Philosophy is a very broad subject, which attempts to probe and ask questions about fundamental things - things like knowledge, values, and language - in a logically rigorous way.
Here are some general resources related to Philosophy. These should be a useful introduction, regardless of which Philosophy related course you’re interested in and where you might want to study it.
These are a really great starting point for engaging with any philosophical idea. Think about the way the articles are written and argued, and take notes as you read.Then follow up anything that you find particularly interesting, confusing or controversial by googling or looking up the sources mentioned in the article. This process is useful for preparing for life as a student, and developing your philosophical knowledge & thinking.
Dialexicon journal 🔗 🌟 A journal aimed at fostering philosophical reasoning and writing among students. The journal invites young people to write about current affairs from a philosophical perspective, and is open for submissions for the next edition until November 2020.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 🔗 Perhaps the best place to start seriously engaging with any philosophical idea. The entries are all written and peer-reviewed by professional philosophers, and are routinely cited by other academics. Don’t worry if you find the articles a little tricky to read at first.
'What Does It All Mean?' by Thomas Nagel
'The Problems of Philosophy' by Bertrand Russell
'Invitation to Philosophy' by Martin Hollis
'Philosophy: The Basics' by Nigel Warburton
'Ethics: the Fundamentals' by Julia Driver
'Think' by Simon Blackburn
'An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Philosophy' by Roger Scruton
This reading list highlights some books and articles you might want to read before starting at university. Take notes as you read and follow up on anything you don’t understand; these books will get you thinking about Philosophy, and the process of reading and thinking about them may come in useful when you write your personal statement.
Podcasts are a great opportunity to engage with Philosophy in an everyday context. Listen while you’re doing the dishes or on a walk, and if anything sparks your interest, follow it up afterwards. The process of using a ‘source’ such as a lecture or podcast, and then researching anything interesting, contradictory or surprising that it mentioned, is a key part of being a student. This could also come in handy as evidence of interest & curiosity on your personal statement.
BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’ podcast 🔗 This podcast is an accessible way to hear about some interesting ideas in philosophy.
Oxford Philosophy Podcasts 🔗 🌟 These podcasts were produced by the Oxford Faculty of Philosophy and may be useful to you as a springboard into further research into a topic which particularly interests you.
‘Philosophy Bites’ podcast 🔗 Professional philosophers discuss interesting issues in this ‘bite-sized’ podcast. You might find it useful to take notes while you’re listening.
‘Hi-Phi Nation’ podcast 🔗 Another accessible podcast...
The Partially Examined Life 🔗 ...and another podcast!
Similar to podcasts, videos are an easy way to get thinking about philosophy. Take notes as you go and follow up anything that the videos make you think about - via Google, linked videos or connecting ideas with reading you’ve previously done. This process of making connections is good for your thinking skills, which will help with the application process - both as something you can evidence in your personal statement, and which will come across in interviews.
Critical Thinking videos by Wi-Phi (Wireless Philosophy) 🔗 🌟 A fun introduction to arguments and logical fallacies, as well as some cognitive biases. If you enjoy these videos, check out their other videos too!
PhilosophyTube video channel 🔗 Video resource for a fun way to learn about philosophy.
TEDTalk 🔗 This TEDTalk is about how we can take philosophical concepts from mathematics, and integrate them into our everyday lives. It acts as a useful introduction to where maths and philosophy intertwine, and may spark your passion.