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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 1 Karl Marx

Karl Marx
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 5, 1818
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Prussian
Died: March 14, 1883

Karl Marx, the philosopher, economist, political theorist and socialist revolutionary, is best-known for the 1848 pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto and the three-volume Das Kapital. His theories, called Marxism, maintained that class conflict leads to the development of human societies and that internal tension were inherent in capitalism, which would ultimately be replaced by the socialist mode of production.

 2 Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Lenin
2
Famous As: Former Premier of the Soviet Union
Birthdate: April 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: January 21, 1924

Vladimir Lenin played a key role in the history of Russian politics by developing a political ideology called Leninism. During and after his lifetime, Lenin had a massive influence over international communist movement. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and significant personalities of the 20th century.

 3 Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky
1
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.

 4 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
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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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 5 Aristotle

Aristotle
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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.

 6 Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche
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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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 7 Plato

Plato
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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.

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 8 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.

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 9 Jaggi Vasudev

Jaggi Vasudev
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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.

 10 Carl Jung

Carl Jung
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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.

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 11 James Randi

James Randi
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Famous As: Philosopher, Stage magician
Birthdate: August 7, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 12 Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky
1
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 7, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian, Ukrainian, Russian
Died: August 21, 1940

A Russian politician, political theorist, and revolutionary, Leon Trotsky developed a political ideology called Trotskyism, which eventually had a considerable impact on Russian politics. He also played a vital role in leading the Red Army to victory in the Russian Civil War.

 13 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.

 14 Confucius

Confucius
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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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 15 Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II
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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.

 16 William Wallace

William Wallace
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Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: 1270 AD
Nationality: Scottish
Died: August 23, 1305

William Wallace was a Scottish knight who played an important role in the First War of Scottish Independence. Since his death, Wallace has been viewed as an iconic figure whose story of bravery and valor has inspired several works of art, including the Academy Award-winning film Braveheart. Wallace has also inspired video games and brewery companies, such is his popularity.

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 17 Cicero

Cicero
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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.

 18 Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau
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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.

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 19 C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis
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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 Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: January 22, 1561
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
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.

 21 John Locke

John Locke
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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.

 22 Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli
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Famous As: Political Philosopher
Birthdate: May 3, 1469
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian
Died: June 21, 1527
Italian Renaissance philosopher, diplomat, and author Niccolò Machiavelli is remembered for his work The Prince. He believed that the end or the intention behind any action justifies the action. He gave rise to the term Machiavellianism, which signifies the use of deceit and treachery to achieve one’s goals. 

 23 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.

 24 Albert Camus

Albert Camus
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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.

 25 Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky
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Famous As: Russian novelist
Birthdate: November 11, 1821
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 9, 1881

 26 Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault
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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.

 27 Voltaire

Voltaire
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 21, 1694
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: French
Died: May 30, 1778

 28 Adam Smith

Adam Smith
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Famous As: Economist and Philosopher
Birthdate: June 16, 1723
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Scottish
Died: July 17, 1790

 29 Pythagoras

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

 30 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

 31 Sam Harris

Sam Harris
1
Famous As: Philosopher, Author
Birthdate: April 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 32 Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Famous As: Philosopher, Writer, & Composer
Birthdate: June 28, 1712
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Swiss, French
Died: July 2, 1778

 33 Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus
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Birthdate: February 19, 1473
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Polish
Died: May 24, 1543

 34 Bertrand Russell

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

 35 Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 21, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: French
Died: April 15, 1980

 36 Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna
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Famous As: Philosopher, Psychonaut, Ethnobotanist, Author
Birthdate: November 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: April 3, 2000

 37 Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas
1
Famous As: Philosophers, Theologian
Birthdate: January 28, 1225
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 7, 1274

 38 Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping
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Birthdate: August 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Chinese
Died: February 19, 1997

 39 Diogenes

Diogenes
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Famous As: philosopher
Birthdate: 0412 BC
Nationality: Greek
Died: 0323 BC

 40 David Hume

David Hume
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Famous As: Philosopher & Historian
Birthdate: April 26, 1711
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Scottish
Died: August 25, 1776

 41 Democritus

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

 42 Chanakya

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

 43 Muhammad Iqbal

Muhammad Iqbal
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Famous As: Poet & Philosopher
Birthdate: November 9, 1877
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Pakistani
Died: April 21, 1938

 44 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
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Famous As: Philosopher, Philosophy Historian
Birthdate: August 27, 1770
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German
Died: November 14, 1831

 45 Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: March 21, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Slovenian

 46 Hannah Arendt

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

 47 Max Weber

Maximilian Carl Emil Weber
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Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: April 21, 1864
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: German
Died: June 14, 1920

 48 Jiddu Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti
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Famous As: Public Speaker & Philosopher
Birthdate: May 12, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian
Died: February 17, 1986

 49 Søren Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 5, 1813
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Danish
Died: November 11, 1855

 50 Ravi Zacharias

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