Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Murderous Thoughts 

Dave, commenting on Radio 4's Great Philosophers poll, argues that while followers of Marx - who won - have been responsible for countlesss deaths, followers of Hume have not been responsible for any. Now, leaving aside the fact that people who devote themselves to philosophy of any sort are often unhinged in other ways, I think Dave's wrong. After all, Hume wrote a couple of highly influential treatises on suicide, in which he was far from wholly condemning the act. Not many other really influential people have come out on the side of (at least rational) suicide. And since suicide is equally killing, there must be a good few deaths we can notch up to Hume's name...

However, it would certainly be interesting to compile a list of thinkers according to their murderous impact. Marx, Jesus...

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