Famous 21st Century Philosophers

Find out more about the greatest 21st Century Philosophers, including Noam Chomsky, Deepak Chopra, Amartya Sen, Peter Singer and Judith Butler.

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 Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek.
5
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: March 21, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ljubljana, SR Slovenia, SFR Yugoslavia

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher whose works in subjects, such as continental philosophy, Marxism, Hegelianism, and psychoanalysis, has gained him international influence. Often dubbed a celebrity philosopher and Elvis of cultural theory, Žižek was named in Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers list in 2012. His work has had an impact on widespread public audiences and academic.

 2 Judith Butler

Slavoj Žižek.
6
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 24, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
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 3 Jürgen Habermas

Slavoj Žižek.
7
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 18, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

German philosopher and sociologist Jürgen Habermas is counted among the most influential philosophers across the world and is identified with the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. He influenced many disciplines through his work which addresses communicative rationality and the public sphere, and includes topics starting from social-political theory to aesthetics, language to philosophy of religion, and epistemology.

 4 Noam Chomsky

Slavoj Žižek.
14
Famous As: Linguist
Birthdate: December 7, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Regarded by many as the father of modern linguistics, Noam Chomsky has authored over 100 books on varied topics, such as politics, linguistics, and war. A multi-talented personality, Noam Chomsky is considered a popular figure in analytic philosophy. Apart from influencing a wide array of academic fields, he has also contributed to the development of cognitivism.

 5 Jaggi Vasudev

Slavoj Žižek.
21
Famous As: Yoga Guru
Birthdate: September 3, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mysore, Karnataka, India

The recipient of Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of India, Jaggi Vasudev is a mystic, yogi, and author.  His spiritual program called inner engineering is famous all over the world, particularly in the Western world. Popularly known as Sadhguru, Jaggi Vasudev's yoga programs, environmental initiatives, and educational and social initiatives have earned him celebrity status in India.

 6 Cornel West

Slavoj Žižek.
6
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 2, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States

Cornel West is an American philosopher, social critic, political activist, and author. He is renowned for drawing intellectual contributions from several traditions, such as Marxism, Christianity, transcendentalism, and neopragmatism. West is credited with authoring many influential books, such as Democracy Matters and Race Matters.

 7 Alain Badiou

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: January 17, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rabat, Morocco
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 8 Julia Kristeva

Slavoj Žižek
9
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 24, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sliven, Bulgaria

 9 Roger Scruton

Slavoj Žižek.
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 27, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Buslingthorpe, Lincolnshire, England
Died: January 12, 2020

Philosopher and author Roger Scruton is best remembered for his work as an editor of The Salisbury Review and for his countless books on topics such as art, sexuality, and political philosophy. He also taught at Boston University and other institutes, and was a skilled pianist and composer, too.

 10 Jacques Rancière

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 10, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Algiers, Algeria

 11 Zinovia Dushkova

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kongaz, Moldova

 12 Ravi Zacharias

Slavoj Žižek
6
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: March 26, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chennai, India
Died: May 19, 2020

Born in India, Ravi Zacharias was attracted to Christianity while recovering in hospital following a suicide attempt. He moved to Canada and then to the U.S., and gained fame as a Christian apologist and as the host of Let My People Think. He was later accused of sexual abuse.

 13 René Girard

Slavoj Žižek.
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: December 25, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Avignon, France
Died: November 4, 2015

René Girard was a French philosopher of social science, literary critic, and historian. Over the years, Girard's work has had an influence on disciplines like philosophy, anthropology, psychology, mythology, theology, economics, sociology, and cultural studies among other important disciplines. In 2006, René Girard was honored by the University of Tübingen with the prestigious Dr. Leopold Lucas Prize.

 14 Aleksandr Dugin

Slavoj Žižek
11
Famous As: Analyst
Birthdate: January 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

One of the prime organizers of the National Bolshevik Party, Russian politologist Aleksandr Dugin is known for his association with fascism. He supports the creation of a Eurasian empire, which will oppose North Atlantic interests. He has also penned books such as The Fourth Political Theory and Foundations of Geopolitics.

 15 Pema Chodron

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 14, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York (state) New York, United States

Pema Chodron is an American Tibetan Buddhist and an ordained nun. Born as Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in New York, she began studying with Tibetan Buddhist Lama Chime Rinpoche as a young woman. She eventually became a fully ordained nun or bhikṣuṇī. She is the author of several dozen books and audiobooks. She is the principal teacher at Gampo Abbey. 

 16 John Lilly

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Neuroscientist
Birthdate: January 6, 1915
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Died: September 30, 2001

Born to rich Catholic parents, John Lilly spent his childhood treating science as a hobby. While studying medicine, he performed gruelling medical experiments on himself. He later invented isolating floatation tanks, studied bottlenose dolphins, and researched on psychedelic drug-induced near-death experiences. He also explored yoga and human consciousness.

 17 John Searle

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 31, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States

 18 Martin Seligman

Slavoj Žižek.
3
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: August 12, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Albany, New York, United States

 19 Zygmunt Bauman

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: November 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Poznań, Poland
Died: January 9, 2017

 20 Bruno Latour

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Beaune, France

Holberg Prize-winning French sociologist and anthropologist Bruno Latour had initially studied theology and even received his PhD in the subject. His later research Ivory Coast drew him to anthropology, and he soon gained fame as a renowned academic in the field, having co-written iconic books such as Laboratory Life.

 21 Terry Eagleton

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Literary critic
Birthdate: February 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: County Borough of Salford Salford, England

English literary theorist and critic Terry Eagleton, presently serving as Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University, is a prominent critic of postmodernism and the New Atheism. His oeuvre includes over forty books among which Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983), which describes the emerging literary theory of the period, is considered to be one of his most notable works.   

 22 Ronald Dworkin

Slavoj Žižek.
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: December 11, 1931
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Died: February 14, 2013

 23 Jean-Luc Nancy

Slavoj Žižek
2
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 26, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France

 24 Colin Wilson

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 26, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leicester, Leicestershire, England
Died: December 5, 2013

 25 Michael Halliday

Slavoj Žižek
4
Famous As: Linguist
Birthdate: April 13, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Died: April 15, 2018

British linguist Michael Halliday is best remembered for his neo-Firthian theory of language. Born to a dialectologist father and an English teacher mother, Halliday naturally developed a love for languages. An expert in Chinese language, he has conducted research on child language development and the theory of grammar.

 26 Ted Nelson

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 17, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 27 Bernard-Henri Lévy

Slavoj Žižek
4
Famous As: Intellectual
Birthdate: November 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Béni Saf, Algeria

 28 Peter Sloterdijk

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 26, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Karlsruhe, Germany

 29 Robert Lanza

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Medical Doctor
Birthdate: February 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

 30 Arne Næss

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: January 27, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Slemdal, Oslo, Norway
Died: January 12, 2009

 31 Byung-Chul Han

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 1959 AD
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea

 32 Michel Onfray

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 1, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Argentan, France

 33 Alice Miller

Slavoj Žižek
4
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: January 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland
Died: April 14, 2010

 34 Alain de Benoist

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: December 11, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France

 35 Facundo Cabral

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 22, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died: July 9, 2011

 36 Bernard Stiegler

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 1, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Seine-et-Oise, France
Died: August 5, 2020

 37 Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

Slavoj Žižek
4
Famous As: Academic Scholar
Birthdate: May 2, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
Died: April 12, 2009

 38 Pandurang Shastri Athavale

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 19, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Maharashtra, India
Died: October 25, 2003

 39 Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka

Slavoj Žižek
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 28, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marianowo, Mazovia, Poland
Died: June 7, 2014

 40 Gustavo Gutiérrez

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 8, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lima, Peru

 41 Adrian Piper

Slavoj Žižek
4
Famous As: Conceptual Artist
Birthdate: September 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York

 42 Tony Ryan

Slavoj Žižek
2
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: February 2, 1936
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland
Died: October 3, 2007

 43 Edgar Morin

Slavoj Žižek
2
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France

 44 Daniele Bolelli

Slavoj Žižek
2
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: January 11, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Milan, Italy

 45 P. F. Strawson

Slavoj Žižek
2
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: November 23, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 13, 2006

Knighted for services to philosophy, Oxford-based English philosopher Sir Peter Frederick Strawson FBA, penned most notably on metaphysical philosophy, the philosophy of language and epistemology and history of philosophy, particularly Kant. He first gained attention with his article On Referring, where he criticised Bertrand Russell's theory of descriptions. Notable books written by Strawson include Individuals and The Bounds of Sense.

 46 Michael Novak

Slavoj Žižek
2
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 9, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Johnstown, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 17, 2017

 47 Rached Ghannouchi

Slavoj Žižek
2
Famous As: Political Figure
Birthdate: June 22, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Al-Hammah, Tunisia

 48 Sara Danius

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Literary Critic
Birthdate: April 5, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Täby, Sweden
Died: October 12, 2019

 49 Thomas Pogge

Slavoj Žižek
2
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: August 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Poggersdorf, Austria

 50 Javid Iqbal

Slavoj Žižek
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 5, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sialkot, Pakistan
Died: October 3, 2015