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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.