All entries for May 2010
May 10, 2010
So, this is what the Cabinet of Philosopher-Rulers looks like now that all the votes have come in. As you can see, the list proves that, in philosophy, seriousness and a sense of fun can happily co-exist. You will also see that I decide to be inclusive re. who can count as a philosopher. Most of the philosophers who won Cabinet places also received nominations for other posts:
Prime Minister: J.S.Mill easily beat off Spinoza.
Home Secretary: Hume clinched it over Voltaire and Hobbes
Chancellor: Aristotle narrowly defeated Marx
Foreign Secretary: de Beauvoir fended off Burke and Machiavelli
Defence: Russell (the dove beat off hawk and military theorist von Clausewitz)
Education: Socrates romped home on this one. Rosa Luxembourg was his nearest rival
Arts and Culture: Zizek (the only living philosopher to make the Cabinet)
Industry: Adam Smith narrowly defeated Marx
Work and Pensions: Marx finally made it here
Science: Hypatia defeated David Armstrong
Attorney General: Rawls beat off Locke and Foucault
Health: Nietzsche edged out Heraclitus. Interesting choice ...
Sport: Camus' footballing prowess gained him victory here
Environment: forest fan Heidegger
Chief Whip: Wittgenstein - perhaps as a result of alleged poker-wielding confrontation with Popper?
Transport: Zeno. Of course.
Women's Affairs: Kant - who would, I am sure, be delighted at the news.
Housing: barrell-dwelling Diogenes
Minister for the Cabinet Office: de Tocqueville
Scotland: Cicero. Gosh - but perhaps voters were mischievously thinking of Scottish singer David Cicero
Northern Ireland: Francis Hutcheson
Wales: Sir Henry Jones
Hobbes received a number of nominations for 5 different posts, but didn't win a Cabinet place. Baudrillard, Popper, Burke, Nussbaum and Frank were also unlucky to lose out.
117 different philosophers received nominations, including 25 living philosophers. 18 women were nominated.
So what do you think? Would this Cabinet do any better than our current political masters (still Labour as I write this, though who knows who will be in charge tomorrow?)
And finally - many thanks to all of you who voted and discussed - I have really enjoyed all your contributions and they have made for a rich and intriguing debate.
May 02, 2010
Well, this is all proving very interesting and things are heating up nicely. With just over 3 voting days to go to elect an alternative Cabinet of Philosopher-Rulers, over 100 different philosophers have been nominated and the race is on for the key posts. Mill is still in the lead for PM, with Spinoza, Hayek, Aristotle, Bentham, Bernard Williams and Sue James also in the running. Socrates leads for education and Hypatia for Science (with David Armstrong not far behind). Hume and Hobbes are battling it out for Home Secretary, with Sorell and Parfitt also in the mix, and there's a classic tussle between hawks and doves in Defence, with both Clausewitz and Russell in close contention. Rawls and Locke are both showing strongly for Attorney General, though Philippa Foot is making a late run. Amartya Sen is a possible for Chancellor, Zizek, Benjamin and Adorno for Culture. Adam Smith and Marx are in a hard-fought battle for Business and Industry. Bookchin looks promising for Environment and Zeno - of course - leads for Transport. The earliest philosopher nominated is Heraclitus, and current philosophers include Sen, Zizek, Chomsky, Dworkin, Walzer, Tom Sorell, Raimond Gaita, Tim Williamson, Sue James, David Armstrong, Onora O'Neill, Philippa Foot, Martha Nussbaum, Joan Tronto, Judith Butler and Seyla Benhabib.
So do keep continuing to post your nominations - either on the blog or on Twitter using the hashtag #voteplato. Voting closes on May 5th and the results will be announced on Election Day.
And then I'm off to take part in the Philosophers' Football Match on May 9th www.philosophersfootball.com Wish me luck and PLEASE tell me the offside rule ...