I’m Daniel, and in this blog I’ll tell you a little about why I chose to study Philosophy at the University of York. It’s easiest to do this by breaking the blog into two parts: Why I chose to study philosophy; and why I chose to study at the York. I’ll start by defining philosophy and then talk about some of the skills I’ve developed. For the second section, I’ll talk about some of the more objective and subjective reasons I chose York.
Firstly, what is philosophy? This is a question I am asked every time I tell someone what I study at university. Philosophy comes from the Greek words ‘philo’ and ‘sophia’ meaning ‘love’ and ‘wisdom’ respectively. So, philosophy simply means a ‘love of wisdom’.
So, why study philosophy? Simple, think about some of the most important questions: How do I become a good person? Is God real? What do I know? What makes an argument good or bad? These are all philosophical, and all of them are incredibly valuable. How can we act in society without knowing what a good person is? How can I argue for my position if I don’t know what makes a good argument?
Philosophy is a great subject for developing transferable skills. In my first year, I was able to complete a project from picking a topic, doing research on said topic, and then both creating a poster and giving a presentation to explain it. I’ve developed so many skills in independent research, creative thinking, and how to present information confidently. The Reason & Argument module really forces you to think logically. The module teaches what makes a good argument in a slightly unexpected way, and how to put forward your own ideas convincingly.
I chose York because the University and the Department are highly respected. The staff are great at challenging you to push yourself and become a more nuanced thinker. The city is full of history with lots to do. Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you how nice the city of York is. York Minster, the Shambles, and the Christmas Market are all within walking distance of campus. Travel has never been difficult due to the train station nearby and great bus links. The University offers such a wide variety of societies that I was surprised by their diversity and belong to four of them myself. The Philosophy Society is a great place to make connections with other people on the course, and also a great way to start discussions. There is so much to get involved in, so you’ll never be bored at York!
In conclusion, philosophy is an incredibly interesting subject to study. The University of York is a great place to study it, and wonderful city to explore.