Interest in Philosophy

Tell us what you’d like to major in at Cornell and why, how your past academic or work experience influenced your decision, and how transferring to Cornell would further your academic interests.

As a young boy, perhaps seven or eight years old, I remember watching a certain episode of Batman after returning home from school. In the episode, Batman finds himself in a dream world created by the Mad Hatter. Consequently, both Batman and the viewer spend much of the episode trying to differentiate what is real from what is feigned. I'm sure that for many children this half-hour viewing was not an event of lifelong consequence; I was apparently an exception. I began wondering what I knew was real in the world. I slowly started to doubt the many things that I had theretofore held as certainties—chiefly those things which had been told to me in the past by a parent or teacher as answers to my questions. Indeed, my questions were given a new rigor and an odd profundity considering their asker. I questioned the existence of God, my own existence, and the existence of the world. I wondered if and how I could ever be certain that the things conveyed to me as right or wrong, true or false, could be affirmed as such. Finally, compelled by the lack of answers I could find in my deliberations, I abandoned these questions altogether.

A couple of years later, I was sitting down at the desk of my room with several baseball cards in...

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