The Greatest Philosopher

28Oct09

Who is the greatest philosopher of all time? This is not a question to which we are likely to find a staightforward answer, but it remains an important one.

The BBC ran a vote in 2005, and Karl Marx came out as the clear winner. But the list itself provdes a good starting point for learning about some of the most important philosophers. The top twenty are Aquinas, Aristotle, Descartes, Epicurus, Heidegger, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, Plato, Popper, Russell, Sartre, Schopenhauer, Socrates, Spinoza and Wittgenstein. At this retrospective webpage you can read more about each of them and list to an audio track where a modern thinker champions each of them. There are also useful links to find out more.

I’d suggest that there are two things you might want to think about here. Firstly, what does it mean for a philosopher to be ‘great’? Is it a question of the influence they have had, or how successful their life was, or how ‘right’ they were, perhaps? Secondly… why is it that all of these candidates are men? Don’t women make good philosophers?

Advertisements


No Responses Yet to “The Greatest Philosopher”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: