Philosophy Personal Statement Example 5

Philosophy has shaped the foundations of all human life and thought. The importance of philosophic enquiry can be traced from the beginning of civilization to the heart of modern society, and I believe that the ability to ask and attempt to answer philosophical questions is one of the key attributes we associate with being human.

I have begun to pursue my fascination with philosophy this year through a distance learning AS Level course, which has allowed me to structure and focus my curiosity. By reading Plato's Republic I have become particularly intrigued by the field of ethics, and I am especially interested in the apparent conflict between causation and free will. This issue is one that has profound significance to society and to social justice, the ways in which we choose to punish and reward, and I believe my study of sociology will illuminate my understanding of this and the countless other philosophical issues tied closely to human behaviour.

Simon Blackburn contended that philosophy is essentially 'conceptual engineering', the process by which our often-paradoxical thoughts are torn down and reconstructed coherently. I find Descartes' First and Second Meditations captivating for the rigour in which he attempts to do this, dismissing every one of his beliefs in the search for indubitable truth. Global scepticism is unsustainable in everyday life. However, it illustrates how philosophers can challenge every one of our preconceptions in the search for unprejudiced truth - and studying the logical roots of philosophy has revealed to me how little of this there is in the world. I believe that the ability to think in three dimensions, so inherent to philosophy, has never been more useful in an age when distorted information flaunted by the media has such sway over millions of lives.

Logic and reason have been invaluable to me during my year as Manager of a Young Enterprise company, which won Best Report in the regional competition. I relish the prospect for change made possible by leadership responsibilities, and my position as Head Girl has given me a real opportunity to instigate improvement. Through cooperation with sixth-form management I have helped expand the role of younger pupils in decision-making, and I plan to work with the senior student team to increase participation in sports and charity events.

I enjoy music and gained a Distinction in my Grade Five Singing Certificate. I have also achieved my Millennium Volunteers Award for 100 hours voluntary service, involving charity fundraising and shop work. While completing my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award I discovered a keen interest in conservation, and during my gap year I will be assisting the charity Greenforce with sustainable resource management off the coast of Fiji. I believe that the opportunity to travel and experience other cultures will only reiterate to me that philosophy is endlessly relevant to modern life - for until all the world's questions are answered, its work will not be complete.

Profile info

This personal statement was written by Mishael for application in 2004.

Mishael's university choices
The University of Durham
The University of Edinburgh

Green: offer made
Red: no offer made

Philosophy at The University of Durham


Statement rating:****

Related Personal Statements


This is a fantastic personal

This is a fantastic personal statement - the best I've seen, and I've looked at most of them. Well done for getting into all of your universities!

Amazing statement! I really

Amazing statement! I really am giving up now!

too academic

this s far too academic and is missinf the point of a personal statement. it reads like an essay and is telling the tutors what they already know. I should know being an admissions tutor!

Blatantly the person above is

Blatantly the person above is no admissions tutor, and if they are then the University is probably in Nevernever Land eh?!? HAHA. I realy feel that this statement is fantastic. I am applying for a joint Philosophy and Physics course and this has been really helpful so thankyou. I think the last paragraph is truly wonderful - demonstrating how a gap year completely unrelated to philosophy will actually be useful for it.
Well done

ah, this has become more verbose than I intended..

Admissions tutor or not, there's more than a trace of sense in the criticism. Although it's undeniably a very articulate and eloquent piece, I feel there's a tad too much 'flagging' of knowledge: would you really want to have to prepare all that for an interview? Particularly if this were a Cambridge application, in which case Blackburn himself might be asking you to explain what exactly he meant? No doubt the admissions are interested in your words and less in those of other philosophers. So, this statement is manifestly dismantlable at interview, unless the applicant is ridiculously well-prepared.

this personal statement is

this personal statement is really amazing and shows some real effort on your part..if people are slatting it, its only because their jealous. It shows a great love of the subject and a countless amount of ability to write with meaning.
well done


this is such a good personal ststament, looking at this gives me great inspiration to write mine, not that im goona copy it that much :)thanks dudues


I really like hope you finished off your statement. It's very fitting for the subject and ties it all up nicely. V well done!

Haha Jolly good show an

Haha Jolly good show an excellent statement but missed too much inofrmation about plato's ruplic the best source of information for a philosophy personal statement!!!

this is a very good statement

this is a very good statement i was amazed by it it however i feel it is to technical and focus' more on fancy words and idea than it does the person themself.

Thought in three dimensions?!

Thought in three dimensions?!?! Sounds like something out of the matrix.

Do you have to be this clever

Do you have to be this clever to do philosophy?! Im re-thinking!...

This is a very good personal

This is a very good personal statement, when writing mine, I've found it had to explain my interest in philosophy without using the "i've always loved" / "I'm interested in" and this statement has managed to avoid the cliches and sell the candidate well.

It obviously worked. bravo.

It obviously worked.

Your ending statement is the

Your ending statement is the best I've ever seen. Congratulations on your offers.

the last sentence is ABSOLUTE

the last sentence is ABSOLUTE CHEESE!!! lol
well done on your offers tho

Without question very good,

Without question very good, but when you go out, will people want to talk to you?


wow! this is brilliant... quite academic but very focussed and to the point. i need to write mine and i think this will be a great help.

wow! this is brilliant...

wow! this is brilliant... quite academic but very focussed and to the point. i need to write mine and i think this will be a great help.

brilliant PS mate, but just

brilliant PS mate, but just wondering, how did you manage to apply for 6 universities? again, good stuff.

It's nice to see that you

It's nice to see that you have clearly done your research on the subject, but there are other ways you can get that point across rather than directly talking about the theories. You should have taken a "show and not tell" approach. Tutors don't want to be patronised about what they already know.

Although, I have to say I dislike the final statement. Humans and the world we inhabit are imperfect, so it is impossible to find absolute answers. Philosophy is not necessarily about finding complete answers, but helping the individual's understanding in order to make more informed opinions about the world.

Otherwise, very good personal statement, and I am not surprised you got the offers.

good stuff

good stuff

Your last sentence is the

Your last sentence is the most ignorant cliche i'e ever read. By even claiming that every question can be answered you are illustrating immaturity. None the less I enjoyed reading this, mainly as an essay however. You are right about Descartes' meditations and his scrutiny of all dogmas, mantras and beliefs however you could have just got the idea from wikipedia and phrased it more eloquently!

Why is everyone criticising

Why is everyone criticising this when it got offers from all those amazing universities?

Miss the point?

Great persoanl statement, but I think the last sentence really misses the whole point of philosophy. As a subject, philosophy is based on unanswerable questions, any that are answered become an area of science. So what is he trying to gain by doing this course? He certainly doesn't the subject for it's true nature

A helpful personal statement,

A helpful personal statement, but I still need help writing mine.


Alexander Harding sucks
Teh lelz

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