This article shows the top 100 most important philosophers in the Western civilization from the ancient Greek classics such As Socrates, Plato and Aristotle’s to contemporary philosophers such as Levi-Strauss and Foucault, passing by great masters such as Descartes or Spinoza.
What is Philosophy?
The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek philosophia, which literally means "love of wisdom". Philosophy can be define as the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. It is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.
Our structure follows the different time period of the various Western Philosophers. Those are divide into the following categories:
The Ancient Philosophers
Ancient philosophy is that of the Greco-Roman world from the 6th century BC to the 6th century AD. Those Philosophers are usually divided into three time periods including the pre-Socratic period, the Socratic with Plato and Aristotle and finally the post-Aristotelian (or Hellenistic) period. A fourth period that is sometimes added includes the Neoplatonic and Christian philosophers of late Antiquity.
The most important of the ancient philosophers (in terms of subsequent influence) are Plato and Aristotle. In this period the crucial features of the philosophical method were established: a critical approach to received or established views, and the appeal to reason and argumentation.
Top Ancient Philosophers
The top ancient philosophers include:
- Thales of Miletos
- Pythagoras of Samos
- Xenophanes of Colophon
- Parmenides of Elea
- Zeno of Elea
- Diogenes of Sinope
- Marcus Tullius Cicero
- Philo of Alexandria
- Lucius Anneas Seneca
- Marcus Aurelius
- Sextus Empiricus
Thales of Miletos
Thales of Miletus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Miletus in Asia Minor, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece and often regarded as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition. Thales was one of the first to try to explain natural phenomena without reference to mythology and was tremendously influential in this respect.
Pythagoras of Samos
Pythagoras of Samos was an Ionian Greek philosopher and known mathematician.
Xenophanes of Colophon
Xenophanes of Colophon was a Greek philosopher known for criticizing wide range of ideas, including Homer and Hesiod, the belief in the pantheon of anthropomorphic gods and the Greeks’ veneration of athleticism. He is also the first Greek poet who claims explicitly to be writing for future generations.
Parmenides of Elea
Parmenides of Elea was an ancient Greek philosopher founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy and is mostly known for his poem, On Nature, which describes two views of reality, ideas which strongly influenced the whole of Western philosophy and especially on Plato.
Heraclitus of Ephesus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, who regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom. He was often referred to as the " Obscure" or the "Weeping Philosopher", mainly because the lonely life he led as well as for his riddling nature of his philosophy and his contempt for humankind in general.
Zeno of Elea
Zeno of was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of southern Italy and a member of the Eleatic School founded by Parmenides. Aristotle called him the inventor of the dialectic and is best known for his paradoxes, which Bertrand Russell has described as "immeasurably subtle and profound".
Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher known as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary Aristophanes.
Plato was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great, covering many topics including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theatre, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government and ethics. Together with Plato and Socrates, Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy, being the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality, logic and science, politics and metaphysics.
Learn more about Aristotle with Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) and Aristotle’s The Politics.
Democritus was an Ancient Greek philosopher born in Greece who formulated an atomic theory for the cosmos and therefore many consider home to be the "father of modern science".
Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher and the founder of the school of philosophy called Epicureanism which describes the purpose of philosophy was to attain a happy, tranquil life, characterized by ataraxia, peace and freedom from fear, and aponia, the absence of pain, and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends.
Diogenes of Sinope
Diogenes the Cynic was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy who believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory. He was a controversial figure, known for living in a tube as he moved to Athens to debunk cultural conventions, after being exiled from his native city for defacing the currency.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist often considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists.
Philo of Alexandria
Philo of Alexandria was a Hellenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher born in Alexandria who used philosophical allegory to fuse and harmonize Greek philosophy and Jewish traditions. His method followed the practices of both Jewish exegesis and Stoic philosophy.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Lucius Annaeus Seneca often simply known as Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist and in one work humorist of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He is also famous for being the tutor and later advisor to the emperor Nero.
Marcus Aurelius was the last of the Five Good Emperors also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.
Sextus Empiricus was a physician and philosopher famous for writing the most complete surviving account of ancient Greek and Roman scepticism. He is known to have belonged to the "empiric school", as reflected by his name but based on his writings seems to place himself closer to the "methodic school".
Plotinus was a major philosopher of the ancient world famous for his system of theory from which there are the three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. He is known to belong the school of Neo-Platonism philosophy which was influential in Late Antiquity.
Medieval philosophy is the philosophy of Western Europe during the Middle Ages, roughly extending from the Christianization of the Roman Empire until the Renaissance. It is defined partly by the rediscovery and further development of classical Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, and partly by the need to address theological problems and to integrate the then widespread sacred doctrines of Abrahamic religion (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) with secular learning. The western Medieval Philosophers includes some of the top Christians and scholastic Philosophers.
Top medieval philosophers
The top medieval philosophers include:
- St. Augustine of Hippo
- St. Thomas of Aquino
- Johannes Duns Scotus
- William of Occam
- Modern Philosophers
St. Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo also known as St. Augustine, Bishop of the Hippo Region was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian, whose writings became a very influential force in the development of Western Christianity.
Boethius was a philosopher of the early 6th century and while in jail composed his Consolation of Philosophy, a philosophical treatise on fortune, death and other issues which became one of the most popular and influential works of the Middle Ages.
Anselm of Canterbury was a Benedictine monk and philosopher known as the founder of scholasticism and famous for being the originator of the ontological argument for the existence of God.
St. Thomas of Aquino
Thomas Aquinas was an Italian Dominican priest and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism. His influence on Western thought is considerable as much of modern philosophy was conceived as a reaction against, or as an agreement with his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law and political theory.
Duns Scotus was one of the more important theologians and philosophers of the High Middle Ages with considerable influence on Roman Catholic thought especially through his best known doctrines the "univocity of being".
William of Occam
William of Ockham was an English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher considered to be one of the major figures of medieval thought and commonly known for Occam’s razor, the methodological principle that bears his name.
Modern philosophers include those between the 17 century and 19 century, known as the age of reason as a lot of the text published were based on science. That period is also known as the Renaissance, a French word that can be translated to being born again.
Top Modern Philosophers
The top modern philosophers can be divided into the following categories:
The scientific area philosophers
The scientific area philosophers believed that philosophy is just one more science and that it should apply the hypothetical-deductive method like any other science. Its object of study is the reality as a whole: it is all that is relevant to build our vision of the world and our place in it, but it does not want to look at concrete details, which are the object of study of other sciences.
The top scientific area philosophers include:
- Nicolas Copernicus
- Niccolo Machiavelli
- Desiderius Erasmus
- Thomas More
- Francis Bacon
- Galileo Galilei
- Thomas Hobbes
- Sir Isaac Newton
Nicolas Copernicus was a Polish Renaissance astronomer and the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the centre of the universe, best known for his On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres masterpiece.
Niccolo Machiavelli was an Italian historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance and known to be the main founders of modern political science.
Desiderius Erasmus known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, and a theologian, called the crowning glory of the Christian humanists.
Sir Thomas More was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist known to coined the word "utopia" – a name he gave to the ideal, imaginary island nation whose political system he described in Utopia, published in 1516.
Francis Bacon was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and famous for being a philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during the scientific revolution.
Galileo Galilei commonly known as Galileo, was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution known for improvements to the telescope and support for Copernicanism and ofteh called the "the Father of Modern Science".
Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy and his 1651 book Leviathan established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory.
Sir Isaac Newton was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer and natural philosopher, mostly known for publishing Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica in 1687 considered to be one of the most important scientific books ever written. He describes universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, which will dominate the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries.
The rationalist philosophers
The rationalists philosophy could be defined as "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification".
The top rationalists philosophers include:
- René Descartes
- Antoine Arnauld
- Nicolas Malebranche
- Benedict de Spinoza
- Gottfried von Leibniz
René Descartes was a French philosopher dubbed the “Father of Modern Philosophy” known for publishing his Meditations, for developing the Cartesian coordinate system and being a key figure in the Scientific Revolution. He is perhaps best known for the philosophical statement "Cogito ergo sum", which can be translated into I think, therefore I am.
Antoine Arnauld was a French Roman Catholic theologian, philosopher, mathematician and one of the leading intellectuals of the Jansenist group of Port-Royal and had a very thorough knowledge of patristic.
Nicolas Malebranche was a French Oratorian and rationalist philosopher known for synthesizing the thought of St. Augustine and Descartes, in order to demonstrate the active role of God in every aspect of the world and famous for his doctrines of Vision in God and Occasionalism.
Benedict de Spinoza
Benedict de Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher who revealed considerable scientific aptitude and laid the groundwork for the 18th century Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism. He came to be considered one of the great rationalists of the 17th-century philosophy and his magnum opus, the posthumous Ethics has also earned him recognition as one of Western philosophy’s most important philosophers.
Gottfried von Leibniz
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a German philosopher and mathematician who occupies a prominent place in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy, famous for developing the infinitesimal calculus independently of Isaac Newton
The empiricist philosophers
In philosophy, empiricism is a theory of knowledge which opposes other theories of knowledge, such as rationalism, idealism and historicism. Empiricism asserts that knowledge comes primarily via sensory experience as opposed to rationalism which asserts that knowledge comes from pure thinking.
Top Empiricist Philosophers
The top Empiricist philosophers include:
- John Locke
- David Hume
- Thomas Reid
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau
- Denis Diderot
John Locke widely known as the Father of Liberalism was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. His contributions to liberal theory are reflected in the American Declaration of Independence.
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and scepticism. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment.
The Reverend Thomas Reid was a religiously trained Scottish philosopher founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense, and played an integral role in the Scottish Enlightenment.
Voltaire was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and free trade. Voltaire was one of several Enlightenment figures whose works and ideas influenced important thinkers of both the American and French Revolutions.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a major Genevan philosopher known for his political philosophy which heavily influenced the French Revolution. His Discourse on the Origin of Inequality and his On the Social Contract are cornerstones in modern political and social thought and make a strong case for democratic government and social empowerment.
Denis Diderot was a French philosopher, prominent during the Enlightenment and is best-known for serving as co-founder and chief editor of and contributor to the Encyclopédie.
The idealists philosophers
The idealists philosophers maintain that experience is ultimately based on mental activity. In the philosophy of perception, idealism is contrasted with realism, in which the external world is said to have an apparent absolute existence. Epistemological idealists such as Kant claim that the only things which can be directly known for certain are just ideas (abstraction).
Top idealists philosophers
The top idealists philosophers include:
- George Berkley
- Immanuel Kant
- Johan Schiller
- Frederick Schelling
- George Hegel
- Arthur Schopenhauer
George Berkley was an Anglo-Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called "immaterialism" also referred to as "subjective idealism" which denies the existence of material substance and instead contends that familiar objects like tables and chairs are only ideas in the minds of perceivers, and as a result cannot exist without being perceived.
Immanuel was a German philosopher perhaps best known for his masterpiece the Critique of Pure Reason, which aimed to unite reason with experience to move beyond what he took to be failures of traditional philosophy and metaphysics.
Friedrich Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright known for his collaboration with Goethe referred to as the Weimar Classicism.
Friedrich Schelling was a German philosopher known for contributing to the development of German idealism.
Georg Hegel was a German philosopher famous for being one of the creators of German Idealism and developing a comprehensive philosophical framework, or "system", of Absolute idealism. He developed the concept that mind or spirit manifested itself in a set of contradictions and oppositions that it ultimately integrated and united, without eliminating either pole or reducing one to the other.
Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher known for his pessimism and philosophical clarity and with most influential work, The World as Will and Representation, claimed that the world is fundamentally what humans recognize in themselves as their will.
The liberal philosophers
At its very root, liberals Philosophers are concern about the meaning of humanity and society.
The top liberal philosophers include:
- Adam Smith
- Mary Wollstonecraft
- Thomas Paine
- Jeremy Bentham
- John Stuart Mill
- Auguste Comte
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy, as well as one of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment. He is mostly known as the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and widely cited as the father of modern economics and capitalism.
Mary Wollstonecraft was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.
Thomas Paine was an author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, famous for his Common Sense (1776) pamphlet, which became the all-time best-selling American book that advocated colonial America’s independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Jeremy Bentham was an English jurist, philosopher and legal and social reformer who became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism. He is best known for his advocacy of utilitarianism and animal rights.
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher and an influential contributor to social and political theory as well as political economy. His conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control.
Auguste Comte was a French philosopher known to be the founder of the discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism. He is often regarded as the first philosopher of science in the modern sense of the term.
The evolutionists Philosophers
The top evolutionists philosophers include:
- Charles Darwin
- Henri Louis Bergson
- A.N. Whitehead
Charles Darwin was an English naturalist famous for establishing that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry. He proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, showing compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species.
Henri-Louis Bergson was a major French philosopher, influential especially in the first half of the 20th century by convincing many thinkers that immediate experience and intuition are more significant than rationalism and science for understanding reality.
Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead was an English mathematician who became a philosopher known for influencing all of analytic philosophy and being the co-author of the classic Principia Mathematica with Russell.
The Contemporary Philosophers are the most recent philosophers, mainly from the
Top Contemporary Philosophers
The top contemporary philosophers can be grouped into the following categories:
The pragmatist philosophers
Pragmatism is an American philosophical tradition centred on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice.
The top pragmatist philosophers include:
- Ernst Mach
- Charles Peirce
- William James
- John Dewey
Ernst Mach was an Austrian physicist and philosopher of science, who had a major influence on logical positivism and through his criticism of Newton, a forerunner of Einstein’s relativity.
Charles Sanders was an American philosopher who was employed as a scientist for 30 years. Today he is appreciated largely for his contributions to logic, mathematics, philosophy and semiotics, as well as the founding father of pragmatism.
William James, brother of novelist Henry James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience, mysticism and on the philosophy of pragmatism.
John Dewey was an American philosopher who was an important early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism and one of the founders of functional psychology.
The materialist philosophers
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter, that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance.
The top materialists philosophers include:
- Karl Marx
- Friedrich Engels
- Vladimir Lenin
- Sigmund Freud
- Carl Jung
- John Maynard Keynes
Karl Heinrich was a German philosopher and revolutionary socialist who developed the socio-political theory of Marxism. His ideas have since played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement. He published various books during his lifetime, with the most notable being The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Capital (1867–1894), many of which were co-written with his friend, the fellow German revolutionary socialist Friedrich Engels.
Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research. In 1848 he produced with Marx The Communist Manifesto and later he supported Marx financially to do research and write Das Kapital.
Vladimir Lenin was a Russian revolutionary and philosopher, creator of the Soviet Communist Party, leader of the 1917 October Revolution, and founder of the USSR. His extensive theoretical and philosophical contributions to Marxism produced Leninism. As the Bolshevik Revolution is considered the most significant political event in the 20th century, then Lenin must for good or ill be regarded as the century’s most significant political leader.
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis. Freud is best known for his theories of the unconscious mind and the mechanism of repression. He was also responsible for creating the clinical method of psychoanalysis for investigating the mind and treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.
Carl Gustav was a Swiss psychiatrist founder of analytical psychology and often considered the first modern psychologist to state that the human psyche is "by nature religious" and to explore it in depth. He is also known for being a pioneer in the field of dream analysis.
John Maynard Keynes
John Maynard Keynes was a British economist whose ideas have profoundly affected the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, as well as the economic policies of governments. His ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics.
The existentialist philosophers
Existentialism is a term applied to the work of a number of philosophers since the 19th century who, despite large differences in their positions, generally focused on the condition of human existence with an individual’s emotions, actions, responsibilities, and thoughts as well as the meaning or purpose of life.
The top existentialist philosophers include:
- Soren Kierkegaard
- Friedrich Nietzsche
- Edmund Husserl
- Martin Heidegger
- Jean-Paul Sartre
- Albert Camus
- Simone de Beauvoir
Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish Christian philosopher, theologian, religious author and widely considered, along with Friedrich Nietzsche, to be one of the founders of existentialism.
Friedrich Wilhelm was a 19th-century German philosopher who wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy, science and famous for displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism.
Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl was a philosopher founder of the 20th century philosophical school of phenomenology.
Martin Heidegger was an influential German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being."
Jean-Paul Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher and one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary and philosophical existentialism. He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature but refused it.
Albert Camus was a French author, journalist and key philosopher of the 20th-century who was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature "for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times”.
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir was a French existentialist philosopher, public intellectual, and social theorist best known for her metaphysical novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins. She is also famous for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women’s oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism.
The linguistic school philosophers
The top linguistic school philosophers include:
- Gottlob Frege
- Bertrand Russell
- Ludwig Wittgenstein
- Ferdinand de Saussure
- George Edward Moore
- Moritz Schlick
- Lev Vygotsky
- Rudolph Carnap
- A.J. Ayer
- Alfred Tarski
- J.L. Austin
- Gilbert Ryle
- Noam Chomsky
Gottlob Frege was a German mathematician who became a philosopher and who is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy, through his writings on the philosophy of language and mathematics.
Bertrand Russell, was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian and social critic. At various points in his life he imagined himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things, in any profound sense.
Ludwig Wittgenstein was an Austrian philosopher known for having inspired two of the century’s principal philosophical movements, logical positivism and ordinary language philosophy. His posthumously published Philosophical Investigations (1953) was ranked as the most important book of 20th-century philosophy.
Ferdinand de Saussure
Ferdinand de Saussure was a Swiss linguist whose ideas laid a foundation for many significant developments in linguistics in the 20th century and widely considered one of the fathers of 20th-century linguistics.
George Edward Moore
George Edward Moore was an English philosopher known as one of the founders of the analytic tradition in philosophy and along with Russell he led the turn away from idealism in British philosophy and became well known for his advocacy of common sense concepts.
Moritz Schlick was a German philosopher, physicist and the founding father of logical positivism and the Vienna Circle.
Lev Vygotsky was a Soviet psychologist, the founder of cultural-historical psychology as well as the leader of the Vygotsky Circle.
Rudolf Carnap was an influential German-born philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter known for being a key member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical positivism.
Sir Alfred Jules Ayer was a British philosopher known for his promotion of logical positivism, particularly in his books Language, Truth, and Logic (1936) and The Problem of Knowledge (1956).
Alfred Tarski was a Polish logician and mathematician member of the Lwow-Warsaw School of Logic and the Warsaw School of Mathematics and philosophy. He emigrated to the USA in 1939, where he taught and carried out research in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley.
John Langshaw Austin was a British philosopher of language, educated at Oxford University and widely associated with the concept of the speech act and the idea that speech is itself a form of action.
Gilbert Ryle was a British philosopher, a representative of the generation of British ordinary language philosophers that shared Wittgenstein’s approach to philosophical problems and is principally known for his critique of Cartesian dualism, for which he coined the phrase "the ghost in the machine".
Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist and activist well known in the academic and scientific community as one of the fathers of modern linguistics and a major figure of analytic philosophy. He is author of more than 150 books and has received worldwide attention for his views
The postmodernist philosophers
The top postmodernist philosophers include:
- Claude Levi-Strauss
- Michel Foucault
- Jacques Derrida
Claude Lévi-Strauss was a French anthropologist and ethnologist known to be the father of modern anthropology. He became famous for arguing that the "savage" mind had the same structures as the "civilized" mind and that human characteristics are the same everywhere in his famous book Tristes Tropiques.
Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas who held a chair at the prestigious College de France with the title "History of Systems of Thought" and also taught at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Berkeley.
Jacques Derrida was a French Pied-noir philosopher, born in French Algeria who developed the critical theory known as deconstruction. His work has been labelled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy.
The new scientist philosophers
The top new scientist philosophers include:
- Emile Durkheim
- Albert Einstein
- Karl Popper
- Kurt Gödel
- Alan Turing
- B.F. Skinner
- Thomas Kuhn
- Paul Feyerabend
- W.V.O. Quine
Emile Durkheim was a French sociologist known for establishing sociology as a recognized academic discipline and also became France’s first professor in that field.
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history. He is mostly famous for developing the theory of general relativity for which he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics which later became pivotal in establishing quantum theory within physics.
Karl Popper was an Austro-British philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century and also known for his extensive writing on social and political philosophy.
Kurt Gödel was an Austrian logician, mathematician and philosopher who emigrated to the United States to escape the effects of World War II. He became one of the most significant logicians of all time and had an immense impact upon scientific and philosophical thinking in the 20th century.
Alan Turing was an English mathematician and computer scientist who is often regarded as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, by providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a significant role in the creation of the modern computer.
Burrhus Frederic was an American behaviourist and social philosopher known for being the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1974 where he performed some of the greatest psychological experiments.
Thomas Samuel Kuhn was an American physicist and philosopher who wrote extensively on the history of science. His best known book is The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962).
Paul Karl Feyerabend was an Austrian-born philosopher of science best known for his work as a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley
Willard Van Orman Quine
Willard Van Orman Quine was an American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition, best known for his continuous affiliation with Harvard University.