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Ancient Greek Philosophers & Philosophies
Aristotle (BCE 384 - 322): Topic
Greek philosopher. Aristotle's father, Nicomachus, was a noted physician. Aristotle studied (367–347 B.C.) under Plato at the Academy and there wrote many dialogues that were praised for their eloquence.
Term originating in ancient Greece to designate a government where the people share in directing the activities of the state, as distinct from governments controlled by a single class, select group, or autocrat.
Democritus (BCE 460 - 370): Topic
Ancient writers believed that Democritus was the student of Leucippus. They are associated together as the first philosophers to hypothesize that invisible material objects—atoms—make up the universe.
Epicurus (BCE 341 - 270): Topic
Greek philosopher, b. Samos; son of an Athenian colonist. He claimed to be self-taught, although tradition states that he was schooled in the systems of Plato and Democritus by his father and various philosophers.
Plato (BCE 427 - 347): Topic
Greek philosopher. Plato's teachings have been among the most influential in the history of Western civilization.
Plotinus (205 - 270): Topic
Neoplatonist philosopher. A native of Egypt, perhaps of Roman descent, he went to Alexandria c.232 to devote himself to philosophy.
Pythagoras (BCE 582 - 507): Topic
Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, founder of the Pythagorean school. He migrated from his native Samos to Crotona and established a secret religious society or order similar to, and possibly influenced by, the earlier Orphic cult.
[Gr.,=to reflect], philosophic position holding that the possibility of knowledge is limited either because of the limitations of the mind or because of the inaccessibility of its object.
Socrates (BCE 469 - 399): Topic
Greek philosopher of Athens, famous for his view of philosophy as a pursuit proper and necessary to all intelligent men.
School of philosophy which taught that only by putting aside passion, unjust thoughts, and indulgence and by performing duty with the right disposition can people attain true freedom and rule as lords over their own lives.
Albertus Magnus (1193 - 1280)
From The Columbia Encyclopedia
Scholastic philosopher, Doctor of the Church, called the Universal Doctor.
John Duns Scotus (1265 - 1308)
From Encyclopedia of World Religions
Scottish Franciscan theologian and philosopher, also known as Blessed John Duns Scotus; Johannes Duns Scotus. Duns Scotus was the foremost Franciscan metaphysician, philosopher, and theologian of the Middle Ages. He lectured at Oxford, Paris, and Cologne, where his remains are venerated. His celebrated argument for the existence of God is called On God as the First Principle. Known as the Subtle Doctor or the Marian Doctor, he had many followers and influenced theologians of the Protestant Reformation centuries later. Somewhat ironically, his name became the source for the epithet “dunce.” He was beatified by John Paul II in 1994.
Peter Abelard (1079 - 1142): Topic
Theologian, born near Nantes, W France. He studied under Roscellinus and Guillaume de Champeaux (c.1070–1171). MORE
St. Anselm (1033 - 1109)
From Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy
Saint, called Anselm of Canterbury, Italian-born English philosophical theologian.
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274): Topic
Italian theologian, scholastic philosopher, and Dominican friar, whose works include Summa contra Gentiles (1259-64) and Summa Theologiae (1267-73), the first attempt at a comprehensive theological system.
Desiderius Erasmus (1466 - 1536): Topic
Dutch Humanist, scholar, and author (1466 or 1469-1536). Born in Rotterdam but determined to become a "citizen of the world," Erasmus earned that citizenship and with it a reputation as the chief intellectual of the European Renaissance.
Giordano Bruno (1548 - 1600): Topic
Italian philosopher, b. Nola. He entered the Dominican order early in his youth but was accused of heresy and fled (c.1576) to take up a career of study and travel.
Niccolò Machiavelli (1469 - 1527): Topic
Italian author and statesman, one of the outstanding figures of the Renaissance, b. Florence.
Thomas More (1478 - 1535): Topic
More was born in London on 7 February 1478, and executed on Tower Hill in the same city on 6 July 1535.
Tommaso Campanella (1568 - 1639): Topic
Italian philosopher and Dominican friar. During his imprisonment by the Spaniards (1599-1626) he wrote his celebrated utopian fantasy, La città del sole.
Early Modern Philosophers
David Hume (1711 - 1776): Topic
Hume was born David Home on 7 May 1711 in Edinburgh, and died there on 25 August 1776.
Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626): Topic
English philosopher, politician, and writer, a founder of modern scientific research. His works include Essays (1597, revised and augmented 1612 and 1625), characterized by pith and brevity; The Advancement of Learning (1605), a seminal work discussing scientific method; Novum Organum (1620), in which he redefined the task of natural science.
George Berkeley (1685 - 1753): Topic
Irish philosopher and cleric. Drawing on the empiricism of John Locke, he argued that there is no existence independent of subjective perception (esse est percipi).
Gottfried Leibniz (1646 - 1716): Topic
German philosopher and mathematician who was one of the founders of the differential calculus and symbolic logic.
Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804): Topic
German metaphysician, one of the greatest figures in philosophy. German idealist philosopher. He sought to determine the limits of man's knowledge in Critique of Pure Reason (1781).
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778): Topic
Swiss philosopher and writer who held that the individual is essentially good but usually corrupted by society. His written works include The Social Contract and Émile (both 1762).
John Locke (1632-1704): Topic
Locke was born on 29 August 1632 at Wrington, Somerset, into a Puritan family of the minor gentry.
René Descartes (1596 - 1650): Topic
French philosopher and mathematician who worked in attempting to reduce the physical sciences to purely mathematical principles.
Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679): Topic
Hobbes was born at Westport (now a part of Malmesbury), Wiltshire on 5 April 1588. He died 4 December 1679 at Hardwick, Derbyshire.
Later Modern and 20th-Century Philosophers
Auguste Comte (1798-1857): Topic
French philosopher, founder of the school of philosophy known as positivism, educated in Paris.
Charles Sanders Peirce (1839 - 1914): Topic
American philosopher, mathematician, and scientist who cofounded pragmatism, made many contributions to logic, and was one of the original developers of semiotics.
Edmund Husserl (1859 - 1938): Topic
Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, first came to prominence through the publication of his Logical Investigations (1900–1). It was on the basis of this book that the phenomenological movement was formed.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900): Topic
German philosopher; put forward the concepts of the superman and the death of God in Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-85); one of the precursors of existentialism.
Georg Hegel (1770 - 1831): Topic
German idealist philosopher who interpreted nature and human history and culture as expressions of a dialectical process in which Spirit, or Mind, realizes its full potentiality. MORE
Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 - 1980): Topic
French philosopher, novelist, and dramatist; chief French exponent of atheistic existentialism.
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832): Topic
British philosopher and jurist: a founder of utilitarianism.
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873): Topic
Mill was born in London on 20 May 1806 and died on 7 May 1873 in Avignon, in a house next to the cemetery where his wife was buried.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951): Topic
British philosopher born in Austria; explored language and meaning; influenced logical positivism.
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976): Topic
German existentialist philosopher: he expounded his ontological system in Being and Time (1927).
Søren Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855): Topic
Danish philosopher and religious thinker. Kierkegaard's outwardly uneventful life in Copenhagen contrasted with his intensive inner examination of self and society.