A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy, which involves rational inquiry into areas that are outside either theology or science. The term “philosopher” comes from the Ancient Greek, φιλόσοφος, meaning “lover of wisdom”. The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.

Noam Chomsky

Who Is Noam Chomsky? Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes called “the father of modern linguistics”, Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy and one of the founders of the field of cognitive...

Jeremy Bentham

Who Is Jeremy Bentham? Jeremy Bentham (15 February 1748 [O.S. 4 February 1747][2] – 6 June 1832) was an English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism.[3][4] Bentham defined as the “fundamental axiom” of his philosophy the principle that “it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of...

John Locke

Who Is John Locke? John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the “Father of Liberalism”.[9][10][11] Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Sir Francis Bacon, he is equally...

Thomas Hobbes

Who Is Thomas Hobbes? Thomas Hobbes (5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679), in some older texts Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury,[4] was an English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern Political Philosophy.[5][6] Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book Leviathan, which expounded an influential formulation of social contract theory.[7] In...

John Stuart Mill

Who is John Stuart Mill? John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873),[8] usually cited as J. S. Mill, was a British philosopher, political economist, and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of classical liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory, and political economy. Dubbed “the most influential...

Stephen Hawking

Who Is Stephen Hawking? Stephen William Hawking (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge at the time of his death. He was the Lucasian Professor of...

Sigmund Freud

Who Is Sigmund Freud? Sigmund Freud (Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.[4] Freud was born to Galician Jewish parents in the Moravian town of Freiberg, in the Austrian Empire....

Émile Durkheim

Who is Émile Durkheim? David Emile Durkheim (15 April 1858 – 15 November 1917) was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline of sociology and—with W. E. B. Du Bois, Karl Marx and Max Weber—is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science.[3][4] Much of Durkheim’s work was concerned with how societies could maintain...

David Hume

Who Is David Hume? David Hume (born David Home; 7 May 1711 – 25 August 1776)[8] was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, scepticism, and naturalism.[1] Hume‘s empiricist approach to philosophy places him with John Locke, George Berkeley, Francis Bacon and Thomas...

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher and an important figure of German idealism. He achieved wide recognition in his day and—while primarily influential within the continental tradition of philosophy—has become increasingly influential in the analytic tradition as well.[33] Although Hegel remains a divisive figure,...

Erasmus

Who Is Erasmus? Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (28 October 1466[3][4] – 12 July 1536), known as Erasmus or Erasmus of Rotterdam, was a Dutch philosopher and Christian humanist who is widely considered to have been the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance.[5] Originally trained as a Catholic priest, Erasmus was an important figure in classical scholarship who...

Thomas Henry Huxley

Who Is Thomas Henry Huxley? Thomas Henry Huxley (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895) was an English biologist and anthropologist specialising in comparative anatomy. He is known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his advocacy of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.[2] The stories regarding Huxley‘s famous debate in 1860 with Samuel Wilberforce were a key moment in the wider acceptance of evolution and...

Alfred North Whitehead

Who Is Alfred North Whitehead? Alfred North Whitehead (15 February 1861 – 30 December 1947) was an English mathematician and philosopher. He is best known as the defining figure of the philosophical school known as process philosophy,[21] which today has found application to a wide variety of disciplines, including ecology, theology, education, physics,...

John Searle

Who Is John Searle? John Rogers Searle (born 31 July 1932) is an American philosopher. He was Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor Emeritus of the Philosophy of Mind and Language and Professor of the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley. Widely noted for his contributions to the...

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Who Is Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz? Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (Leibnitz, Godefroi Guillaume Leibnitz;[15] 1 July 1646 – 14 November 1716) was a prominent German polymath and one of the most important logicians, mathematicians and natural philosophers of the Enlightenment. As a representative of the seventeenth-century tradition of rationalism, Leibniz’s most prominent accomplishment...

Xenophanes

Who Is Xenophanes? Xenophanes of Colophon (c. 570 – c. 475 BC)[3] was a Greek philosopher, theologian, poet, and social and religious critic. Xenophanes lived a life of travel, having left Ionia at the age of 25 and continuing to travel throughout the Greek world for another 67 years.[4] Some scholars say he lived in exile in Sicily.[5] Knowledge of his...

René Descartes

Who Is René Descartes? René Descartes (Renatus Cartesius; 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. A native of the Kingdom of France, he spent about 20 years (1629–1649) of his life in the Dutch Republic after serving for a while in the Dutch States...

Auguste Comte

Who Is Auguste Comte? Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte (19 January 1798 – 5 September 1857)[4] was a French philosopher and writer who formulated the doctrine of positivism. He is often regarded as the first philosopher of science in the modern sense of the term.[5] Comte is also seen...

Maimonides

Who Is Maimonides? Moses ben Maimon (מֹשֶׁה בֶּן־מַיְמוּן‬ Mōšeh ben-Maymūn; موسى بن ميمون‎ Mūsā bin Maymūn), commonly known as Maimonides (Maïmōnídēs; Moses Maimonides), and also referred to by the acronym Rambam (רמב״ם‬, for Rabbeinu Mōšeh bēn Maimun, “Our Rabbi Moses, son of Maimon”), was a medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah...

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