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Philosophy Personal Statement

First and foremost, I am a thinker and, I believe, that already locates Philosophy at the top of my “agenda”. I take pleasure in argument and discussion, not necessarily finding the right answer since, with respect to most questions the right answer does not exist.

Hitherto aware of the subject my interest became fascination when I came across Alain de Botton; his work introduced me to the world of contemporary philosophy and gave me an overview of how revolutionary thinkers throughout history relate to the issues facing modern society today.

His exploration of Socratic ideas encouraged me to read Republic; in which the discussion of the Tripartite Soul prompted me to recognize a link with Freud’s Id, ego and super-ego model. A 20th century psychoanalyst directly impacted by a 4th century BC philosopher, the subject proved itself amaranthine. However, I was diverted from Plato’s theories by his own student, Aristotle, whose unification of the soul challenged my personal views on the subject.

My admiration for Montaigne’s coalition of the mind and body applied to a more Aristotelian stance which resonated in a lecture I attended on the significance of the digestive wellbeing on mental health. Although Aristotle’s argument is in itself compelling the logic behind is an example of what makes philosophy a practical discipline emphasizing reasoning and argument as the key elements of the subject and a skill I am eager to elaborate upon in university.

In teaching myself the AS Philosophy course I was able to delve deeper into the Theories of Perception, finding a consolation in Indirect Realism which allows us to consider the theory as an explanation behind human subjectivism.

My overall admiration for John Locke establishes itself in his theory of the tubula rasa which I found fascinatingly applicable in reading an article on the Durham University study linking ‘philosophy for children’ with a progress in math and literacy skill. This research piqued my assurance in the practicality of Philosophy even outside the subject area, seeing that there is proof of development of valuable transferable skills after just discussion.

I appreciate that Philosophy is not merely concerned with current affairs but extends into all of my A level subjects likewise. English Literature has allowed me to explore the Philosophy of Religion in studying Milton’s Paradise Lost and focus on causal determinism in my coursework whilst psychology allows for a real-world application of ethics; both subjects provide vital analytical skills.

Biology enables an overall understanding of the scientific method and develops my interest in Bioethics. Furthermore, A-level Russian has given me the opportunity to research, in its original language, philosophically significant literature, such as the works of Chekov and Dostoyevsky.

I take pride in my desire to help others; recently I travelled to Nepal to teach an all-rounded curriculum at a local school. My work encouraged a new-found confidence and determination to pursue a career in humanitarianism enlivening a lecture on Effective Altruism I attended and igniting a practically attained interest in Moral philosophy.

Effective Altruism is not readily accessible to a school student, however throughout year 11 I found the time to volunteer at a local charity shop giving me the rewarding experience I longed for.

In the following year, I was fortunate enough to undertake work experience at a law firm. Surrounded by diligent individuals, I was able to acquire qualities of discipline and rigour, whilst the competitive environment permitted an insight into the world of work.

To my development of enthusiasm for Philosophy I accredit my curiosity and appetite for knowledge. Further study will deepen my understanding of the world through metaphysics and of my own perception through epistemology, broaden my moral awareness and develop my argumentative ability; exactly what I desire to gain from further education.

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Applying for;

St Andrews
Durham
Edinburgh
Manchester

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