Ilpo Hirvonen from the University of Helsinki was a Global Winner in 2016 in the Philosophy category for his paper “On the Interrelation between Phenomenology and Externalism.” He is currently studying for his master’s degree, also at the University of Helsinki.
After winning in the Philosophy category of The Undergraduate Awards in 2016 with an essay based on his undergraduate thesis, Ilpo’s award was featured extensively in the Finnish press. These articles also gave him an opportunity to further discuss his dedication to the study of philosophy. Speaking to Helsingin Sanomat about how a better understanding of philosophy might improve public discourse, Ilpo, citing the recent US presidential election as an example, said:
Logic, which is one of the fields of philosophy, would be useful for the rationality and argumentation of public rhetoric. For example, often in the social debate, conclusions are drawn without premises.
Ilpo is currently working on his postgraduate thesis at the University of Helsinki. This thesis builds upon ideas explored in his undergraduate work. Ilpo tells us,
I am trying to understand the complex connections between Husserlian phenomenology (a philosophical method and school of thought founded by Edmund Husserl in the early 20th century) and realism (the idea that there is a mind-independent reality), which is something I am most directly addressing in my master’s thesis. I am hoping to broaden my research and eventually take it to the post-graduate level in a PhD program.
In his spare time, Ilpo – a self-described avid film enthusiast – is working to grasp “the essence of the seventh art” in his blog, essence of film, which offers fascinating discussions on cinema from a philosophical approach. We would highly recommend this excellent blog to anyone interested in cinema. Best of luck with your master’s thesis, Ilpo!