In honor of David Hume’s birthday, May 7, 1711, let me share anew my history of ideas travel series I created in honor of my favorite philosopher in his home city of Edinburgh, Scotland. I’ll soon be in Edinburgh again, this time for at least one year, to pursue a Master’s Degree in Intellectual History at the University of Edinburgh. I can hardly express how thrilled I am at the prospect! I’ll be expanding this Hume series while I’m there.
To Edinburgh I Go, In Search of David Hume
Hello, friends of Ordinary Philosophy! I’m pleased and excited to announce my upcoming adventure: my first philosophical-historical themed adventure, and my first trip to Edinburgh, Scotland!
Here’s my plan:
I’m taking a series of trips to places around the world, where I explore the lives and ideas of great thinkers in the places where they lived and worked. I’ll follow in the footsteps of thinkers who are no longer alive, since those who are still telling their own stories. But those who are no longer alive in the body live on in the ideas that they pass on, and in the example they provide for us to follow.
I’ve decided to start with the philosopher I most admire as a person as well as a thinker, the great David Hume. He was not only revered for the brilliance of his ideas and his honesty in presenting them, but also as a premier example of a genial, generous, great-hearted person; so much so, in fact, that one of his closest friends nicknamed him ‘Saint David’.
Hume is often described as the greatest philosopher to write in English and among the greatest philosophers of all time, period. He was a central figure in the Scottish Enlightenment, and a profoundly influential empiricist and moral philosopher
So off to beautiful Edinburgh I go! There, I’ll visit the places where he worked, thought, wrote, studied, and rested. I’ll be traveling there in the first two weeks of May, and will be writing throughout the trip. I’ll be writing in this blog not only about his ideas, but about what I can discover about his everyday life, and whatever feeling of his time and place I manage to uncover in my time there.
If you have any questions for me to answer while I’m there, or pictures you’d like me to take for you, or any information you have that could help me with this project, I’d love to hear from you!
Here are my essays on Hume as I discover him in my travels, in (roughly) chronological order:
First Day in Old Edinburgh: Hume Sites and Monuments
Hume’s New Scene of Thought, and, It’s Good to Be Able to Say ‘I Don’t Know’
Hume Sites and Monuments, Part 2
The Consolations of Philosophy, and A Death Free from Fear
Happy 303rd Birthday, David Hume!
Cycling Through Edinburgh, First Time
The Debate Over Government and Freedom
The Tale of the Magic Toe – Superstition? Or What?
Hume Sites and Monuments, Part 3
Water of Leith
Last Day in Edinburgh, May 13th, 2014
Hume, Aristotle, and Guns
and a memory quilt I created for my Edinburgh trip:
A Hill and a Wall in Edinburgh, 2015, 102″ x 69″
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Thank you for sharing all this! I’m an American ex-pat (who met my wife in Oakland many years ago!) now living in Newcastle, England just a few hours south of Edinburgh. I write fiction and philosophy at the evphil.com website and have published a peer-reviewed paper on how we could bridge Hume’s is-ought divide. I enjoyed looking through all your old Hume posts and would love to spend some more time in Edinburgh to follow in your footsteps there. I saw that you wanted to go to Chirnside the last time you were here and I highly recommend it. I did a walk through there for my blog a few years ago which you can see here:
Cheers, welcome back, and good luck!
Hello, Ed, and thank you for your comment, I’m very glad you like this series. I look forward very much to visiting Chirnside and continuing my series on Hume, your blog post is very interesting. Let’s have a chat when you and I are both in Edinburgh!
I’d like that. I just found your email address on your page, so I’ll send you a message when I have something planned. Possibly soon as I’ve been itching to go to St. Abbs and just discovered that another Border Brains Walk is near there for James Hutton. Such an interesting part of the world this is…
Dear Ed, in reviewing past comments and questions at Ordinary Philosophy, I see I neglected to get back to you about Chirnside. I did make it there this last winter, and it was a fascinating trip. I had a great time! I hope you enjoy the story https://ordinaryphilosophy.com/2018/01/01/chirnside-and-ninewells-scottish-borders-childhood-and-summer-home-of-david-hume/
Thanks. I did see that post. Looks magical in the snow. If you’ve ever thought of coming to Newcastle, there’s a pretty vibrant philosophy group there that puts on events and has taken over a journal you might like. Cheers.
Click to access Autumn_2018_Flyer.pdf
Thank you! I was in Newcastle a couple of months ago, and would love to visit again. Thanks for the Philosophy share, too!
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