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Philosophy Spotlight

Great Scot—Josh Hodges Explores the Mind in Edinburgh

Josh Hodges“Studying philosophy at Transylvania was such a remarkable experience that it’s difficult to distill into just a few words. Philosophy has this curious ability to subvert your entire worldview. Most importantly, it taught me to appreciate education for its own sake.”

As any thoughtful philosopher might, Josh Hodges took a year off after completing his Transylvania career in 2010 to focus on his graduate school applications. A year later, he finds himself studying on the same campus that housed famous philosopher David Hume—the University of Edinburgh. Pursuing a master's degree in philosophy of the mind, Hodges continues to reflect fondly on his time on this side of the Atlantic.

"There are so many good memories that it's hard to know where to start," Hodges says of his Transylvania experience. He notes the importance of Transylvania's "vibrant community both inside and outside the Transylvania bubble," the "high quality of the faculty and the small class sizes," and "the accessibility of the surrounding area." Despite the fact that Hodges now resides in the historic city of Edinburgh, he admits that he still finds himself "missing certain things about downtown Lexington."

Hodges gives his alma mater credit for preparing him to undertake the study of philosophy at such a storied institution. Asked how his experience at Transylvania has extended into his educational experience at Edinburgh, Hodges said, "I think that it transferred well. My particular program is highly interdisciplinary. The team-taught courses at Transylvania gave me the intellectual courage to engage carefully with texts from other disciplines." He credits the philosophy department for teaching him "which questions to ask" and giving him an appreciation for education.

That appreciation extends beyond Transylvania—and even beyond an ocean. Whether on the campus of a small liberal arts school in Kentucky or at one of the most renowned universities in the world, Hodges has discovered that his passion for learning, and philosophy, is an international language.

To be fair, Hodges wasn't prepared for everything he encountered in Edinburgh. "I should admit that I was not prepared for haggis," he said. "I'm not sure if anyone is truly able to prepare for haggis."

Cuisine aside, it's clear that Hodges has an appetite for learning that began at Transylvania, the home of an experience he couldn't completely leave behind. He is joined at Edinburgh by his friends Amanda Jewell and Stamatis Kandris, former classmates at Transylvania and a constant connection to his two worlds.

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