PDA

View Full Version : Books on contemporary philosophy



Local Authority
18-12-2012, 02:14 PM
I'm planning on applying to university this year as a mature student (I'm 20, will be 21 by the time I enrol, not sure if that counts) and need to get some serious reading done within a month, preferably two weeks, to get something into my personal statement. The university I'm aiming for is UCL and I want to do philosophy but their grade boundaries are too high for me considering I flunked college to get high instead.

My understanding of philosophy is pretty basic, my main introduction being Sophie's World and from there exploring Schopenhauer, Kant, Nietzsche, which I guess is alright but I don't think it would set me above the rest for a uni like UCL. Considering some of you are academics, or very intelligent, could anyone recommend me some decent reading that could help me.

woops
18-12-2012, 02:27 PM
This won't win me many friends amongst better-informed dissensus people, I'm only posting it since K-Punk isn't around anymore, but I found the Icon Introducing books useful. They go into a bit more depth than the picture book format might suggest. I would have been reading these not long after Sophie's World

http://content.tlcdelivers.com/tlccontent/zuul/servlet/Zuul?&customerid=200214&requesttype=bookjacket-MD&existsonly=true&button=false&isbn=184046416X http://www0.alibris-static.com/isbn/9781874166412.gif http://www.waterstones.com/wat/images/nbd/m/978187/416/9781874166634.jpg

Mr. Tea
18-12-2012, 03:14 PM
I was at UCL, didn't do philosophy but I knew people who did, several of whom I'm still friends with. I could try and get an idea of what sort of level of philosophy knowledge a fresher might be expected to possess, if you like, or even get recs for books that might be of about the right level.

Ed, did you know anyone in the philosophy dept while you were there?

Local Authority
18-12-2012, 03:40 PM
Any help will be massively appreciated, thanks. I don't think I'll need anything too in depth as its just so I can reference in the personal statement and add my own insights and understanding.

My main concern is that I don't have the grades sufficient to make it onto the course, but I don't think that should be any hindrance if I can prove that my knowledge and ability to comprehend the subject are above what is expected. Or am I aiming too high here?

Patrick Swayze
18-12-2012, 04:36 PM
Any help will be massively appreciated, thanks. I don't think I'll need anything too in depth as its just so I can reference in the personal statement and add my own insights and understanding.

My main concern is that I don't have the grades sufficient to make it onto the course, but I don't think that should be any hindrance if I can prove that my knowledge and ability to comprehend the subject are above what is expected. Or am I aiming too high here?

to be brutally honest... you're aiming too high. the likelihood of them risking an offer on someone well below the standard entry requirements is low and i can only see it happening if you come across as literally in love with the subject (i.e. you've spent the last 3 yrs since college reading non stop) you haven't so I doubt it'll come off. but you've got 4 choices so why not. just make the other 3 more realistic.

like i said earlier on the phone u don't wanna just 'reference' them lol that's exactly what not to do.

pare down your reading to a specific argument or idea and discuss it in precise terms rather than 'referencing' general ideas.

I'm no expert though. the only philosophy book I've ever really read is this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Book-Philosophy-Andre-Comte-Sponville/dp/0099450186/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355848564&sr=1-1) I'll have a look if I've still got it. very readable if nothing else.

Local Authority
18-12-2012, 09:59 PM
Well all of my teachers told me that I was one of the best in class, could do such more etc. and know I'm kicking myself for not listening to them. Seeing how things went at Challoner's I'd like to set the bar as high as I think I can achieve.

My understanding of philosophy is conversational but scattered because I haven't read much since I was 16 so I just need to reintroduce myself to certain themes and arguments. It's Christmas anyway so I've got plenty of time to read. All I need to be able to do is show that I can comprehend and critique at a level above expected of a fresher which shouldn't be too hard if I put my head down.

jenks
19-12-2012, 11:42 AM
You need to get that application to UCAS in pronto - the deadline is not far away and places are already handing out offers. As you have your grades it wil be a simple yes/no from the institutions you are applying for.
To be honest, I would be surprised if UCL offered you a place as it is over subscribed even this year.
Of equal use to you will be a decent reference - something which is written by someone who has taught you and knows your genuine academic skills and abilities. Admissions tutors often set more store by the reference than they do by the personal statement when making offers but in the end it will come down to grades and accrediting any prior learning you may have.
Good luck!