Scotland's top historian has slammed the University of Edinburgh's decision to remove Scottish philosopher David Hume's name from one of their buildings. 

The University today announced that the building in question would now be known as 40 George Square.

It comes after a review from the institution's Equality and Diversity Committee and Race Equality and Anti-Racist Sub-committee found Hume's comments on "matters of race" could "cause distress." 

Professor Emeritus Sir Tom Devine, who formerly held the Sir William Fraser Chair of Scottish History and Palaeography, said he was "amazed" by the decision and would have "fought tooth and nail against" it were he still employed by the university. 

He said: "To say that I am amazed by this decision of the University of Edinburgh is a very great understatement.

READ MORE: University of Edinburgh renames David Hume Tower over ‘racist’ views

"I was honoured to hold the Sir William Fraser Chair of Scottish History and Palaeography at Edinburgh, acknowledged as the world's premier professorial post in the field, from 2OO4 until my retirement.

"If still employed by the University I would I have fought tooth and nail against this decision."

"In History we teach our students not to indulge in the intellectual sin of anachronistic judgement ie never to impose the values of today on those of the past.

READ MORE: David Hume: The Scottish philosopher whose name was removed from a University of Edinburgh building

"‎In 1762, the year of David Hume's reported letter on the plantations, there is no evidence that any groups in Scotland opposed chattel slavery in the colonies.

"The surge of abolitionism and widespread horror at man's inhumanity to his fellow man only came later.

"In that sense, Hume was a man of his time, no better and no worse than any other Scot at the time.

"By the criterian of this this stupid decision, the whole of Scotland in that period deserved moral condemnation."

Sir Tom spoke out in June against attacking statues of public figures connected to the slave trade after the monument of Henry Dundas in Edinburgh's St Andrew Square became the subject of heated debate. 

READ MORE: Sir Tom Devine: Scotland's role in slavery must be acknowledged

He has now condemned the the University of Edinburgh's decision to remove the prominent Scottish philosopher's name. 

He added: "David Hume was and is the greatest philosophical mind Scotland has every produced.

"His alma mater has now traduced him. The current Principal of Edinburgh should hang his head in absolute shame.

"On the other hand, Hume might be relieved that the David Hume Tower, the ugliest modern building, among several on the central campus, no longer bears his name, albeit temporarily!"

The University of Edinburgh's statement read: “It is important that campuses, curricula and communities reflect both the university’s contemporary and historical diversity and engage with its institutional legacy across the world.

“For this reason the university has taken the decision to rename – initially temporarily until a full review is completed – one of the buildings in the central area campus.”

It added: “The interim decision has been taken because of the sensitivities around asking students to use a building named after the 18th century philosopher whose comments on matters of race, though not uncommon at the time, rightly cause distress today.”