Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Top Ten Philosophers of All Time

I don't necessarily agree with everything these philosophers have to say, but in terms of their influence, here's how I would list them:

1. Plato
2. Aristotle
3. St. Augustine
4. St. Thomas Aquinas
5. Rene Decartes
6. John Locke
7. Baruch Spinoza
8. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
9. Immanuel Kant
10. David Hume

Of course, this is a list of western philosophers.  A separate list for eastern philosophers could also be compiled.  It's also worth noting that while I like Plato, he's not my favorite philosopher.  That honor belongs to St. Thomas Aquinas, with St. Augustine and Aristotle coming in at a close second and third.  It's just that Plato and Aristotle have probably had the greatest influence on philosophy throughout the past two-thousand years.  While Kant and Hume have been enormously influential, I put them at #9 and #10, respectively, because their influence is still fairly recent.  Plus, the issues they address can be found at least in kernel form in the ancient philosophers.

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