NT2573 : David Hume

taken 4 years ago, near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

This is 1 of 2 images, with title David Hume in this square
David Hume
David Hume
David Hume (1711-1776) was a philosopher, economist and historian, and one of the most prominent figures of the Scottish Enlightenment. He lived for a time at NT2573 : Riddle's Court nearby. What he would have made of this statue showing him in Greek (or is it Roman?) dress I cannot imagine, even if it does depict the timelessness of philosophy. For one thing Edinburgh in his day wasn't usually warm enough, and for another he'd have upset the black crows of the Calvinist Kirk even more than he already did if he'd gone wandering about the city half-naked and barefoot. Students of philosophy apparently took to rubbing the toe of the statue in the hope that some of Hume's genius would rub off on them; Hume would not have approved, because that sort of even mock-superstitious behaviour was at odds with his view of the world. Nowadays it's not just students, but tourists from all over the world, who do so - hence the shiny toe, in contrast with the patina on the rest of the statue. Oh yes, by the way, the sculptor was Alexander Stoddart, who was also the sculptor of NT2573 : Adam Smith and the Tron, and the statue was unveiled in 1996. (It came as a great relief to me to see this date, as it explains how I had managed to spend four years in the 1960s as a student just round a couple of corners from here without noticing the statues.)
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NT2573, 5255 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 28 September, 2013   (more nearby)
Monday, 30 September, 2013
Geographical Context
People, Events 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2563 7359 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.9739N 3:11.5479W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2563 7359
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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