When I got my master's degree, my brother Christopher handed me a book and said,
"All graduate students should have a basic understanding of philosophy...this is a good start."
The book was Sophie's World, written by Jostein Gardner.
At first, I was a bit insulted; of course I had studied philosophy in my course work. I had a basic understanding of the classical philosophers and had studied a few modern ones as well. But I thought, he did have a point, it had been ages since I had read anything for just pure pleasure.
So I read the book. Honestly, some people don't like it BUT if you want a good crash course in philosophy, Chris was right (thanks Chris, you're a rock star!). It was a good start.
I was really interested in David Hume, who featured in the book and he was born right here in Edinburgh. His work spanned many topics but I loved that he questioned the absolutism of science and that logic cannot be removed from human emotion, nor can morality. And that human belief is stronger than logic. Oh and soooo much more...he inspired generations of economists, philosophers, scientist, psychologists, historians and hobbyist intellectuals.
I saw his grave today and I let out a little "eeeee!" when I saw it.
Another grave I saw was Adam Smith. Now, I'm not as much of a fan of Adam Smith (I think he work has occasionally been taken to the extreme and out of context) but he still shaped the world we know today. Bonus: him and Hume were homies. Word. (that was for Katie Dzombar, by the way). So much has come from here, it blows my mind and these guys inspire my poor atrophied mind, sick on the junk food of the internet, gossip magazines and television, to learn more.
Edinburgh is such an amazing city, it literally takes my breathe away. This history, the buildings, the beauty. I walked up all around Holyrood Park, climbing up Whinny Hill, the Dasses and Crow Hill (was going to do Arthur's Seat but I had no water or food and I just was feeling a bit tired at that point. Will do it tomorrow).
I was walking on the Dasses, a large ridge looking over the city. A falcon soared up in the air with a group of sparrows. As they danced and glided in the wind, I honestly was so over come with emotion, I almost burst into tears. Their beauty, grace and ease was so magnificent; with the beautiful city as a back drop and the sun poking confidently out of the clouds, I thought I had never seen anything so lovely.
After walking down off the hills, I walked passed Holyrood Castle. The roads were cordoned off...I ordered some soup at a small cafe and sat outside. As I was eating, a parade of horses and riders (what is it with this trip in parades? First dogs in Iceland, now horses) passed by. The riders were in full regalia. I asked the owner of the cafe what was going on. He shrugged and said, "Must've killed another poor wee fox. Wankers." Clearly, he was not much of a royalist.
Actually the Queen herself is coming for a visit on the 16th! I think she heard I was in town and wanted to catch up. Good thing I packed an extra pair of heels in my bag...and a dress...wouldn't want to meet her wearing pants! Now that would be a scandal...