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Voters spurn main parties in alternative vote for Cabinet of Philosopher-Rulers

Early polls show French feminist Simone de Beauvoir fending off Nietzsche, Hobbes and Machiavelli in a tussle for Foreign Secretary, and Britain's own J.S.Mill taking on Spinoza for Prime Minister, in an alternative vote for a Cabinet of Philosophers to govern the U.K.

Dr Angie Hobbs, Senior Fellow in the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Warwick, has organized the vote to explore Plato's suggestion in the Republic that states should be governed by philosophers (though admittedly Plato was no fan of democratic voting in any form!). But what better time than now to run a poll for an alternative UK Cabinet made up of philosophers past and present.

The vote is running now on the social media site Twitter where anyone can post their votes for one or more philosophers for the Cabinet post of their choice by simply tweeting a vote and adding the hashtag #voteplato to that tweet.  More information can be found on Dr Hobbs' blog and votes can also be left there.

The philosophical poll will close on the day before the UK election is held and Dr Hobbs will declare the final election results on the UK General Election day.  Over 100 philosophers have already been nominated and currently the polls show that:

  • The battle for PM is shaping up between Mill and Spinoza.
  • Marx and Adam Smith are neck and neck for Secreatary of State for Business and Industry.
  • In Defence, pacifist Bertrand Russell is just ahead of military philosopher and theorist Carl von Clausewitz
  • Wittgenstein's alleged poker-wielding confrontation with Karl Popper makes him a favourite for Chief Whip.
  • Zeno, who argued that movement is an illusion, tops the poll for Transport.
  • Socrates is storming ahead in the vote for education.
  • Heraclitus leads Health - despite rumours that he died after using dung as a cure for dropsy.
  • French feminist Simone de Beauvoir is narrowly ahead of Nietzsche, Hobbes and Machiavelli for the post of Foreign Secretary.
  • The only other woman leading the polls is Hypatia of Alexandria leading the vote for Science ahead of Australian philosopher David Armstrong - one of the few living philosophers doing well in the poll. 

Dr Hobbs says 'I'm delighted over 100 philosophers have been nominated in the poll so far, but I would love to see current philosophers winning more votes, particularly British current philosophers."

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications, University of Warwick 
Tel:  024 76 523708 Mobile 07767 655860

PR38 28th April 2010