Philosophy

Philosophy

Why study Philosophy at Heythrop College?

Philosophy is about love ... the love of wisdom, and in studying philosophy we are seeking to become wise. It is also a gripping subject, with links to interesting and important areas outside philosophy. For example, computing: does a computer think? Will computers ever be able to think? What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Or religion: can we talk meaningfully about God and does God exist? Is there life after death? Or morals: what do we mean by morally 'right' and 'wrong'? Is it just a matter of opinion? And if so, how are we to react to the events of 9/11 or the war in Iraq?

Philosophy is more than an interesting subject. It is also very useful from a career point of view. For the philosophy student is not simply fed information. He or she is given tools for thinking. This is why philosophy graduates are popular candidates for a variety of high-powered professions - journalism, research, the civil service, politics, and law. A recent Times poll revealed that the business world favours philosophy graduates above all others. Barristers or solicitors benefit from training in philosophy as they have been taught to examine and dissect arguments, even cabinet ministers find a philosophic training useful as they seek to master complex 'briefs' and to analyse opposing arguments.

A philosophical training is also useful for those who have more literary aspirations. Think of the current trend in literature for the philosophical novel, and note what Keanu Reeves says of the directors of the film THE MATRIX: 'they have invested so much into philosophising about identity and truth and a quest for understanding. Questioning absolutely everything has always been a part of my nature, so I understood where my character was coming from. So whether you see yourself as the next bright young thing to take the literary scene by storm, the next cult film director, or even the next Keanu Reeves, a philosophical education will serve you well!

Why study this interesting and useful subject at Heythrop? Well, you will be located in a fashionable and attractive part of London yet studying in a peaceful setting 200 yards from Kensington High Street with its excellent transport links. More important, you will be part of the prestigious University of London, one of the most highly rated universities in the world and the one with the largest philosophy faculty in Britain. You will share in being involved with a vibrant, rapidly growing and friendly department with high academic standards which is almost unique in offering individual tuition. Heythrop has more than eleven full-time philosophy staff with many more part-time staff. Come and visit us at one of our open days so you can see what we are like for yourselves!

How will I be taught?

You will be taught by a combination of lectures, seminars, and tutorials.

The college itself provides a thorough course of lectures for each of the relevant papers. And as a student of the University of London, you can also attend all the intercollegiate lectures taught by the members of the Philosophy Departments of all the Colleges of the University: Heythrop, Birkbeck, King's, LSE and UCL. With their combined strengths, together they make the University of London one of the best places in the world to study Philosophy.

As well as all the permanent faculty at the University of London, the London philosophical community is always supplemented by a large number of internationally renowned visiting philosophers, many of whom come from abroad to present talks to London faculty and students. And an indication of how philosophically exciting a place London is can be seen from glancing at the Conferences and Fixtures List maintained by the Institute of Philosophy of the University of London School of Advanced Study.

On top of all this, there is also Heythrop flourishing student-run Philosophy Society, which meets regularly to hear and discuss a talk given by a guest speaker. The speaker is usually invited to supper afterwards so that discussion can be continued in a relaxed and sociable atmosphere. And of course there is Heythrop’s invaluable system of tutorials.

Page Updated: Wednesday, June 19 2013