My name is Toby Brewer, I recently finished studying; Politics A-level, Ancient History A-level and Philosophy-pre U and hope to go onto study Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion at the University of Cambridge.
While certainly not in my nature, I shall try and be succinct in explaining ‘why I like philosophy’. In short, and this may sound clichéd, but philosophy is the greatest expression of humanity of all the ‘humanities’. At one stage or another, all academic devotions were considered ‘philosophy’-science, for example, was originally and aptly named ‘natural philosophy’. In Greek, ‘philosophy’ (philo sophia) simply means the ‘love of wisdom’ and, as Hermann Hesse in ‘Siddhartha’-perhaps unavoidably ironically-conveys: true wisdom cannot only be taught, it must be learned and experienced by the individual. Far from simply an exercise in truth, learning to love wisdom is a great exercise and holistic expansion of ‘character’ (one translation of ‘Ethike’-ethics: quite the fundamental). The thinkers themselves are ubiquitous: from AN Whitehead’s famous exclamation of all of western thought being a mere “footnote to Plato” to the Nietzsche-infused glory of Jim Morrison and the Doors or the salvation of generational Indian avatars like Meher Baba engrained in the seminal works of The Who-philosophy is rock and roll. The ‘way of life’, to ‘love wisdom’, is so far truly unique to humanity and eternal: even when condensed into a thoroughly enjoyable two-year course.