Philosophy Personal Statement
“The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind is curiosity”. I believe that when the mind is allowed to think outside the pre-defined constraints of society, the different directions in which it can travel are infinite.
Philosophy for me is the basis on which our lives are based and after reading Aristotle’s Ethics, it is fascinating to find that a lot of the beliefs I hold are so similar to those held by someone who lived over two thousand years ago. My main inspiration for taking Philosophy is Socrates and his unapologetic moral compass.
Even when confronted with his own mortality, he refuses to take the easy option that would compromise what he believes in, for me Socrates incorporates everything I feel a good person should be. I am most interested in learning about Ancient Greek philosophy because I feel that in this day and age, the majority of people have lost sight of the basic principles of morals and ethics written by the likes of Plato and Aristotle all those years ago. I also believe like Descartes that I must forget everything I think I know about life and start from the beginning and the next step for me is university.
I have particularly enjoyed studying Dr Carol Dweck’s theories of Intelligence. I related to this study because I feel that it summed up my years at school almost perfectly. For most of my childhood up until the end of my teenage years my view on intelligence was, as Dr Dweck theorizes, the “Entity theory of intelligence”.
Threatened by failure I have shied away from academic study, because I felt that failure indicated a lack of intelligence and because of this view I never committed myself to my studies. My views on this have radically changed over the last 7 years and I now believe that intelligence is interchangeable, that if curiosity is ignited in the right way, it can be enhanced with the only limitation being yourself.
I am currently a student of Psychology and Politics which I am really enjoying. It is exciting to be back in a learning environment and I feel that even though I have done a lot of reading at home, nothing compares to being able to debate a point and question reasoning face to face. I have always been an enthusiastic reader but my thirst for knowledge and understanding didn’t really explode until I was 18.
The advancement in available material through the internet has helped me in my quest to learn and understand anything and everything. I have read a huge amount of material on many varying subjects from the philosophy of war and pacifism to the psychology behind serial killers and the study of love.
My questions are questions not only about the world around me but questions about myself as a human being, is my moral compass true and just? Or does an era a person lives in determine what they perceive to be right and wrong and why? For me this is a journey of self-discovery, analysing myself, what I am and how I have come to be the way I am is just as important to me as understanding the world around me.
I believe that stimulating the body is just as important as stimulating the mind so next year I will be taking part in the Virgin London Marathon on behalf of the World Wide Fund for Nature. I am also fairly well travelled and lived in Australia for 2 years, I also did charity work in Bolivia and have visited Peru, Thailand and Laos amongst others.
Leonardo Da Vinci was once asked what the key to his genius was; his reply was simple “Sapere Vedere” which translates as ‘Knowing how to see’. For me understanding the mind and combining this with the basic principles of what it is to be aware, to be human, our interactions and what we think to be right and wrong is so important.
Not too sure if I like it, any comments and criticism welcomed, thanks