Philosophers

Plato once said ‘Wonder is the feeling of the philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder’. With this wonder a philosopher expresses his thoughts sometimes making life easier for millions. Commonly called ‘thinkers’, philosophers search for the hidden meanings of things and then nurture it in a system of thoughts. Often, they share these thoughts with the world even though they know the fragility of the society. Philosophers turn their hurtful experiences into lessons and share them to save several others from the vices of life. Education does not necessarily make a philosopher, however a degree is often acquired by many. However, the beauty lies in the fact that no two philosophers are alike. Some are like wine: the older the better, like Socrates; others are meteors like Nietzsche, full of their own brilliance and beauty. Some are drowned in their sorrow and some are hopeful beyond their sorrow. Yet each of them finds a connection with someone and speaks of his own individuality. At every age Philosophers add to life and show that there’s one hidden in each of us. Discover this space for the list of famous Philosophers with their biographies that include trivia and interesting facts about them and also tracing their timeline and life history.
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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 Aristotle

Aristotle
5
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0384 BC
Nationality: Greek
Died: 0322 BC

Famous Greek philosopher and scientist, Aristotle, made significant contributions to various fields of science and arts of his era–logic, biology, politics, economics, ethics and aesthetics. Along with Socrates and Plato, he laid much of the foundation of Western philosophy. Student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great, he founded Lyceum, the school of philosophy, and the Aristotelian tradition.

 2 Plato

Plato
2
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0428 BC
Nationality: Greek
Died: 0348 BC

Plato was one of the most important Ancient Greek philosophers, who contributed greatly to the fields of mathematics, metaphysics, politics, art, and poetry. Along with his famous student Aristotle and equally famous teacher Socrates, Plato is considered one of the founders of spirituality and Western religion. Platonism remains one of his important contributions.

 3 Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 18, 1872
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British, Welsh
Died: February 2, 1970

Bertrand Russell was a British polymath and Nobel laureate. His work, which is spread across various fields, has had a considerable influence on philosophy, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, mathematics, linguistics, and logic. Russell is also credited with leading the revolt against idealism in Britain and is regarded as one of the founders of analytic philosophy.

 4 Confucius

Confucius
2
Famous As: Renowned Chinese teacher, politician, and philosopher
Birthdate: September 28, 0551
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Chinese
Died: 0479 BC

Confucius was a Chinese philosopher whose philosophy came to be known as Confucianism. Confucianism is often credited with shaping Chinese communities and East Asian societies. Confucius is considered one of the most influential individuals in the history of mankind as his teachings have had a great impact on people around the world. His philosophy continues to remain influential.

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 5 Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: March 26, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian, American
Died: May 19, 2020

 6 Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 22, 1724
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: German
Died: February 12, 1804

Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher whose works in fields like aesthetics and metaphysics have made him an important and influential personality in Western philosophy. His views continue to influence contemporary philosophy. Kant has had a major influence on prominent philosophers like Hegel, Schelling, Reinhold, and Fichte. Kant's work on mathematics is cited by Albert Einstein as an early influence.

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 7 Albert Camus

Albert Camus
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: November 7, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Algerian, French
Died: January 4, 1960

Albert Camus was a French philosopher and the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. His philosophical views contributed to the rise of absurdism, a philosophical concept. Also a prolific writer, Albert Camus had an illustrious literary career; most of his philosophical essays and novels are still influential.

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 8 Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche
2
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 15, 1844
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German
Died: August 25, 1900

German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, and poet Friedrich Nietzsche has had a profound influence on modern intellectual history. He held the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel. His work spanned philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism, and fiction. He suffered from numerous health problems from a young age and died at the age of 55.

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 9 Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky
2
Famous As: Russian novelist
Birthdate: November 11, 1821
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 9, 1881
Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky is remembered as one of the pioneers of existentialism. He is best known for psychological and philosophical themes in his works, such as Crime and Punishment and The Idiot. He was arrested for being critical of Tsarist Russia and spent a 4-year prison term in Siberia.

 10 Voltaire

Voltaire
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 21, 1694
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: French
Died: May 30, 1778
18th-century historian, author, philosopher, and advocate of freedom of speech Voltaire was a leading figure of the French Age of Enlightenment. He often ran into trouble for his criticism of the French nobility and the Roman Catholic Church. He once went to Britain on voluntary exile, fearing imprisonment in France.
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 11 Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: February 15, 1564
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
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.

 12 St. Augustine

St. Augustine
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: November 13, 0354
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Ancient Roman
Died: August 28, 0430

Saint Augustine was a philosopher, theologian, and the bishop of Hippo Regius in Roman North Africa. His writings are often credited with influencing the growth of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He is also regarded as one of the Latin Church's most important Church Fathers in the Patristic Period. Among his many important works are Confessions and On Christian Doctrine.

 13 Alan Watts

Alan Watts
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Famous As: Philosopher, Writer & Speaker
Birthdate: January 6, 1915
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, American
Died: November 16, 1973

Alan Watts was a British writer, philosopher, and speaker. He is credited with popularizing Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism in the Western world. A prolific writer, Alan Watts wrote one of Buddhism's first bestselling books, The Way of Zen. He also explored psychedelics and human consciousness in his works, such as The Joyous Cosmology and The New Alchemy.

 14 Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 9, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: French
Died: April 14, 1986
French author and existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir is best remembered for her feminist treatise The Second Sex and her novels The Mandarins and She Came to Stay. Her literary contributions also include essays, biographies, and her autobiographical works. She won the Prix Goncourt and the Jerusalem Prize.
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 15 Arthur Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 22, 1788
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: September 21, 1860

Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher. He was among the first Western philosophers to affirm important tenets of Indian philosophy, such as denial of the self and asceticism. Schopenhauer's work has had a tremendous posthumous impact on disciplines like science, literature, and philosophy. His work influenced personalities like Albert Einstein, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sigmund Freud, George Bernard Shaw, and Leo Tolstoy. 

 16 Laozi

Laozi
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Nationality: Chinese
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 17 Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu
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Famous As: Ancient Military General, Strategist & Philosopher
Birthdate: 0544 BC
Nationality: Chinese
Died: 0496 BC
Sun Tzu was a Chinese general from the Eastern Zhou period. He is known to have written The Art of War, which propagated various alternatives to battles, such as alliances and use of spies, to win wars. He is said to be the same as Sun Wu and Sun Bin.

 18 Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 26, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Austrian
Died: April 29, 1951

Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is remembered for his works related to logic, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of mathematics, and the philosophy of language. He taught at the University of Cambridge for many years. He published only one book during his lifetime. Most of his manuscripts were collected later and published posthumously.

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 19 C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis
7
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 29, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Irish, British
Died: November 22, 1963

C. S. Lewis was a British writer whose books have sold millions of copies worldwide after having been translated into over 30 languages. His works, such as The Chronicles of Narnia, have inspired the works of other famous authors. Lewis' work continues to attract readership and he was ranked 11th on The Times' 50 greatest British writers since 1945 list.

 20 Jaggi Vasudev

Jaggi Vasudev
2
Famous As: Yoga Guru
Birthdate: September 3, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Indian

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.

 21 Carl Jung

Carl Jung
5
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: July 26, 1875
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Swiss
Died: June 6, 1961

Widely regarded as the father of analytical psychology, Carl Jung is one of the most important contributors to symbolization and dream analysis. The concepts of socionics and a popular psychometric instrument called Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) were developed from Jung's theory. Apart from working as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Jung was also an artist, craftsman, builder, and prolific writer.

 22 Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy
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Birthdate: September 9, 1828
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: November 20, 1910

Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, is widely considered as one of the greatest authors ever. After experiencing a profound moral crisis in the 1870s, Tolstoy went through a phase of spiritual awakening, which had a great impact on his subsequent works that incorporated ideas on nonviolent resistance. These works influenced personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, thereby effectively changing the course of history.

 23 Pythagoras

Pythagoras
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Famous As: Philosopher and Mathematician
Birthdate: 0570 BC
Nationality: Greek
Died: 0495 BC

Pythagoras was an Ionian Greek philosopher. He is credited with many scientific and mathematical discoveries, including the Sphericity of the Earth, the Theory of Proportions, the five regular solids, Pythagorean tuning, and the Pythagorean Theorem. Pythagoras influenced other philosophers like Plato and Aristotle. His philosophy also had a major impact on personalities like Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, and Nicolaus Copernicus.

 24 Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas
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Famous As: Philosophers, Theologian
Birthdate: January 28, 1225
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 7, 1274
Dominican friar and Catholic priest Thomas Aquinas was also a Doctor of the Church. He tried to mingle Aristotelian philosophy and Christianity. His works, including Summa Theologica and Disputed Questions on Truth, and his views on the Scriptures have been studied as prominent texts on theology, philosophy, and canon law.

 25 Jean Piaget

Jean Piaget
0
Birthdate: August 9, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Swiss
Died: September 16, 1980
Swiss psychologist and academic Jean Piaget is remembered for his work on child development and genetic epistemology, consisting of his theory of cognitive development. He also established the International Center for Genetic Epistemology and was the director of the International Bureau of Education. He was an honorary Harvard doctorate.

 26 John Locke

John Locke
2
Famous As: Father of Classical Liberalism
Birthdate: August 29, 1632
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
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.

 27 Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky
5
Famous As: Linguist
Birthdate: December 7, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

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.

 28 Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau
0
Famous As: Writer and Philosopher
Birthdate: July 12, 1817
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: May 6, 1862

Henry David Thoreau was an American philosopher, essayist, poet, and naturalist. He is credited with popularizing transcendentalism and simple living. His philosophy of civil disobedience, which was detailed in his essay of the same name, later influenced world-renowned personalities like Leo Tolstoy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi.

 29 Cicero

Cicero
0
Famous As: Philosopher, Political Theorist
Birthdate: January 3, 0106
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Italian, Ancient Roman
Died: December 7, 0043
Roman statesman, lawyer, and scholar Cicero was one of the greatest 1st-century BC prose writers and orators. He influenced Latin literature immensely and introduced Greek philosophy to the Romans. He was declared an enemy of the state, following his opposition to Mark Antony after Julius Caesar’s death, and was executed.

 30 Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt
2
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 14, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German
Died: December 4, 1975

Hannah Arendt was a political theorist. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent political thinkers, Hannah Arendt's articles and books have had a significant influence on philosophy and political theory. Her life and work inspired the 2012 biographical drama film, Hannah Arendt. Her work has also inspired several biographies written by popular authors.

 31 John Stuart Mill

John Stuart Mill
0
Famous As: British Philosopher and Civil Servant.
Birthdate: May 20, 1806
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: May 8, 1873
Nineteenth-century philosopher John Stuart Mill is best remembered for his work On Liberty, which spoke of personal freedom and "the harm principle.” His The Subjection of Women was one of the first works written by a male author that promoted women's rights. He supported Jeremy Bentham's ethical utilitarianism.

 32 Avicenna

Avicenna
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Famous As: Persian Plymath
Birthdate: 0980 AD
Died: May 31, 1037
Renowned as father of early modern medicine, Avicenna was an illustrious Persian polymath. He is specifically distingusihed for his contributions in the fields of medicine and Aristotelian philisophy. He is best-known for his works namely, The Canon of Medicine and The Book of Healing. The corpus of his writings also include alchemy, geology, psychology, geography, physics, poetry and Islamic theology.

 33 Lao Tzu (Laozi)

Lao Tzu (Laozi)
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0601 BC
Nationality: Chinese
Died: 0531 BC
Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, or Laozi, who is said to have lived in 6th-century BC by some and in the 4th-century BC by others, wrote the Tao Te Ching. He founded Taoism and is a legendary figure or deity. The Tang Dynasty emperors claimed he had founded their lineage.

 34 Khalil Gibran

Khalil Gibran
0
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 6, 1883
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Lebanese
Died: April 10, 1931

 35 Ramakrishna

Ramakrishna
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 18, 1836
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Indian
Died: August 16, 1886

 36 Vyasa

Vyasa
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Nationality: Indian

 37 Democritus

Democritus
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0460 BC
Nationality: Greek
Died: 0370 BC

Democritus was an Ancient Greek philosopher whose philosophies predated Socratic philosophies. He is credited with formulating one of the earliest atomic theories of the universe. Best known for his work on subjects like biology, anthropology, and cosmology, Democritus is considered by many to be the father of modern science. He was also a pioneer of geometry.

 38 Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 16, 1098
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German
Died: September 17, 1179

Hildegard of Bingen was a German writer, composer, Christian mystic, visionary, philosopher, polymath, and Benedictine abbess of the High Middle Ages. Apart from being the most-recorded composers of sacred monophony in modern history, Hildegard of Bingen is also widely regarded as the founder of scientific natural history.

 39 Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan
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Famous As: Founder of Aligarh Muslim University
Birthdate: October 17, 1817
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Indian
Died: March 27, 1898
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University. He is accredited as the father of Two-Nation Theory and is regarded as the originator of Muslim nationalism in India. A proponent of freedom of speech and democratic ideals, he propelled social and educational reforms.

 40 Al-Ghazzali

Al-Ghazzali
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 1058 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: December 19, 1111

 41 Al-Ghazālī

Al-Ghazālī
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 1058 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: December 19, 1111

 42 Herbert Spencer

Herbert Spencer
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 27, 1820
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: December 8, 1903

 43 Ibn Khaldun

Ibn Khaldun
0
Famous As: Historiographer
Birthdate: May 27, 1332
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Egyptian, Tunisian
Died: March 19, 1406

 44 Epictetus

Epictetus
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0055 AD
Nationality: Greek, Turkish
Died: 0135 AD

 45 Sam Harris

Sam Harris
7
Famous As: Philosopher, Author
Birthdate: April 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

One of the "Four Horsemen of Atheism," neuroscientist and author Sam Harris is known for his works on topics such as religion, artificial intelligence, and terrorism. His books include the New York Times bestseller The End of Faith. He hosted the podcast Making Sense and released a meditation app, too.

 46 Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault
2
Famous As: French philosopher
Birthdate: October 15, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: French
Died: June 25, 1984

If others thought the body was the prison of the soul, Paul-Michel Foucault felt the other way round. The French philosopher, literary critic and Leftist who interpreted the link between power and knowledge, was a post-structuralist whose theories have left a mark on anthropology, psychology and criminology. The feminist was one of the noted personalities to have died of HIV/AIDS.

 47 Chanakya

Chanakya
5
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0371 BC
Nationality: Indian
Died: 0283 BC

Chanakya was an ancient Indian philosopher, teacher, jurist, economist, and royal advisor. Widely regarded as the pioneer of economics and political science in India, Chanakya is believed to have played a key role in the formation of the great Maurya Empire. He authored the ancient Indian political treatise, the Arthashastra, which is considered as one of the seminal texts on statecraft.

 48 Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes
5
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 5, 1588
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
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.

 49 Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II
15
Famous As: Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City
Birthdate: May 18, 1920
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Polish
Died: April 2, 2005

Pope John Paul II was the head of the Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005. He is hailed for helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and improving the Catholic Church's relations with Islam, Judaism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. He was a lifelong football fan, having himself played the sport in his youth.

 50 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
11
Famous As: Confident, Ambitious
Birthdate: September 5, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Indian
Died: April 17, 1975

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the second President of India and served from 1962 to 1967. He is regarded as one of India’s most eminent scholars and wrote extensively on Indian philosophy and religion. Lifelong he defended Hindu traditions and culture against criticism from the West. September 5, his birthday, is observed as Teachers Day in India, in his honour.

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