Thursday, June 12, 2008

Simon Critchley's top 10 philosophers' deaths

Simon Critchley is a Professor of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research and the author, most recently, of The Book of Dead Philosophers.

For the Guardian, he listed his top ten philosophers' deaths.

His ambition for the list:
"to show that often the philosopher's greatest work of art is the manner of their death."
The chart-topper:
Heracleitus (540-480 BC)

Heracleitus became such a hater of humanity that he wandered in the mountains and lived on a diet of grass and herbs. But malnutrition gave him dropsy and he returned to the city to seek a cure, asking to be covered in cow dung, which he believed would draw the bad humours out of his body. In the first version of the story, the cow dung is wet and the weeping philosopher drowns; in the second, it is dry and he is baked to death in the Ionian sun.
Read about all ten dead philosophers on Critchley's list.

--Marshal Zeringue