Philosophy Personal Statement.
The way philosophy can challenge our assumptions will never cease to astound me. I particularly remember my first lesson on Descartes, where I was asked to prove that I knew the room around me was real. Upon realising that I couldn't it inspired me to wonder what other aspects of life, that I had taken for granted, could be questioned. I knew from then on that I wanted to explore the boundless limits of philosophy, as to me "The unexamined life is not worth living" (Socrates).
I relish the opportunity to push myself and so decided to pursue the works of Nietzsche and his ideology that "there are no facts, only interpretations". I found his opinions in The Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist to be enjoyably controversial, as he sought to question societal rules, as I hope to do when studying political philosophy modules. An article in 'Philosophy Now' inspired me to base my Extended Project on the philosophy of emotion, since studying cognitive order and disorder in psychology fascinates me. I believe that using views of those such as Derrida or Husserl could be useful in creating therapy for emotional disorders, as I took their ideas on how emotions are connected to the physical world to suggest that changing our environment could help change our mentality. This project has taught me valuable skills in researching and evaluating information, and to further these abilities I participated in Southampton University's research project course to help me plan for my EPQ. A strong enthusiasm for learning philosophy at school has led me to be nominated for the Governor's Prize for Philosophy next year.
I have a strong appreciation for fiction that explores philosophical themes, particularly the work of the director Terry Gilliam. This inspired me to run a Philosophy film club for students, where we would study films such as 'Being John Malkovich' or 'Eternal Sunshine', after which I would lead a discussion on potential interpretations of the director's purpose; for example the Matrix raised a discussion on solipsism which I found extremely thought-provoking. Work shadowing a philosophy teacher further heightened my desire to study philosophy, and perhaps a post graduate degree in philosophy education, as I realised an interest in breaking down and communicating knowledge with others. This led me to book myself onto a day conference at Heythrop College to experience the university teaching environment. I was particularly interested by Michael Lacewing's lecture on environmental ethics since it was an area of moral philosophy I hadn't considered before, and so I look forward to studying ethics more thoroughly at degree level.
Taking part in both the Rotary Youth Speaks and the ESU public speaking competitions has increased my confidence in expressing my opinion, and taking the role of 'questioner' to another team allowed me to improve my argumentation skills. I have also spent the last four years volunteering as a helper at a swimming group for disabled people and their families. This has given me valuable experience in both leadership and being part of a team. I am also extremely passionate about art; I have completed several of my own projects in my free time including paintings, sketches, and making jewellery. I have held a stall at a craft fair for four years selling my handmade jewellery and home furnishings, where I enjoyed learning to organize my own business.
This creative spirit is what has encouraged my love of wisdom, as I endeavour to achieve my full potential by debating, reasoning and pondering my own existence to the very limits of my ability.
This is the twentieth draft or so, took me several months of editing and cutting it down. I applied to five unis and got offers from all of them. Hopefully this will help