PHILOSOPHERS WHO ARE BAD PEOPLE. . Philosophers are thought to have some idea of ethics and of how to live the good life. Reading this article about Hannah Arendt by Adam Kirsch in the January 12 New Yorker reminded me that philosophers can be guilty of monstrous things. Bertrand Russell, Sartre and de Beavoir and Martin Heidegger are some of the best-known philosophers of the last century and they did bad things. I posted here about Bertrand Russell’s betrayal of T.S.Eliot by establishing Eliot’s trust and then seducing Eliot’s bride. This review of Hazel Rowley’s joint biography of de Beauvoir and Sartre quotes Rowley that “these two advocates of truth-telling constantly told lies to an array of emotionally unstable young girls.” As this review of another joint biography by Carole Seymour-Jones says:”De Beauvoir became a glorified procuress, exploiting her profession as a teacher to seduce impressionable female pupils and then passing them on to Sartre, who had a taste for virgins.” As for Heidegger, Kirsch’s article describes how Heidegger was an unapologetic Nazi.

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