Famous 18th Century British Philosophers

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

Vote for Your Favourite 18th Century British Philosophers
 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 
Jeremy Bentham
(British Philosopher, Social Activist and One of the Founders of 'Modern Utilitarianism')
Jeremy Bentham
6
Birthdate: February 15, 1748
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: June 6, 1832
Philosopher and jurist Jeremy Bentham is remembered as the pioneer of modern utilitarianism. He believed in economic freedoms, women’s rights, animal rights, the separation of the church and the state, and freedom of expression. Bentham wished for his body to be dissected and then to be displayed as an auto-icon.
 3 
Edmund Burke
(Statesman)
Edmund Burke
5
Birthdate: January 12, 1729
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Died: July 9, 1797

Anglo-Irish statesman and philosopher, Edmund Burke, was a member of parliament (MP) in the House of Commons of Great Britain for several years. He supported  Catholic emancipation and strongly opposed the French Revolution. He felt revolution destroyed the fabric of good society and traditional institutions of state and society. He is considered the philosophical founder of modern conservatism. 

Recommended Lists:
 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 
Mary Wollstonecraft
7
Birthdate: April 27, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 10, 1797

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, advocate of women's rights, and philosopher. Wollstonecraft, who attracted a lot of attention for her unconventional personal relationships, is widely considered a founding feminist philosopher. Although her unorthodoxy initially attracted criticisms, her advocacy of women's equality became increasingly important during the 20th century. Modern-day feminists cite her works and her life as important influences.

 6 
Samuel Coleridge
5
Birthdate: October 21, 1772
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ottery St Mary, Devon, Great Britain, United Kingdom
Died: July 25, 1834

Samuel Coleridge was an English poet, philosopher, theologian, and literary critic. He is credited with co-founding the Romantic Movement in England along with his friend William Wordsworth. Despite struggling from bouts of depression and anxiety throughout his adult life, Samuel Coleridge had a major influence on American transcendentalism and writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson.

 7 
Joseph Priestley
(Discoverer of Oxygen)
Joseph Priestley
4
Birthdate: March 24, 1733
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Birstall, England
Died: February 6, 1804

Best remembered for his contribution to the chemistry of gases, Joseph Priestley was an English scientist, clergyman, political theorist and educator, who has been credited with discovering oxygen independently, publishing his findings before Carl Wilhelm could. A prolific writer, he has authored 150 works on various subjects including electricity. He also contributed immensely to the advancement of political and religious thoughts.

 8 
Henry Cavendish
(English Scientist Who Discovered Hydrogen)
Henry Cavendish
3
Birthdate: October 10, 1731
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nice, France
Died: February 24, 1810

English natural philosopher, scientist, and a prominent experimental and theoretical physicist and chemist Henry Cavendish is best-remembered for his discovery of hydrogen and his Cavendish experiment. He first recognized that hydrogen, which he termed inflammable air, is a discrete substance which produces water on combustion. He conducted the Cavendish experiment to measure and produce a value for Earth’s density.

 9 
William Godwin
(Journalist)
William Godwin
3
Birthdate: March 3, 1756
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wisbech
Died: April 7, 1836
 10 
John Austin
(jurist, philosopher)
John Austin
3
Birthdate: March 3, 1790
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Suffolk
Died: December 1, 1859

English legal theorist John Austin, who aimed at transforming law into a true science, is considered by many as creator of the school of analytical jurisprudence. His book The Province of Jurisprudence Determined received significant attention posthumously, while his analytical approach to jurisprudence and theory of legal positivism also influenced American and British law following his death.

 11 
William Paley
(Christian apologist, philosopher, and utilitarian)
William Paley
4
Birthdate: 1743
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Peterborough, England
Died: May 25, 1805
 12 
William Whewell
(Economist, Physicist, Historian, Philosopher, Writer, University teacher, Mathematician)
William Whewell
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1794
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lancaster
Died: March 6, 1866

William Whewell was an English polymath, scientist, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science. He worked in a wide range of fields, publishing works in the disciplines of physics, mechanics, geology, economics, and astronomy. He also wrote poetry, sermons, and theological tracts. He is credited with coining the terms linguistics, physicist, consilience, scientist, catastrophism, and uniformitarianism.

 13 
Richard Price
(Moral Philosopher and Mathematician Best Known for Editing, Publishing and Developing 'Bayes–Price Theorem')
Richard Price
2
Birthdate: February 23, 1723
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Llangeinor, Wales
Died: April 19, 1791
Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke
2
Birthdate: September 16, 1678
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Battersea, London, England
Died: December 12, 1751
 15 
Frances Wright
(Writer, Philosopher)
Frances Wright
2
Birthdate: September 6, 1795
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dundee
Died: December 13, 1852
 16 
Joseph Butler
(Philosopher)
Joseph Butler
2
Birthdate: May 18, 1692
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wantage, Berkshire, England
Died: June 16, 1752
 17 
Dugald Stewart
(Philosopher)
Dugald Stewart
2
Birthdate: November 22, 1753
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Edinburgh,Scotland
Died: June 11, 1828

Dugald Stewart was a Scottish mathematician and philosopher best remembered for his efforts to popularize the works of Adam Smith and Francis Hutcheson. Considered one of the most prominent personalities of the Scottish Enlightenment, Stewart played a major role in explaining the Scottish Common Sense Realism. Among his students were Sir Walter Scott, Sir Archibald Alison, and Sir James Mackintosh. 

 18 
Catharine Macaulay
1
Birthdate: April 2, 1731
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wye, Kent, England
Died: June 22, 1791
 19 
Samuel Clarke
(Philosopher)
Samuel Clarke
1
Birthdate: October 11, 1675
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: May 17, 1729
 20 
David Hartley
(British physician and philosopher)
David Hartley
1
Birthdate: August 30, 1705
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Armley, England
Died: August 28, 1757
 21 
Richard Payne Knight
(Archaeologist)
Richard Payne Knight
0
Birthdate: February 11, 1751
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: England
Died: April 23, 1824
 22 
William Wollaston
(Philosopher)
William Wollaston
1
Birthdate: March 26, 1659
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Coton Clanford, England
Died: October 29, 1724
 23 
John Cartwright
(British politician)
John Cartwright
1
Birthdate: September 17, 1740
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Marnham, England
Died: September 23, 1824

Known as the Father of Reform, John Cartwright made significant parliamentary reforms, which later became part of the People’s Charter. An English naval officer, he had also been part of the Seven Years’ War. He also worked for universal suffrage and, in his later life, invested in crop trials and agricultural improvement.

 24 
Abraham Tucker
(Philosopher, Writer)
Abraham Tucker
0
Birthdate: September 2, 1705
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London
Died: November 20, 1774
 25 
Arthur Collier
0
Birthdate: October 12, 1680
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Steeple Langford, England
Died: August 31, 1732