Famous 17th Century British Philosophers

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 1 
John Locke
(English Philosopher and Physician, Popularly Known as the ‘Father of Liberalism’)
John Locke
23
Birthdate: August 29, 1632
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wrington, Somerset, England
Died: October 28, 1704
John Locke, also known as The Father of Liberalism, was a prominent Enlightenment Age philosopher. A qualified physician, Locke postulated the theory of mind, empiricism, and the idea of tabula rasa. His ideas influenced the social contract theory, the works of Kant and Rousseau, and the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
 2 
Francis Bacon
(Philosopher, Statesman and Lord High Chancellor of England)
Francis Bacon
10
Birthdate: January 22, 1561
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Strand, London, England
Died: April 9, 1626

Francis Bacon was a Renaissance philosopher and author who was known as the Father of Empiricism, because of his belief in the scientific method and theory that scientific knowledge can only be created through inductive reasoning and experience. He was later knighted and served as the first Queen's counsel.

 3 
Thomas Hobbes
(English Philosopher and One of the Founders of Modern Political Philosophy)
Thomas Hobbes
11
Birthdate: April 5, 1588
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Westport, Wiltshire, England
Died: December 4, 1679

Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher. Widely regarded as the co-founder of modern political philosophy, Hobbes is best known for his influential book Leviathan. Apart from political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes also contributed immensely to various other fields, such as ethics, theology, geometry, history, and jurisprudence.

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 4 
George Berkeley
(philosopher)
George Berkeley
5
Birthdate: March 12, 1685
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: County Kilkenny, Ireland
Died: January 14, 1753

George Berkeley was an Anglo-Irish philosopher who is credited with popularizing a theory called immaterialism, which claims that material substance like tables and chairs can't exist without being perceived by the mind. Berkeley influenced several philosophers like David Hume. Also remembered for his humanitarian work, George Berkeley worked towards creating homes for abandoned children in London.

 5 
Robert Hooke
(Philosopher)
Robert Hooke
6
Birthdate: July 28, 1635
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Freshwater, Isle of Wight
Died: March 3, 1703

Scientist Robert Hooke, also called England's Leonardo, initially gained recognition as an architect, conducting surveys following the Great Fire of London. He also taught geometry and was part of the Royal Society. He assisted Robert Boyle and eventually developed his own microscope, thus becoming the first to visualize micro-organisms.

 6 
John Dee
(Mathematician, Philosopher)
John Dee
5
Birthdate: July 13, 1527
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tower Ward, London
Died: February 29, 1609

Anglo-Welsh mathematician, occultist, astronomer, teacher, astrologer and alchemist John Dee is best-remembered as advisor to Queen of England, Elizabeth I. Dee coined the term British Empire and advocated its formation by founding of English colonies in the New World. He had one of the largest libraries in England at the time and wrote on astrology, geography, trigonometry, navigation and calendar reform.

 7 
Robert Boyle
(Founder of Modern Chemistry, Boyle's Law)
Robert Boyle
4
Birthdate: January 25, 1627
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ireland
Died: December 30, 1691

Robert Boyle was an Anglo-Irish chemist, natural philosopher, inventor, and physicist. Regarded as the first modern chemist, Boyle is often counted among the founders of modern chemistry. One of the pioneers of the scientific method, Robert Boyle is also remembered for his books, including The Sceptical Chymist, which is viewed as a keystone book in chemistry.

 8 
Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish
(philosopher, scientist, poet, science fiction writer)
Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish
3
Birthdate: 1623 AD
Birthplace: Colchester, England
Died: December 15, 1673

Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish was an English poet, philosopher, playwright, fiction writer, and scientist. Margaret, who had the audacity to publish her works without using a pen name at a time when female writers remained anonymous, was ahead of her time. Not surprisingly, she was considered eccentric and earned the nickname Mad Madge. Her works gained popularity in the 1980s.

 9 
William Petty
(British Economist, Philosopher and Physician Known for His Methods of Political Arithmetic')
William Petty
2
Birthdate: May 26, 1623
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Romsey, Hampshire, England
Died: December 16, 1687

Initially a physician and anatomy professor, William Petty also taught music. However, he later established himself as a noted economist and became famous for his works such as Treatise of Taxes and Contributions. He was a surveyor under Oliver Cromwell and was a pioneer of political arithmetic.

 10 
John Aubrey
(Antiquary)
John Aubrey
2
Birthdate: March 12, 1626
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kington St Michael, Wiltshire, England
Died: June 7, 1697
 11 
Algernon Sidney
(Diplomat, Politician, Writer)
Algernon Sidney
2
Birthdate: January 15, 1623
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baynard's Castle, London
Died: December 7, 1683
 12 
Mary Astell
(Writer, Philosopher, Feminist)
Mary Astell
2
Birthdate: November 12, 1666
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne
Died: May 11, 1731
 13 
Gerrard Winstanley
(British Protestant Religious Reformer, Political Philosopher and Activist )
Gerrard Winstanley
2
Birthdate: October 19, 1609
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Parish of Wigan, Lancashire, England
Died: September 10, 1676

Protestant reformer Gerrard Winstanley is best known for leading the Diggers, a group of English agrarian communists. Initially a cloth merchant, he was later drawn to communism, believing that land should be available to the poor, and penned The Law of Freedom in a Platform. He also advocated for universal religious tolerance.

Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke
2
Birthdate: September 16, 1678
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Battersea, London, England
Died: December 12, 1751
 15 
James Harrington
(British philosopher)
James Harrington
2
Birthdate: January 3, 1611
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Upton, England
Died: September 11, 1677
 16 
Henry More
(Philosopher)
Henry More
2
Birthdate: October 12, 1614
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lincolnshire, England
Died: September 1, 1687
 17 
Joseph Glanvill
(Philosopher)
Joseph Glanvill
1
Birthdate: 1636 AD
Birthplace: Plymouth, England
Died: November 4, 1680
 18 
Kenelm Digby
(British Courtier, Philosopher, Astrologer and Diplomat)
Kenelm Digby
2
Birthdate: July 11, 1603
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gayhurst, England
Died: June 11, 1665

Apart from being a diplomat, Kenelm Digby was also a renowned philosopher and astrologer. Though he had enrolled in Oxford, he quit without a degree. One of the greatest Catholic intellectuals of his time, he also served as a privateer and then as a naval administrator.

 19 
Ralph Cudworth
(British Anglican Clergyman, Christian Hebraist, Classicist, Theologian and Philosopher)
Ralph Cudworth
1
Birthdate: 1617 AD
Birthplace: Aller, Somerset, England
Died: June 26, 1688

Anglican clergyman and Ralph Cudworth was also a philosopher of ethics and a leading figure of Cambridge Platonism. One of his most notable works was The True Intellectual System of the Universe. He was a major critic of philosopher Thomas Hobbes’s views that equated morality to obedience.

 20 
Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury
(British Soldier, Diplomat, Historian, Poet and Religious Philosopher)
Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury
1
Birthdate: March 3, 1582
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Eyton-on-Severn, England
Died: August 5, 1648

English philosopher Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert is regarded as the father of English Deism. Best remembered for his iconic work De Veritate, he had also penned a revealing autobiography. A talented lute player, too, he had also composed several musical pieces. He had also been a soldier and a diplomat.

 21 
Anthony Collins
(Philosopher)
Anthony Collins
1
Birthdate: June 21, 1676
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Heston
Died: December 13, 1729
 22 
William Ames
(Theologian)
William Ames
1
Birthdate: 1576 AD
Birthplace: Ipswich, England
Died: November 14, 1633
 23 
William Wollaston
(Philosopher)
William Wollaston
1
Birthdate: March 26, 1659
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Coton Clanford, England
Died: October 29, 1724
 24 
John Bulwer
(Physician)
John Bulwer
1
Birthdate: May 16, 1606
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 16, 1656
 25 
Thomas Chubb
(Theologian)
Thomas Chubb
1
Birthdate: September 29, 1679
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: East Harnham, England
Died: February 8, 1747
 26 
John Norris
(British priest and philosopher)
John Norris
0
Birthdate: 1657 AD
Birthplace: Collingbourne Kingston, Wiltshire, England
Died: 1712 AD
 27 
Arthur Collier
0
Birthdate: October 12, 1680
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Steeple Langford, England
Died: August 31, 1732
 28 
Nathaniel Culverwell
0
Birthdate: 1619 AD
Birthplace: Middlesex, England
Died: 1651 AD