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Top 51 Greatest Philosophers Of All Time

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The Greatest Philosophers listed here have written some of the greatest philosophy books. People often quote the sayings of these great philosophers.

Philosophy is called as the love of wisdom and it is not bound to any one branch of wisdom. A philosopher can be a scientist, a mathematician, a socialist, an economist, an author, a priest and even a ruler. It is because the great thinkers that we advanced through generations and were able to explore the universe. Here is the list of 51 greatest philosophers who gave philosophies about life, god, society and the reason of existence:

Greatest Philosophers

51. Karl Popper
Greatest philosophers
Born in 1902, Karl Popper is known for his work on Empirical Falsification.
50. Niccolo Machiavelli
Greatest philosophers
Even though many people won’t favour his theory of Machiavellianism (which supported the killings of innocent for the benefits of powerful politician) yet it can not be denied that Niccolo Machiavelli is actually the father of Modern Political Science.
49. Jacques Derrida
Greatest philosophers
Jacques is known for his work on Postmodern Philosophy and his theory of deconstruction.
48. Ayn [email protected]
Greatest philosophers
Russian Philosopher Ayn [email protected] gained worldwide popularity after her revolutionizing theory of objectivis. She proposed the theory in her novel Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead (1943). According to this theory one’s motive of life is to find own happiness.
47. Maimonides
Greatest philosophers
Maimonides was not just a great philosopher of middle ages but also an astronomer and polymath.
46. William James
Greatest philosophers
William James’ The Principle of Psychology actually broke the traditional thinking about human psychology and became one of the best-selling non-fiction books of all time.
45. Michel de Montaigne
Greatest philosophers
Montaigne was a great philosopher who influenced the French Renaissance and became one of the most notable philosopher history has ever seen.
44. Willard Van Orman Quine
Greatest philosophers
Willard was called as one of the most influential philosopher of the twentieth century due to his work in philosophy and logic.
43. Arthur Schopenhauer
Greatest philosophers
Arthur studied Western philosophy as well as eastern philosophy and influenced from both he wrote the most popular philosophical book ‘The World as Will and Representation’.
42. Martin Heidegger
Greatest philosophers
Martin is known for his work on the interpretation of Biblical text and his work on phenomenology and existentialism.
41. Simone de Beauvoir
Greatest philosophers
Simone was a feminist philosopher who is also known for his work on thoughts about human existence.
40. Augustine of Hippo
Greatest philosophers
Saint Augustine was among the people who influenced western Christianity and is one of the most important figure of ancient times.
39. George Berkeley
Greatest philosophers
Berkeley denounced the idea of abstraction and supported subjective idealism which he called as immaterialism. It stated that a subject only happen to exist because you have it in your mind.
38. Bertrand Russell
Greatest philosophers
Russell was influenced by pacifism, socialism and liberalism. He led a revolt against idealism, imperialism and war in Britain.
37. Adam Smith
Greatest philosophers
Adam Smith worked on human morals and wrote two ground breaking books titled ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’ (1759) and 17 years later another book titled ‘An inquiry into nature and causes of the wealth of Nations’.
36. Thomas Hobbes
Greatest philosophers
Thomas Hobbes had a positive influence of the political philosophy of Europe. His idea of liberalism was liked by the people and made him one of the most rational philosopher of all time.
35. Soren Kierkegaard
Greatest philosophers
Soren was a Danish philosopher whose most theory questioned the relationship between man and god and the meaning of life.
34. Zeno of Elea
Greatest philosophers
Zeno was born before Socrates and Aristotle and is said to influence these two great philosophers.
33. Jeremy Bentham
Greatest philosophers
If you are student of Philosophy then you might have studied about utilitarianism which was given English Philosopher Jeremy Bentham.
32. Jean-Paul Sartre
Greatest philosophers
Jean-Paul Sartre was so much in favour of his theory of existentialism that he even rejected a Nobel prize in 1964.
31. Montesquieu
Greatest philosophers
Montesquieu is known for his work in political science and the theory on the need of separation of powers.
30. Heraclitus
Greatest philosophers
Heraclitus is known for his popular theory of Logos and he was so much stressed about the world condition that he was popularly called as the weeping philosopher.
29. Diogenes of Sinope
Greatest philosophers
Diogenes was cosmopolitan philosopher who believed that a human being can eat or sleep wherever he wants and can not swear his nationality to one place.
28. Boethius
Greatest philosophers
Though Boethius was a king yet his theory on Consolation of Philosophy was one of the most popular and most admired philosophical works of the ancient ages.
27. Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Greatest philosophers
Jean-jacques was among the key people who influenced the French revolution and also the members of Jacobin club. He was called as national hero.
26. Baruch Spinoza
Greatest philosophers
Baruch opposed the idea of Philosophy of mind which said that mind and body are non-identical. His work later influenced many other philosophers.
25. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Greatest philosophers
Gottfried was a multi talented person who was not just a great philosopher but also a polymath and a renowned physician.
24. Anaxagoras
Greatest philosophers
Anaxagoras brought philosophy to Athens and he was among the key people who influenced Aristotle, Socrates and Plato.
23. Thales
Greatest philosophers
Thales was a Greek philosopher who instead of using philosophy for answering the question of existence took the help of science. He was also one of the seven sages of Greece.
22. Ludwig Wittgenstein
Greatest philosophers
Ludwig worked on Logic, Mathematics and the philosophy of mind.
21. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Greatest philosophers
Georg was a German philosopher and he was the one who spread and popularized German Idealism all over the world.
20. Francis Bacon
Greatest philosophers
Francis was the one who founded the theory of Empiricism. He was born in 1561 and his influence was all over Europe.
19. Laozi
Greatest philosophers
Laozi means old master and Laozi was the greatest Chinese philosopher of all time.
18. David Hume
Greatest philosophers
David hume was a British empiricist who stated that one can learn only from his own experience.
17. John Stuart Mill
Greatest philosophers
John’s work on liberalism, socialism and political theory places him against the greatest philosophers of all time.
16. Friedrich Nietzsche
Greatest philosophers
Friedrich’s philosophy influenced art, culture, history and religion. He is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of 19th century.
15. Immanuel Kant
Greatest philosophers
Kant stated that reason comes through morality and space and time are feature of human mind.
14. Leo Tolstoy
Greatest philosophers
Leo Tolstoy is not only one of the greatest writers of the 20th century but he is also known for his short philosophical essays which influenced millions of people around the globe.
13. John Locke
Greatest philosophers
John Locke was born in 1634 and he is called as the father of the liberalism.
12. Epicurus
Greatest philosophers
Epicurus gave Epicureanism which stated that human life is successful only if it achieves freedom from fear and that pain and pleasure are nothing but states of good and evil.
11. Zeno of Citium
Greatest philosophers
Zeno of citium stated that a human being can live successful life only if he achieves peace of mind and it can only be achieved in accord with the nature.
10. Avicenna
Greatest philosophers
Avicenna was a historical scientific figure who worked in psychology and alchemy. He influenced many middle-east philosophers.
9. Voltaire
Greatest philosophers
Voltaire was among the philosophers who advocated the freedom of expressions and to listen to the voice of common man. He also ridiculed Catholic Church through his comic essays.
8. Thomas Aquinas
Greatest philosophers
Thomas was a priest and he put forward the theory that a Truth can never be hidden no matter what.
7. Marcus Aurelius
Greatest philosophers
Marcus was a roman emperor and he is called as the last of the five good emperors. He worked on the Stoic philosophy and that is why is cited as one of the greatest philosophers.
6. Rene Descartes
Greatest philosophers
Rene is called as the father of modern western philosophy. He gave one of the most popular quote of all time ‘I Think, Therefore I am’. He was also a renowned scientist and Mathematician.
5. Confucius
Greatest philosophers
Confucius was philosopher and a teacher whose teachings not only spread all over China but also influenced other Asian countries. He once said that Morality can never be imposed but rather accepted and followed by the disciple.
4. Paul the Apostle
Greatest philosophers
Paul was a Jewish and a roman citizen who said that Jesus is a Jewish Messiah and son of god.
3. Aristotle
Greatest philosophers
Greek Philosopher Aristotle was among the three great Greek philosophers who revolutionized the world.
2. Plato
Greatest philosophers
Plato was teacher of Aristotle and his philosophies are considered equivalent to Christianity by many philosophers.
1. Socrates
Greatest philosophers
Socrates was teacher of Plato and it is said that Plato’s text were actually Socrates philosophies written in textual form for future generations.

According to you who is the greatest Philosophers of all time and why?