Politics, Philosophy and Economics Personal Statement
I like to think. Thinking is important because it is the means to which man derives both his own identity, and further projects that identity onto his surroundings. But what if you have multiple, supposedly equally ‘thinking’ things surrounding you? How do you organise those thinkers most efficiently? The three components of PPE, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, are, in my view, three cornerstones of attempting to understand how society is run. Each of them plays a crucial function in the mechanics of governance.
Philosophy derives the answers to ethical questions, so one can reason the best course of action based upon a rational process, formulating a clear ‘belief’ or ‘ideology’. Over the past 2 years, I have studied and read various works of Philosophy, whilst spending time pondering my own questions and the answers therein. Simon Blackburn’s Think was especially helpful, aiding me with a fundamental knowledge of the subject so that I might build upon it myself. I have read critiques of Philosophers such as Descartes and Kant in Richard Schacht’s Classical Modern Philosophers. I was particularly intrigued by the authors’ analysis of the fundamental assumptions made in the work of Descartes who, despite going to great lengths to eliminate such flaws, still falls prey to them. I often engage in philosophical debates with friends and peers, and thirst for knowledge on the subject in order to broaden my own understanding.
When decided on an ethical outlook and ideology, one must look to the concepts of leadership and implementation, the realms of Politics. Politics is of interest to me, especially ideology, because it merges the spheres of personal belief and society together. After reading Machiavelli’s The Prince for example, I pondered the seemingly absent sense of morality, with the personal pursuit of power being more important than how it was used. My reading proved helpful when I wrote an essay entitled ‘Why don’t the poor rebel more often?’ for the Butler Prize, enabling me to explore the question from both contemporary and classical perspectives. I am an MP for the Libertarian party on the largest Student Model House of Commons in the world, engaging regularly in debate over mock legislation, and also take part in my school’s Model United Nations program. I also spent time living abroad in Singapore, an opportunity which has allowed me to experience a differing outlook and moral stance in a country with a political system and culture that is vastly different to our own.
The final piece, Economics, is one of practicality. Economics plays the vital role of executing what is decided in the former and latter fields mentioned, without a stable way of production and consumption in place, society collapses. My reading and understanding of Economics is broad, having read books such as Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto, which delves deeply into Marx’s, in my view outdated, analysis of the free market, and Adam Smith’s Wealth of nations. I have also taken an interest in Game theory, and the analysis of incentives that impact economics, leading me to read books such as the highly amusing Freakonomics.
In addition, my work is balanced out by activities that provide both an outlet and useful transferrable skills. I train extensively at swimming each week, whilst still maintaining work output, treating the physical side of the body as well as I do the mental. It has taught me time management and relentless perseverance. I have voluntarily co-hosted a Hospital radio station; I play drums to a high standard and, also have well honed management skills from taking part in large, team-based, problem solving, along with having attained Sergeant in the CCF. I have also watched all of the resources on iTunes provided by Oxford relevant to the course, to further strengthen my background understanding. I believe I have had the privilege of seeing some of what the world has to offer; now I’m hungry for more. Or so I like to think.
Universities Applied to:
- Oxford University (PPE) - Offer (A*AA) Firm
- University of Manchester (PPE) - Offer (AAB) Insurance
- Warwick University (PPE) - Offer (A*AA) Declined
- Durham University (PPE) - Offer (AAA) Declined
- Lancaster University (PPE) - Offer (ABB) Declined
- Mathematics (A2) - A*
- English Literature (A2) - A*
- Politics (A2) - A
- Further Mathematics (A2) - B