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Philosophy Personal Statement

While many of humanity's societal constructs can be identified in some of the other species that have wandered our planet in the last 5 billion years, we are perhaps the only ones ever to question our own reality at all, never mind to this vast extent. The individuality that philosophy uniquely allows in this investigation has enabled my refusal to conform to any school of philosophy, and the endlessly frustrating task of trying to explain key philosophical problems is something that has captured my imagination. My English Literature A-Level course is one which has aided my development and expression of a personal opinion on the crucial philosophical issues of our time, from the origins of our universe to the mystery surrounding morality. From South American tribeswomen to British schoolboys, the philosophy that surrounds us is an issue that cannot be avoided if we seek to justify an opinion on anything.

In realising my interests as I studied towards GCSEs and AS levels, I have begun to develop and subsequently satisfy a craving for the philosophical understanding that has been explored by so many across mankind's timeline. Plato's The Republic was of particular interest to me, especially how he interpreted concepts such as justice and beauty within our world, as two heavily interlinked ideas. His influence on the following millennia of religious thinking, through Aristotle and Aquinas, is intriguing insofar as his were entirely secular theories. An online course run by Peter Singer on 'effective altruism' and reading his 'What Money Can't Buy' has allowed me to explore the world of business ethics, an area that couples well with the issues of moral philosophy. The ways in which our language can be manipulated so effectively to shape meaning is also fascinating to me, with the linguistic skills of authors such as Singer and the unique Socratic style of Plato something I have aimed to replicate in both my discussions and writings. Reading classics of the English language beyond the curriculum, such as 'A Clockwork Orange', has aided my attempts to evolve my writing style towards a similarly sophisticated level, as has entering the Gloucester University essay writing competition. These elite analytic and linguistic skills are abilities that set me apart from other philosophy students.

Beyond academia, I have excelled in both individual and team sports, with honours at county level in Golf, Football and Badminton, and have played football at an elite standard abroad. I have devoted vast amounts of time to the promotion of football in the Buckinghamshire area, with FA qualifications as both a referee and a coach. I hope to continue my heavy involvement in Football wherever I study, as a player, coach and official.

I hope to flourish in my connection with philosophy in my later career, as a teacher of RS, philosophy and ethics. As a founding chairman of both the philosophy society and creative writing club within my school, I have developed an understanding of the other side of education. Through previous work in both secondary and primary schools and as long-term coach of a youth football team I have gained excellent teaching skills and experience that leave me in a place where I can be sure that teaching is the way forward for me. Having volunteered multiple times in summer camps for younger children and worked as a mentor and tutor to students in Maths and English, I relish revealing to students the compelling essence of knowledge and how crucial it is to our definition of humanity. Through tutoring, I demonstrated, particularly to myself, the leadership and communication skills I will need not only for a successful university experience, but also in a prosperous teaching career.

The breadth of philosophy makes my ambition to talk about every secluded corner of the philosophical world a seemingly impossible task, and is hence an ambition that can only even begin to be realised with an elite degree at an elite university.

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