17th Century Philosophers

Find out more about the greatest 17th Century Philosophers, including John Locke, Voltaire, René Déscartes, Thomas Hobbes and Francis Bacon.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 John Locke

John Locke.
Famous As: Father of Classical Liberalism
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 Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes.
Famous As: Philosopher
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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 3 Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal.
Famous As: French Mathematician, Physicist, Inventor, Writer and Catholic Philosopher
Birthdate: June 19, 1623
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clermont-Ferrand,, Auvergne, France
Died: August 19, 1662

Blaise Pascal was a French physicist, mathematician, philosopher, and inventor. A child prodigy, Pascal's work on projective geometry, at the age of 16 is commendable. He is one of the earliest inventors of the mechanical calculator, which he did when he was still a teenager. His work on probability theory influenced the development of social science and modern economics.

 4 Baruch Spinoza

Baruch Spinoza.
Famous As: Dutch philosopher
Birthdate: November 24, 1632
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Dutch Republic
Died: February 21, 1677
Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza is best remembered for his rationalist ideas and his posthumously released book Ethics. He opposed Rene Descartes’s ideas and believed that God was an abstract entity. He was later expelled from the Jewish society, while his books were banned by the Catholic Church.

 5 George Berkeley

George Berkeley.
Famous As: philosopher
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.

 6 Gottfried W. Leibniz

Gottfried W. Leibniz.
Famous As: Philosopher, Mathematician
Birthdate: July 1, 1646
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leipzig, Electorate of Saxony, Holy Roman Empire
Died: November 14, 1716
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a significant logician, mathematician, and philosopher of the Enlightenment era. He laid down his own concepts of differential and integral calculus. He was behind the invention of the mass-produced mechanical calculator and modified the binary number system. He also laid down a separate library cataloging system.

 7 Robert Hooke

Robert Hooke.
Famous As: Philosopher
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.

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 8 William Penn

William Penn.
Famous As: Founder of the Province of Pennsylvania
Birthdate: October 14, 1644
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: July 30, 1718

William Penn was a writer and one of the earliest members of the Quakers. He is credited with founding the Province of Pennsylvania. He also oversaw the planning and development of the city of Philadelphia. Penn has several universities and schools named in his honor, including the William Penn University in Iowa. 

 9 Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei.
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: February 15, 1564
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pisa, Italy
Died: January 8, 1642

An Italian astronomer, engineer, and physicist, Galileo Galilei is widely regarded as the father of observational astronomy, the father of the scientific method, the father of modern physics, and the father of modern science. He is credited with popularizing the telescope, which changed the course of history.

 10 John Dee

John Dee.
Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher
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.

 11 Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle.
Famous As: Founder of Modern Chemistry, Boyle's Law
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.

 12 Juana Inés de la Cruz

Juana Inés de la Cruz
Famous As: Poet, Nun, Writer, Mathematician, Philosopher, Feminist, Composer
Birthdate: November 12, 1651
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tepetlixpa
Died: April 17, 1695

 13 John Amos Comenius

John Amos Comenius
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: March 28, 1592
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Margraviate of Moravia
Died: November 15, 1670

 14 Jakob Ammann

Jakob Ammann
Famous As: Tailor
Birthdate: February 12, 1644
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Erlenbach im Simmental
Died: April 22, 2017

 15 Thomas Browne

Thomas Browne
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: October 19, 1605
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 19, 1682

Thomas Browne was an English author and polymath who wrote several books on varied fields, such as religion, medicine, science, and the esoteric. Browne incorporated different styles of writing depending upon the genre he was working on. Over the years, his writing has influenced several other writers like Herman Melville. Browne's works have been admired by personalities like William Osler.

 16 Elena Cornaro Piscopia

Elena Cornaro Piscopia
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 5, 1646
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: July 26, 1684

 17 Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish

Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish
Famous As: philosopher, scientist, poet, science fiction writer
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.

 18 Alphonsus Liguori

Alphonsus Liguori.
Famous As: Philisopher, Spiritual Writer, Theologian
Birthdate: September 27, 1696
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Marianella, Campania, Kingdom of Naples
Died: August 1, 1787

 19 François Quesnay

François Quesnay
Famous As: Philosopher, Economist, Physician, Encyclopédistes
Birthdate: June 4, 1694
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Méré, Yvelines
Died: December 16, 1774

François Quesnay was a French economist and physician. He was a proponent of the Physiocratic school. He is best known for publishing the "Tableau économique" (Economic Table), in which he set forth the foundations of the ideas of the Physiocrats. He also wrote extensively on Chinese politics and society. He was married to a woman named Marianne Woodsen. 

 20 Shaykh Aḥmad Sirhindī

Shaykh Aḥmad Sirhindī
Famous As: Islamic scholar
Birthdate: June 26, 1564
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sirhind, India
Died: December 10, 1624

 21 Nicolas Malebranche

Nicolas Malebranche
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: August 6, 1638
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 13, 1715

 22 Baltasar Gracian

Baltasar Gracian
Famous As: Prose writer
Birthdate: January 8, 1601
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Belmonte de Gracián, Spain
Died: December 6, 1658

Spanish baroque author and philosopher Baltasar Gracian was a leading proponent of the conceptismo style. Inspired by his priest uncle, he took Jesuit vows. His notable works include Subtlety and the Art of Genius and the three-part novel The Critick, with the latter written under a pseudonym.

 23 William Petty

William Petty
Famous As: Economist
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.

 24 Francisco Suárez

Francisco Suárez
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: January 5, 1548
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Granada, Spain
Died: September 25, 1617

Spanish Jesuit priest, philosopher, and theologian Francisco Suárez was born to an affluent lawyer and had initially studied law. However, he joined the Jesuits later, following which he taught philosophy and theology. Known for writing Disputationes Metaphysicae, he was a prime figure of the School of Salamanca movement.

 25 Francis Hutcheson

Francis Hutcheson
Famous As: philosopher, economist
Birthdate: August 8, 1694
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saintfield
Died: January 14, 1747

 26 Pierre Bayle

Pierre Bayle
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: November 18, 1647
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Carla-Bayle, France
Died: December 28, 1706

 27 Gerrard Winstanley

Gerrard Winstanley
Famous As: Religious Reformer
Birthdate: October 19, 1609
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wigan, United Kingdom
Died: September 10, 1676

 28 Tommaso Campanella

Tommaso Campanella
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 5, 1568
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Stilo, Italy
Died: May 21, 1639

 29 Elisabeth of the Palatinate

Elisabeth of the Palatinate
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: December 26, 1618
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Electorate of the Palatinate
Died: February 11, 1680

 30 Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Yamamoto Tsunetomo
Famous As: Philosopher, Writer
Birthdate: June 11, 1659
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Japan
Died: November 30, 1719

 31 John Aubrey

John Aubrey
Famous As: Antiquary
Birthdate: March 12, 1626
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kington St Michael, Wiltshire, England
Died: June 7, 1697

 32 Mary Astell

Mary Astell
Famous As: Writer, Philosopher, Feminist
Birthdate: November 12, 1666
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne
Died: May 11, 1731

 33 Algernon Sidney

Algernon Sidney
Famous As: Diplomat, Politician, Writer
Birthdate: January 15, 1623
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baynard's Castle, London
Died: December 7, 1683

 34 Samuel von Pufendorf

Samuel von Pufendorf
Famous As: Jurist, Philosopher, Historian, University teacher, Economist
Birthdate: January 8, 1632
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dorfchemnitz
Died: October 13, 1694

 35 Jean de La Bruyère

Jean de La Bruyère
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: August 16, 1645
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 11, 1696

 36 Justus Lipsius

Justus Lipsius
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 18, 1547
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Overijse, Belgium
Died: March 23, 1606

 37 Herman Boerhaave

Herman Boerhaave
Famous As: Philosopher, Botanist, Physician, Anatomist, University teacher, Chemist, Entomologist
Birthdate: December 31, 1668
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leiden
Died: September 23, 1738

 38 James Harrington

James Harrington
Famous As: British philosopher
Birthdate: January 3, 1611
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Upton, England
Died: September 11, 1677

 39 Kenelm Digby

Kenelm Digby
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 11, 1603
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gayhurst, England
Died: June 11, 1665

 40 António Vieira

António Vieira
Famous As: Diplomat
Birthdate: February 6, 1608
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal
Died: July 18, 1697

 41 Henry More

Henry More
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 12, 1614
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lincolnshire, England
Died: September 1, 1687

 42 Joseph Glanvill

Joseph Glanvill
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 1636 AD
Birthplace: Plymouth, England
Died: November 4, 1680

 43 Anna Maria van Schurman

Anna Maria van Schurman
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 5, 1607
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: May 4, 1678

 44 Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert

Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert
Famous As: Soldier
Birthdate: March 3, 1582
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Eyton-on-Severn, England
Died: August 5, 1648

 45 Antoine Arnauld

Antoine Arnauld
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 6, 1612
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, Kingdom of France
Died: August 8, 1694

 46 Ralph Cudworth

Ralph Cudworth
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 1617 AD
Birthplace: Aller, 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.

 47 Baha' al-din al-'Amili

Baha' al-din al-'Amili
Famous As: islamic Scholar
Birthdate: February 18, 1547
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Baalbek, Lebanon
Died: September 1, 1621

 48 Andrea Cesalpino

Andrea Cesalpino
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: June 6, 1519
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy
Died: February 23, 1603

 49 Anthony Collins

Anthony Collins
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 21, 1676
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Heston
Died: December 13, 1729

 50 Mīr Dāmād

Mīr Dāmād
Famous As: Islamic philosopher
Birthdate: 1561 AD
Birthplace: Gorgan, Iran
Died: 1631 AD