PPE Personal Statement

To fully understand the wider implications of economics on a global scale, one must also understand the political and individual motivations behind people's actions. This a feat that can only truly be achieved with the study of both politics and philosophy alongside.

Growing up in Nigeria provided me with first-hand experience of inequality and corruption, encouraging me to reflect on the impact of governmental decisions on the welfare of individuals. Oxfam reports that the richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of as much as the poorest 3.5 billion people. Facts and figures can mean almost nothing to a person, but once they have been experienced as a reality, such knowledge can cause a paradigm shift in thinking. This has been a big influence in my decision to study PPE.

Working as an intern at BudgIt, a company that makes the government's budgets and spending more accessible to Nigerians from low socio- economic backgrounds, I discovered similar shocking statistics and was led to question whether political decisions are in the best interest of society.

A B Atkinson's proposals in his book 'Inequality: What can be done?' convinced me that a Keynesian approach to this problem would be more effective, as he advocates for almost maximum government intervention with suggestions such as creating a national inheritance for all adults.

My involvement with Model United Nations and participation in the largest conference in the UK further developed my interest in solutions that benefit the national and global market. In being selected to be the ambassador of the economic, social and political committees at various conferences, I was engaged in drafting pragmatic resolutions that other countries would find acceptable; often using my knowledge of classic utilitarian theories to aid me in doing so. These ideas were strengthened as I defended my resolution through debates. This in turn sparked my interest in the nature of an ideal society and prompted me to read 'An Introduction to Political Philosophy' by J Wolf. Reading about Hobbes' model of an ideal state and Rousseau's social contract, I realised that the best way for humans to flourish is under a government. Hobbes argued that the state of nature would be a state of war and fear.

As a philosophy student, I also reflect on inequality from an ethical perspective and acknowledge that market demands aren't necessarily just. In 'The Life We Can Save', P Singer explored inequality from a utilitarian and altruistic perspective. By illustrating his points with real life examples, he made the ethical theories he explored in his book practical, showing how philosophy can be applied to the real world. I was inspired by the ideas he put across in his book to campaign for the role of charity representative of my house and raise over £500 for various charities. In my opinion, the three disciplines in PPE, when used together can be applied to a multitude of world issues. For example, in my extended essay, I used JS Mill's arguments in his book 'On Liberty', to analyse the ethical implications of the blasphemy law imposed in Nigeria, while also looking at the effects on different social classes.

I am an avid reader of 'The Economist' and will be attending the Royal Society for Asian Affairs & SOAS Annual Presentation on Asia as a school representative. I attend all philosophy and economic lectures I come across, including one on capitalism and inequality by Mr. Siniscalco, the former minister of finance in Italy. I participated in the Erasmus Philosophy Competition this year and have completed the Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver awards, which has given me great teamwork and leadership skills.

As an IB student, I have developed my skills in written argument, scientific enquiry and evidence-based analysis. I am confident that the rigorous nature of the IB has fully prepared me for university, and I look forward to this course.

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Author's Comments

This got me offers from Warwick, Exeter, Manchester, Nottingham and Kings

Written by Damilola O

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