The University of Edinburgh removes the name of philosopher David Hume for his ties to slavery


London Correspondent

Updated:09/14/2020 17:26h


The pressure of the Black Lives Matter movement continues to be evident in the UK, where some statues of characters related to slavery have been removed or recognized in different institutions and museums. Now it is the turn of the University of Edinburgh, which made the decision to rename one of its buildings. The David Hume Tower, named after the 18th century Scottish philosopher, historian and economist, considered one of the most important figures of the Enlightenment in the country, it will no longer bear his name, due to links of the also writer (1711 – 1776) with the racism.

The decision was made after a students group from the center will start a Bell so that the name of the building was changed, arguing his racism with a author’s quote in one of his essays, in which he said: ‘I tend to suspect that blacks are naturally inferior to whites » and he justified that “there was hardly ever a civilized nation of that complexion, not even an eminent individual.” In addition, some philosopher’s letters reveal their insistence to an acquaintance to buy slaves in Granada.

The university issued a statement in which it explained that “it is important that the campuses, curricula and communities reflect historical and contemporary diversity from the university and commit to its institutional legacy around the world, “adding that the decision was made due to the difficulty” of asking students to use a building named after the 18th century philosopher whose comments on racial issues, Although they were not uncommon at the time, today they cause anguish».

The educational center also added that its work on equality, diversity and the fight against racism have been “further strengthened” after the murder of African-American citizen George Floyd in the United States last May and the protest campaign that took place. generated all over the world. The building will be called 40 George Square from now on.

Found positions

The decision was applauded by some sectors, and also raised criticism. «David Hume is one of the Scots largest and most influential in history“Said Maurice Golden, Culture spokesman for the Conservative Party in Scotland, who said that” it is wrong to suddenly be ashamed of someone who clearly does notor is it known all over the world for his ties to the abominable slave trade. He is recognized worldwide as a philosopher and thinker.

Jonathan Hearn, professor of Political and Historical Sociology at the university, said that while these views of Hume were “racist, offensive, and condemnable” his “work provides insight into the dilemmas of the modern moral order and roots of human morality“And” his writings on philosophy, history, and political economy are full of deep and enduring reflections on human nature and history. ” And he clarified that «of course, you have to criticize your mistakes, discuss your ideas and, if necessary, remove your name from buildings. But deserves to be remembered. “

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