Famous Scottish Intellectuals & Academics

This 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 Scottish Intellectuals & Academics

 1 Adam Smith

Adam Smith.
Famous As: Economist and Philosopher
Birthdate: June 16, 1723
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Died: July 17, 1790

Widely considered The Father of Economics, Adam Smith was a Scottish philosopher and economist. A pioneer of political economy, Adam Smith played a major role during the Scottish Enlightenment. His book The Wealth of Nations is regarded as the first modern work of economics and a forerunner of today's academic discipline of economics.

 2 David Hume

David Hume.
Famous As: Philosopher & Historian
Birthdate: April 26, 1711
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: August 25, 1776

Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, and economist, David Hume, is considered one of the most important philosophers to write in English. His book, A Treatise of Human Nature, is counted among the most influential works in the history of philosophy. His works have influenced numerous thinkers, including German philosopher Immanuel Kant and Christian philosopher Joseph Butler.

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 3 John Knox

John Knox.
Famous As: Protestant Leader
Birthdate: 1514 AD
Birthplace: Giffordgate, Haddington, Scotland
Died: November 24, 1572

John Knox was a Scottish minister, writer, and theologian. Knox, who played a major role in the Scottish Reformation, is also credited with founding the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Considered a major contributor to the field of theology, John Knox's statue stands tall at New College in the University of Edinburgh, UK.

 4 Duns Scotus

Duns Scotus.
Famous As: philosopher, theologian, writer, cleric, university teacher, Catholic priest
Birthdate: 1265 AD
Birthplace: Scotland
Died: December 8, 1308
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 5 Neil Oliver

Neil Oliver.
Famous As: TV Presenter
Birthdate: February 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Renfrewshire, Scotland, UK

 6 James Murray

James Murray
Famous As: Lexicographer
Birthdate: February 7, 1837
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Denholm, Scotland
Died: July 26, 1915

 7 Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle.
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: December 4, 1795
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Died: February 5, 1881
Initially a math teacher, Thomas Carlyle later abandoned the profession when a sudden spiritual awakening led him to writing. His parents wanted him to become a clergy, but he ended up becoming one of the greatest Victorian essayists and authors ever, known for works such as Sartor Resartus.
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 8 John Buchan

John Buchan
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 26, 1875
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Perth, Scotland
Died: February 11, 1940

 9 John Witherspoon

John Witherspoon
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 5, 1723
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gifford, Scotland
Died: November 15, 1794

John Witherspoon was a Scottish American slaveholder, Presbyterian minister, and Founding Father of the United States. A signatory to the Declaration of Independence, Witherspoon also signed the Articles of Confederation. He also played a crucial role in shaping public policy in the United States of America.

 10 John Law

John Law
Famous As: economist, banker, statistician
Birthdate: April 21, 1671
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: March 21, 1729

 11 James Mill

James Mill
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: April 6, 1773
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Angus, Scotland
Died: June 23, 1836

James Mill was a Scottish economist, historian, philosopher, and political theorist. Mill is credited with co-founding the Ricardian school of economics. He is also credited with writing The History of British India, which classifies Indian history into three parts: British, Muslim, and Hindu. The classification has played an influential role in the field of Indian historical studies.

 12 William Wallace

William Wallace.
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: 1270 AD
Birthplace: Elderslie, Renfrewshire, Scotland
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.

 13 Abdalqadir as-Sufi

Abdalqadir as-Sufi
Famous As: theologian, philosopher, actor
Birthdate: 1930 AD
Birthplace: Ayr

 14 Patrick Geddes

Patrick Geddes
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: October 2, 1854
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died: April 17, 1932

 15 Thomas Reid

Thomas Reid
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 7, 1710
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Strachan, Scotland, Great Britain
Died: October 7, 1796

 16 A.S. Neill

A.S. Neill
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: October 17, 1883
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Forfar, Scotland
Died: September 23, 1973

 17 Harry The Minstrel

Harry The Minstrel
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 1440 AD
Birthplace: Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: 1492 AD

 18 Michael Scot

Michael Scot
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: 1175 AD
Birthplace: Scotland
Died: 1232 AD

 19 W. D. Ross

W. D. Ross
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 15, 1877
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thurso, Scotland
Died: May 5, 1971

 20 Alexander Bain - Philosopher

Alexander Bain - Philosopher.
Famous As: Scottish philosopher
Birthdate: June 11, 1818
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Aberdeen
Died: September 18, 1903

Alexander Bain was a Scottish philosopher. He was a prominent educationalist in the British school of empiricism. A respected figure in the fields of psychology, logic, linguistics, moral philosophy, and education reform, he founded Mind, the first-ever journal of psychology and analytical philosophy. He had an illustrious academic career at the University of Aberdeen. 

 21 Thomas Gordon

Thomas Gordon
Famous As: psychologist
Birthdate: March 11, 1918
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: August 26, 2002

 22 Sir William Hamilton, 9th Baronet

Sir William Hamilton, 9th Baronet
Famous As: Metaphysician
Birthdate: March 8, 1788
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: May 6, 1856

 23 Eric Linklater

Eric Linklater
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 8, 1899
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Penarth, Wales
Died: November 7, 1974

 24 Edward Irving

Edward Irving
Famous As: Scottish minister
Birthdate: August 4, 1792
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Annan, Scotland
Died: December 7, 1834

 25 James Burnett, Lord Monboddo

James Burnett, Lord Monboddo
Famous As: Judge
Birthdate: October 25, 1714
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Monboddo, Scotland
Died: May 26, 1799

 26 William Robertson

William Robertson
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: September 19, 1721
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Borthwick, Scotland
Died: June 11, 1793

 27 William Robertson Smith

William Robertson Smith
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: November 8, 1846
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died: March 31, 1894

 28 James Frederick Ferrier

James Frederick Ferrier
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 16, 1808
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: June 11, 1864

 29 James Steuart

James Steuart
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: October 21, 1712
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: November 26, 1780

 30 Hugh Blair

Hugh Blair
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: April 7, 1718
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: December 27, 1800

 31 Henry Home, Lord Kames

Henry Home, Lord Kames
Famous As: Advocate
Birthdate: 1696 AD
Birthplace: Kames, Scotland
Died: December 27, 1782

 32 John Macquarrie

John Macquarrie
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 27, 1919
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Renfrew, Scotland
Died: May 28, 2007

 33 Hector Boece

Hector Boece
Famous As: Scottish philosopher
Birthdate: 1465 AD
Birthplace: Dundee, Scotland
Died: 1536 AD

 34 James Crichton

James Crichton
Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: August 19, 1560
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dumfries, Scotland
Died: July 3, 1582

 35 Angus Calder

Angus Calder
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 5, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 5, 2008

 36 Charles Wyville Thomson

Charles Wyville Thomson
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: March 5, 1830
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bonsyde, Scotland
Died: March 10, 1882

 37 James Moffatt

James Moffatt
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: 1870 AD
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: 1944 AD

 38 Alexander Dalrymple

Alexander Dalrymple
Famous As: Geographer and hydrographer
Birthdate: July 24, 1737
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New Hailes, Scotland
Died: June 19, 1808

 39 William Archer

William Archer
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 23, 1856
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Perth, Scotland
Died: December 27, 1924

 40 Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: January 9, 1778
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland
Died: April 2, 1820

 41 James Beattie

James Beattie
Famous As: Linguist, Poet, Translator, Philosopher, Writer
Birthdate: October 25, 1735
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Laurencekirk, United Kingdom
Died: August 18, 1803

 42 David Martin

David Martin
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 26, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

 43 John Kirk

John Kirk
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: December 19, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barry, Scotland
Died: January 15, 1922

 44 Walter Bower

Walter Bower
Famous As: Chronicler
Birthdate: 1385 AD
Birthplace: Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland
Died: December 24, 1449

 45 John Of Fordun

John Of Fordun
Famous As: Chronicler
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Fordoun, Scotland
Died: 1384 AD

 46 Andrew Melville

Andrew Melville
Famous As: Linguist, Theologian, University teacher
Birthdate: August 1, 1545
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Angus
Died: April 22, 2017

 47 John Ramsay McCulloch

John Ramsay McCulloch
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: March 1, 1789
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Whithorn, Scotland
Died: November 11, 1864

 48 Sir John Leslie, 4th Baronet

Sir John Leslie, 4th Baronet
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: April 10, 1766
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lower Largo, Scotland
Died: November 3, 1832

 49 Andrew of Wyntoun

Andrew of Wyntoun
Famous As: Scottish writer
Birthdate: 1350 AD
Birthplace: Not known
Died: 1423 AD

 50 John George Bartholomew

John George Bartholomew
Famous As: Cartographer
Birthdate: March 22, 1860
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: April 14, 1920