Varol Akman (Bilkent) calls my attention to Garrison Keillor's entries from The Writer's Almanac on the two philosophers who were born on April 26:
It's the birthday of the man who said: "The truth springs from arguments among friends," and "The life of man is of no greater importance to the universe than that of an oyster." That's Scottish philosopher David Hume (books by this author), born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1711. While working as a librarian, he wrote the six-volume History of England (1762), which became a bestseller and gave him the financial independence to write and revise his philosophical treatises. He wrote A Treatise of Human Nature (1740), Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding (1748), and Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751). He was a strict skeptic, and questioned all knowledge [purportedly] derived from the senses.
David Hume said, "Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty."
And, "Reading and sauntering and lounging and dozing, which I call thinking, is my supreme happiness."
And, "He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to any circumstances."
Today is also the birthday of another well-known philosopher: Ludwig Wittgenstein (books by this author), born in Vienna in 1889. He was described by his colleague Bertrand Russell as "the most
perfect example I have known of genius as traditionally conceived: passionate, profound, intense, and dominating." He was the youngest of nine children; three of his brothers committed suicide.
Wittgenstein was born into one of the richest families in Austro-Hungary, but he later gave away his inheritance to his siblings, and aso to an assortment of Austrian writers and artists, including Rainer Maria Rilke.
He once said that the study of philosophy rescued him from nine years of loneliness and wanting to die, yet he tried to leave philosophy several times and pursue another line of work, including serving in the army during World War I, working as a porter at a London hospital, and teaching elementary school.
Wittgenstein was particularly interested in language. He wrote, "The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for."