And of course it makes me remember my own experiences all those years ago ... 1983 to be precise. Philosophy & Politics at Warwick. I stayed overnight in Coventry at a b&b, watched Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence at the cinema (I was the only one in the auditorium; staff kept trying to sell me the benefits of the other movies available) and arrived for my interview half an hour late, though it was the correct time as shown on the letter they had sent me. Thus I got the interview but missed out on the campus tour offered to other applicants, so afterwards I wandered around for a couple of hours on my own, on a drizzly grey November day.
While I was a-wandering, they were considering my answers to the test questions they set to check to confirm that the candidate is suitably philosophically minded. Apparently they used to set questions based on Bertrand Russell but no one dared contradict him, so the questions were now more general. There were at least two, which I can remember.
- You are walking in the woods and you come across a dead animal in a trap. It obviously died slowly and in much pain. You think what a bad thing this was. Would it have been a bad thing if you hadn’t come along and found it?
- Person A says, "birds can fly, you cannot fly, therefore you are not a bird." Person B replies, "birds cannot understand logic, I cannot understand logic, therefore I am a bird." Discuss.
Must ask if he learned how to pronounce Cyncoed.