The term philosophy comes from the ancient Greek term “philosophia” which means the “love for wisdom and common sense”. It is a study of rudimentary problems pertaining to issues such as life, love, existence, knowledge, reason, mind and justice. Philosophy encompasses a large number of subsidiaries – politics, ethics, religion and science to name a few. As much as I would like to promote the work and glory of all the philosophers who have made notable contributions to our world, I would save you the dread by narrowing the list to ten.
10) So number 10 on our list is John Locke, more commonly known as the “Father of Liberalism”. Locke was a prominent figure in the endorsement of liberty, individuality and freedom. He influenced the American revolutionaries and most of his ideas were written in the Declaration of Independence. Now I certainly won’t be doing him justice if I failed to quote him in this post.
Notable Quote: Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.
9) Head down to the East and embrace Confucian ideals. Confucius was a man who sparked great influence in ancient China. Most of his teachings were echoed in Chinese religious scriptures for Taoism. Confucianism had an emphasis on filial piety, justice and morality in politics. He believed that the main aim of the government or a leader should be the welfare of the people.
Notable Quote: Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.
8 ) One of the famous skeptics in philosophy has got to be David Hume. He questioned human nature with ardency and being a philosophical empiricist, made use of science to study natural characteristics that humans possess. Hume was known to influence many other famous philosophers after his time such as Kant and Rousseau. Kant even gave credit to Hume for waking him up from his “dogmatic slumbers”. The world will always remember Hume for questioning the very essence of abstract thought.
Notable Quotes: Belief is nothing but a more vivid, lively, forcible, firm, steady conception of an object, than what the imagination alone is ever able to attain
7) From Germany, we recognize Imannuel Kant. His influence had attained unparallel standards after publishing “The Critique of Pure Reason”. Kant sought to solder the differences between rationalists (these are the guys who claim that reason, above all is the source of passion and knowledge) and empiricists (these dudes vied that knowledge, science and experience to be the primal motivation for knowledge). Kant believed that “experience is purely subjective without first being processed by pure reason”. Well you have to admit, he does have a point there.
Notable quote: All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.
6) Karl Heinrich Marx, a name which never fails to arouse controversial sentiments. Marxism with its blend of radical socialist attributes revolutionized the political sphere of the world. It contributed greatly to the social science and politics. Heavily criticizing capitalism, Marx famously described it to be the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”. Marxism took precedence during the 20th century influencing distinguished icons such as Lenin, Stalin and Mao.
Notable quote: Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.
5)Fredrick Wilhelm Nietzsche is probably one of the notable modern philosophers of the 19th century. Nietzsche’s ideas of morality, nihilism and God’s existence are likely one of the few reasons he was held in such regard. At the age where science has dominated most of the world, people question the existence of the divine. He was mostly acknowledged for his method of questioning the worth and objectivity of truth.
Notable quote: God is dead.
4) A French philosopher by the name of Rene Descartes was credited to be the “Father of Modern Philosophy”. He astounded us by pointing out that the mind has the greatest influence on the matter of being. Apart from that, Descartes also quite successfully confused us by propagating the Cartesian Theory of Fallacies. And no, this statement is not a lie.
Notable quote: I think therefore I am.
3) Aristotle, was a student of Plato and a teacher to Alexander the Great. Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who profoundly influenced other philosophers because he had a say in practically every aspect in life. It was Aristotle who took notice of the pyramid order in this universe with regards to nature and human beings. As such, he was one of the first few to lay the foundations of philosophy with opinions on ethics, politics, physics, morality and the arts.
Notable Quote: All men by nature desire knowledge.
2) Plato, student of Socrates and teacher to Aristotle. He founded Plato’s Academy, the first institution of higher education in recorded history and pretty much like Aristotle, he was known for introducing the rudimentary ideas which dominated philosophy. This included rhetoric, art, justice, virtue, politics, epistemology and family.
Notable quote: Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.
1) Socrates was probably the founder of Western philosophy. He lived in Classical Greece and was the teacher to Plato. In his time, he stuck out like a sore thumb when he advocated ideas on epistemology and ethics. He ridiculed the pagan gods which were worshipped by virtually all ancient Greeks and was eventually trialed for it. It was only after Socrates’ death sentence did the rest of the Athenian Greeks treasure his wisdom.
Notable quote: I know that I know nothing.