I’ve taken a philosophy course or two and I really enjoyed reading Leibniz. Coming from a math background, I was curious about him: Newton gets all the press because of his laws of motion and his batshit-crazy alchemy but Leibniz also independently developed differential calculus and Leibniz’ notation is vastly superior to Newton’s, and, … And then we read the Monadology. After a lot of dry readings, the Monadology was in simple language (good translation?) and the ideas were peculiar, where peculiar equals interesting plus fun.
But it was Hume who stole my heart. His writing was lucid and charming. His clear explanation of the logical problem of induction blew my mind. There really is no logical necessity for the future to resemble the past. Just because the sun rose this morning and all previous mornings that I can recall, does not necessitate that it will rise again tomorrow. Would I bet the house that the sun will rise? Sure. But I can easily conceive that it would not.
His statue on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is a travesty. I blame the Duke of Edinburgh and plan on writing him a cross letter. Hume was a brilliant, thoughtful man. So why is he sitting half-naked with his tits out and with his toe hanging out like that? The toga is meant to represent the timelessness of philosophical thought but it just looks undignified. The fact that students rub his toe for luck on exams is entirely contrary to his empiricism. Everything about this statue is just wrong. It’s downright hateful to his memory. Plus it’s on the Royal Mile which I wanted to leave from the moment I arrived. It is a largely pedestrian street with buskers of various kinds and every kind of chain cafe and touristy shop you could imagine. Ugh.
Later that day, I was waiting for my mother outside the M&S on Princes Street and saw this:
By the time she emerged, there was this:
Oh, and another knock against the Royal Mile: it’s a bit of a hike…