The world’s 10 most famous philosophers have shaped our culture and thought throughout history. Their worldviews and ideas are still influential today. Epicurus was a Greek philosopher who believed that happiness was based on relationships with others and self-reflection. His philosophy was passed down through his students and it remains an important subject for discussion today.
The world’s 10 most famous philosophers have shaped our culture and thought throughout history. Their worldviews and ideas are still influential today.
Epicurus was a Greek philosopher who believed that happiness was based on relationships with others and self-reflection. His philosophy was passed down through his students and it remains an important subject for discussion today.
Aristotle is a philosopher and scientist who shaped centuries of thought and remains influential to this day. His extant writings cover a wide range of disciplines, from logic to metaphysics, ethics to aesthetics and rhetoric.
He was also known for his extensive work in natural science, particularly zoology. He observed a wide range of plant and animal species, and his detailed observations were quite unique in their time.
Aristotle believed that matter was made up of four elements: earth, water, air, and fire. He believed that objects would naturally clump together and that they tend to fall towards earth, where they are at rest.
Plato was a Greek philosopher who wrote numerous dialogues and left many unfinished works. His goal was to help people live good lives and achieve happiness.
His worldview revolved around the idea that there are three parts to the soul: reason, spirit, and appetite. Each part has a different object of desire and can lead the soul in different directions.
Ultimately, a healthy soul is one in which these three parts are at peace with each other and with reality.
A good life must involve learning to control these parts of the soul and forming harmonious emotional responses. This can only be accomplished by the cultivation of virtue and the habitual practice of moral psychology.
Descartes was a mathematician, natural philosopher and original metaphysician. He was a pioneer in the fields of theoretical physics, including co-framing the sine law of refraction and developing an empirical understanding of rainbows; and he introduced the concept of the Cartesian plane.
He was a founder of the scientific method and a key figure in the development of mathematics, and was known for his innovative ideas in science and philosophy.
Descartes formulated a worldview that would revolutionize philosophy for generations to come. He was a philosopher of the first order, and his work changed the way we think about everything from God to the human body.
Hume’s worldview was based on a belief that philosophies should be empirically grounded, rather than relying on speculation. Unlike ancient philosophers who were prone to making "hypotheses", he believed that only facts could be known.
This idea is reflected in his first book, “The Treatise of Human Nature”, which he wrote in 1737 at the age of 26. This book is considered one of the most important in Western philosophy.
In the Treatise, Hume argues that moral or ethical sentiments are intrinsically motivating, and they can provide reasons for action. He also emphasizes the difference between natural virtues, such as kindness and charity, which are dispositions that are natural to human beings, and artificial virtues, which are cultivated socially. He cites fidelity to promises, honesty with respect to property rights, allegiance to government, and conformity to the laws of nations as examples of artificial virtues.
The French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau is one of the most important political thinkers of the 18th century. His work focused on the relationship between human society and the individual, and his ideas were championed by the leaders of the French Revolution.
Rousseau’s view of human nature was very different from the classical philosophy of Aristotle and Hobbes. In Part I of his Second Discourse, he claims that men were once in a pure state of nature, and that they developed into civil society through a series of historical events.
Immanuel Kant was born on April 22, 1724 in Konigsberg, Prussia. He was the fourth of nine children, but his mother died when he was thirteen.
His parents were devoted Lutherans, and his upbringing was strict and disciplinary. He was taught to be humble and to obey the law.
He was also influenced by the rationalism of Gottfried Leibniz and Christian Wolff.
He believed that reason was not the sole basis of knowledge, but that it was only one aspect of a human's experience and that other forms of knowledge would also be necessary in order to understand the world around us. He also believed that humans can intuit certain things, but that they cannot have a priori knowledge of them.
Hegel’s worldview is best understood as combining the temporally conditioned with the eternal. This combination is rooted in his pantheistic legacy and reflects the antithetical combination of subjectivism with objectification that he inherited from his father.
Hegel was a key figure in German idealism, whose system of philosophy claimed to bring all the problems of logic, metaphysics (or the nature of Being), and the philosophies of nature, law, history, and culture (artistic, religious, and philosophical) back into a unitary centre. Throughout much of the twentieth century Hegel was largely dismissed within mainstream analytic philosophy, although a revival of interest in Hegel’s systematic thought and logical basis has taken place since the 1970s.
Despite his clear metaphysical commitments, Hegel was regarded by many traditionalists as a precursor of the more secular strands of modern thought, such as existentialism and Marxism. In fact, Hegel’s ideas of historical dynamics and the finitude of individual subjects were seen by some as a harbinger of these movements.
Nietzsche's worldview is focused on morality, truth, aesthetics and history. He is also interested in language and identity, and he considers the role of power and fate.
He believes that there is no one ideal and that it is not possible to know what will happen in the future, if anything happens at all. Instead, he believes that there are many wills working together to create the world that we live in.
He was born in Naumburg, Saxony and received a classical education at the prestigious Schulpforta school. He was an excellent student and graduated in 1864 with a thesis on the Greek poet Theognis. He then registered at the University of Bonn as a theology student, but soon switched to philology because he was influenced by two professors, Otto Jahn (1813-1869) and Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl (1806-1876). These teachers were influential in Nietzsche's intellectual development.
Freud is best known for his development of psychoanalysis, a field that combines psychology and anthropology. His theories are based on the idea that human actions and dreams are often filled with hidden symbolism.
According to his theory, a person’s personality is made up of three different parts: the ego, id, and superego. The ego is what we show to others, while the id and superego are what we internalize.
During his time in medical school, Freud began studying hypnosis and became interested in how it could be used to treat mental disorders. He later developed a method called free association, which is a way of getting patients to talk about their problems freely. This method of treatment was very successful and he continued to use it in his own practice. It also contributed to his growing fame and reputation.
Mary Wollstonecraft is best known for her 1792 work Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which lays out the radical ideas that women should be considered rational and independent beings. She also advocates for educational reforms.
Wollstonecraft was born in London in April 1759, to an impoverished and unreliable family. Her father's temper, alcoholism and failure to earn a living caused her great pain.
After moving to Newington Green in 1766, Wollstonecraft met a group of intellectuals who were interested in political and social reforms. Their ideas would profoundly influence her future writings.