Delight Springs

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hume's Edinburgh

I've been working on the Study Abroad course I hope to ride to Oxford, UK & environs next summer with a colleague and students: "American Philosophy: British Roots & Branches" (or something like that).

We'll set up camp at (say) Merton College, Corpus Christi, or Christ Church (home, respectively, of pragmatic provocateurs Bradley, Schiller, & Locke). When we're not scouting Oxford for traces of those roots and branches, we'll hop the train to Russell's & Wittgenstein's Cambridge, to Darwin's Down House in Kent, to Bentham's and Mill's London, maybe even through the chunnel to Holland and France.

And of course there's Hume's Edinburgh, site of the still-thriving Gifford Lectures. (James's presaged the Varieties of Religious Experience.)
In 1775, the philosopher, David Hume, petitioned the Town Council to provide a walkway for the benefit of the population and the first public walk was duly opened. When Hume died the following year his remains were laid to rest in Old Calton Burying Ground on Waterloo Place at the foot of Carlton Hill - it can be visited on the return part of this route. Hume's epitaph reads, "Born 1711, Died 1776. Leaving it to posterity to add the rest."
Wrote Hume to his physician:
I was very regular in my diet and way of life from the beginning, and all that winter made it a constant rule to ride twice or thrice-a-week, and walk every day. 
Here's where he did it...

...and where we'll do it too, God or posterity willing.

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