Philosophy Personal Statement

Sample Philosophy Personal Statement

My personal dedication to the study of Philosophy is driven by my belief that the subject deals with some of the most important issues in the human world, and that it is a discipline which makes it possible for us to understand our spiritual dimension and, as a result, for wisdom to guide our actions. The range of the subject is immense, involving languages, history, philosophy, aesthetics and the social sciences. It deals ultimately with questions of meaning, truth, beauty and practice. To study such a profound subject requires an environment which is sympathetic, harmonious and peaceful, yet also inspiring and invigorating, and it is for this reason that I should like to be able to work at Lucy Cavendish College, where I know that such conditions prevail, and where my understanding and my human complexity would be nurtured. The philosophy of the College seems eminently formulated for students such as me, and I can imagine myself thriving in the world set up by Anna Bidder and Margaret Braithwaite to allow mature women to work together in a rich community which fosters intellectual discovery and respects the individuality of the student.

I have attended several open days at Lucy Cavendish and have always been delighted by the warmth of the welcome offered by staff and grateful for the advice and guidance given. It immediately became clear that this was the sort of world in which I could work successfully and which would allow me to show my potential. I have every confidence in my own ability to work under pressure, while communing and connecting with the women around me. I felt that the College would allow me to be my real self, and I immediately felt at home. Its peculiar and unique history is a model of determination and originality in itself, in which the College developed out of the new experiences and expectations of women, who looked for further social development and opportunity as a result of the education some of them had received in the new all-women colleges and girls’ schools. How I should have loved to join Anna Bidder and Margaret Braithwaite in their “three glasses of wine” to celebrate the idea of Lucy Cavendish!

The result is a college which maintains the very highest academic standards while catering specifically for the needs of mature women. That the founders outfaced the assumptions of many that, as a group of women, they lacked administrative experience and adequate funding is in itself a mark of the steely determination and commitment they showed towards the idea and its realisation. I have the same sort of ambition and drive. My model is perhaps Kathleen Wood-Leigh, who was blind from birth but made the very best of her intellectual gifts and became a much respected mediaevalist. Famously she developed a very acute sense of individual presence and was able to identify people even before they began to speak. I know that I have the same sort of passion for knowledge and wisdom, intellectual energy and dogged persistence which have made Lucy Cavendish and its students so successful and fulfilled. Discrimination is unknown at Lucy Cavendish, and opportunity is offered to all who will make the personal commitment. The one-to-one supervision system is the perfect intellectual environment for individual development, and a mirror of the context of personal care which is so well established.

As a Philosophy student, I naturally look forward to being a member of the College Christian Union, to compare with others my impressions of the ways religious beliefs and practices shape the way people think and act, and how this has influenced politics, cultural attitudes and social patterns all over the world. I am eager to develop further my ability to think critically about the Bible, about doctrine, philosophy and ethics. I have the ability and the dedication to succeed in the course, and have every faith in the way that Lucy Cavendish will encourage and nurture my skills and foster my own personal development. I believe that my life can be enriched and my confidence assured to allow me to respond most positively to the demands of the modern world.

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