Edinburgh’s Philosophers on the Renaming of Hume Tower


Seven philosophers at the University of Edinburgh have written individual responses to the university’s interim decision to rename Hume Tower.

The decision, taken in response to recent attention drawn to racism in David Hume’s writings, “has prompted staff within the Philosophy department to reflect and consider what Hume, and this decision, means to them”:

As philosophers, our responses to the renaming vary widely, as do the responses of the wider academic community. Out of respect for this diversity of opinion, all Philosophy staff have been invited to contribute to a blog to share their individual thoughts on the recent announcement.

The blog is called Edinburgh Philosophy – Voices on Hume. Its contributors so far are: Michael CholbiJonny Cottrell,  Tommy J. CurryMichael GillBerislav MarušićJennifer Smalligan Marušić, and Aidan McGlynn (links will take you to their indvidual posts).

The department has also announced that it is planning several events related to the renaming, including:

  • a student-led wikithon on the history of the David Hume Tower (November 2020)
  • a roundtable dedicated to the renaming bringing together academics, students, and alumni of the university (January 2021)
  • an academic conference focused on Hume’s racism and its legacy (2021).

Previous coverage of the renaming of Hume Tower is here.

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