area of intrigue. Although I found Kant’s Transcendental Idealism irrevocably problematic, his view of time and space as subjective apparatus (intuition Anschauung), as opposed to objective features of the world Noumena, lead me to question the extent to which knowledge and Truth are Subjective. A key issue was whether truth necessarily entails a correspondence between objective reality and belief or whether truth can have subjective significance. I found Nietzsche’s polemical text Beyond Good and Evil altered my perspective, expounding a form of epistemic nihilism. In the chapter ‘On the prejudices of philosophers’ Nietzsche criticises the demarcation between truth and falsehood, notably the valuation of the latter over the former, stating that this is a preference informed by instinct. I found that after Nietzsche a once ostensibly simple concept such as Truth became pervaded with difficulties. I was enthralled by his exciting aphoristic style, and the stunningly cryptic nature of the book as a whole. After reading Nietzsche and Kant, I decided to learn German in my Gap year, so that I may read the texts in their original language. I consider languages invaluable academic tools that enable on to have a more nuanced understanding of a text and the Philosophy it expresses.

Equally, my competence in French acquired through studying the language at A level, has facilitated my enthusiasm for French Philosophy. My interest in Existentialism in particular was precipitated by reading Jean Paul Sartre’s L’existentialisme est un humanisme. I found that this text brought up crucial questions surrounding human nature, whether there is a fixed human nature as assumed by many or, as the existentialists stipulate, whether human existence has no ground or purpose. I furthermore developed an interest in French literature from taking the A level course, and endeavoured thenceforth to read as much as I could of the French literary canon. I particularly enjoyed reading Voltaire’s Candide due to the sardonic criticism of Leibniz and the ridiculously morbid narrative. During my Gap year, I intend to travel to France for several months in order to consolidate my understanding of the language, and the culture. I hope to maintain and improve my ability in both languages throughout my degree.

Being disposed to cross-examining any subject, my interest in art theory lead me to question the necessary and sufficient factors of the art object and its function in society. As such, I read Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory on recommendation, immediately developing an interest in Marxist Philosophy and Aesthetics. This caused me to take on an Extended Project based on Adorno and the production and reception of Art in a capitalist modernity, for which I was awarded an A*. I was notably interested in Adorno’s views on the commodification of the Art work and, mimicking the dialectical double reconstruction that Adorno attempts, I aimed to complete a double evaluation of both Adorno’s thought and figurative painter Vettriano. Completing this project enabled me to work independently, and conduct my own research into a topic outside the constraints of the A level Philosophy syllabus. My love of Art expands beyond purely the philosophy; I enjoy painting, visiting galleries and I attend life drawing classes. Moreover I am Grade 8 violin, I am involved in the ***** Symphony Orchestra, participating in rehearsals and concert.

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I didn't end up going to University to do this subject, but I hope this helps somebody


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