College Papers

The tutored one of history’s most prolific conquers,

The past may seem fixed when
in fact it is transient. I have always had a great interest in history, and my
study at school has led me to understand that it is more than just a study of
the past.  It is about how the past
impacts the present and the future and how it shapes society. History is one of
the central passions in my life. Having enjoyed studying history throughout my
studies, I have come to love studying primary sources to gain an understanding
of how it was to live in another time, and by studying accounts of broader
historical events, I’ve learnt and understood what humanises major historical
events for us. As someone who is instinctively curious about the past and its
relationship with the present, the study of History satisfies my desire to
understand how the world took shape and why we are where we are. I am intrigued
by human interaction and how individuals and groups have an impact on their broader
communities, events and consequently, how history is written and remembered.

 

Philosophy may begin in marvel,
but analytic skills and critical thinking are required to develop this into coherent
thought. It is this skill that I wish to gain from studying history and
philosophy at university, to learn the tools needed for the critical
examination of other people’s thoughts and ideas, and to structure and develop them
into my own ideas. The combination of History and Philosophy, therefore, seems
to me a diverse and worthwhile discipline in which to pursue my interests in
both the past and present within an arduous and detailed framework. Whenever we
examine the past it seems as if philosophy and history are inextricably linked
together – it’s no surprise for instance that arguably one of the greatest
philosophers of, Aristotle, tutored one of history’s most prolific conquers, Alexandra,
wars are often fought for ideologies, coloured and shaped by history;
ideologies that start off as questions we have about the world.

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It was during my AS year that
I first became interested in Philosophy as an academic subject. I was able to
read and critically examine some of the major arguments for the existence of
God. However, I soon found myself expanding my reading beyond the curriculum
into different areas of philosophy such as metaphysics and ethics. I am particularly
interested in the political philosophy of John Stuart Mill and Thomas Paine. I
have also been profoundly affected, among other works, by Descartes
‘Meditations’ as it challenges some of our most basic assumptions. Additionally,
I have developed the ability to identify and avoid various logical fallacies:
through my reading of Wittgenstein, A.J. Ayer, and Bertrand Russell I have
learned how easy it is to be misled and deceived by language, especially in the
subject of philosophy.

 

Philosophy has enabled me to
explore an array of different philosophical theories which have made me
extremely inquisitive about the great thinkers of the past and their
historically ground-breaking views, this has helped me understand ideology and
the concepts that shape history. Classics was a great fit with my curiosities,
helping develop my writing along with providing an ancient perspective on
modern issues. History and Philosophy have equipped me with excellent communication
skills, both written and oral, the ability to study and summarise complex
material and construct innovative and well thought out solutions to ethical
issues.

 

At university, I will strive to deepen my understanding
of the world, and therefore wish to follow in a tradition, one that encompasses
the spirit of what it is to be human. As
Socrates so fittingly said “the more I learn, the more I realise that I know
nothing.” It is therefore my aim that, after all of the effort that I put into
my studies, I may, by the end, know something.