Philosophers

A philosopher was someone who lived according to a certain way of life, focusing on resolving existential questions about the human condition, and not someone who discourses upon theories or comments upon authors. Typically, these particular brands of philosophy are Hellenistic ones and those who most arduously commit themselves to this lifestyle may be considered philosophers. A philosopher is one who challenges what is thought to be common sense, doesn’t know when to stop asking questions, and reexamines the old ways of thought. 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 philosophos meaning “lover of wisdom“. The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras (6th century BC).

 

In a modern sense, a philosopher is an intellectual who has contributed in one or more branches of philosophy, such as aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, social theory, and political philosophy. A philosopher may also be one who worked in the humanities or other sciences which have since split from philosophy proper over the centuries, such as the arts, history, economics, sociology, psychology, linguistics, anthropology, theology, and politics.

The School of Athens by Rafael - closeup

Philosophers related articles

We have collected some of the well-known philosophers so you can enjoy reading their life stories, thoughts, and contributions resolving existential questions about the human condition.

 

Lists of Philosophers

Al-FarabiAl-GhazaliAl-KindiAlan WattsAlbert CamusAlbert EinsteinAlfred North WhiteheadAristotleArthur SchopenhauerAuguste ComteAugustine of HippoAvicennaAyn RandBaruch SpinozaBertrand RussellBlaise PascalConfuciusDavid Hume – Desiderius Erasmus – Emanuel SwedenborgÉmile DurkheimEpicurusEpikorosFakhr al-Din al-RaziFrancis BaconFriedrich NietzscheGalileo GalileiGautama BuddhaGeorg Wilhelm Friedrich HegelGottfried Wilhelm LeibnizHermes TrismegistusHippocratesHossein NasrIbn ArabiIbn KhaldunIbn Rushd (Averroes)Ibn TufailImmanuel KantJean Jacques RousseauJean-Paul SartreJeremy BenthamJohn DeweyJohn LockeJohn SearleJohn Stuart MillJohn WesleyJoseph SmithKarl MarxKarl PopperKhalil GibranLao TzuLaoziLeo TolstoyM. Fethullah GülenMaimonidesMarcus AureliusMenciusMohandas Karamchand GandhiMuhammad IqbalNiccolò MachiavelliNoam ChomskyOmar KhayyamPlatoPythagorasRené DescartesRumiShahab al-Din Yahya ibn Habash SuhrawardiSigmund FreudSocratesStephen HawkingSun TzuTaoThomas AquinasThomas CarlyleThomas Henry HuxleyThomas HobbesXenophanesZoroaster
Martin Luther King, Jr. Model of an American Patriot

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. (born Michael King Jr.; January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. King is best known for advancing...

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Peace Movement 1930

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (मोहनदास करमचन्द गांधी; મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી; October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948) was one of the most important leaders in the fight for freedom in India and its struggle for independence from the British Empire. It was his philosophy of Satyagraha or nonviolent non-compliance...

Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand Ayn Rand (born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum; February 2 [O.S. January 2] 1905 – March 6, 1982) was a Russian-American writer and philosopher. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she named Objectivism. Educated in Russia, she moved to the United States in 1926....

Laozi Statue,Tai Lake

Laozi

Laozi Lǎozǐ (Laozi or Lao Tzu) was a naturalistic philosopher-sage attributed with founding the Chinese way of life known as Daoism, and credited with having written the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching), though both claims have been historically disputed by scholars. Perhaps a legendary figure, Laozi’s influence on Chinese history, thought, and...

Emanuel Swedenborg, engraving by William Holl.

Emanuel Swedenborg

Emanuel Swedenborg Emanuel Swedenborg (born Emanuel Swedberg; January 29, 1688 – March 29, 1772) was a Swedish scientist, philosopher, Christian mystic, and theologian. Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. At the age of 56 he entered into a spiritual phase, in which he experienced dreams and visions of the afterlife. This...

Alive Awake Aware Hands Yin Yang Duality Tao

Tao

Tao Tao or Dao (Chinese: 道; pinyin: Dào) is a Chinese word signifying “way”, “path”, “route”, “road” or sometimes more loosely “doctrine”, “principle” or “holistic beliefs”. In the context of East Asian philosophy and East Asian religions, Tao is the natural order of the universe whose character one’s human intuition must discern in order to realize the potential...

"John Wesley," by the English artist George Romney, oil on canvas. 29 1/2 in. x 24 3/4 in. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London.

John Wesley

John Wesley John Wesley (28 June  [O.S. 17 June] 1703 – 2 March 1791) was an English cleric, theologian and evangelist who was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. The societies he founded became the dominant form of the independent Methodist movement that continues to this day. Educated at Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford, Wesley...

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith Joseph Smith Jr. (December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. When he was 24, Smith published the Book of Mormon. By the time of his death, 14 years later, he had attracted tens of thousands of followers...

A panorama of scenes from the Gautama Buddha's life, from a Burmese parabaik or picture book.

Gautama Buddha

Gautama Buddha The Gautama Buddha (also known as The Buddha, Siddhattha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama) was a philosopher, mendicant, meditator, spiritual teacher, and religious leader who lived in Ancient India (c. 5th to 4th century BCE). He is revered as the founder of the world religion of Buddhism. He taught for around 45 years and...

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...

Scroll Up