Philosophy has had a profound effect on the way we live and the laws that impact our society. While many of the greatest philosophers who have ever lived are far gone, their theories and moral code of ethics live on.
Philosophical ideals are the building blocks of our laws and ethics. Philosophy guides us on our search to find the meaning of life. What is this whole “life” thing about? Why are we here? Is this a test? Are we alone?
Philosophers strive to find the answers to these types of questions in the most logical manner possible. I wish as a society we could have more discussions about philosophical ideas, but unfortunately they only come up in private conversations, usually between two open minded people.
The reality is that the mainstream media constantly promotes anti-intellectualism. It’s quite sad if you think about it, but I’m not here to bum you out. I’m here to help. I want to see more open minded people on Earth, who question everything and refuse to be labeled as “normal.” It’s time for people to stop regurgitating pointless talking points and so called “facts” from the 6 o’clock news.
Let’s take a look at 10 great philosophers who will change your life!
Immanuel Kant, a philosopher from Germany, has been credited as being one of the founding fathers of modern philosophy. He was a great thinker who lived in the eighteenth century, when the world was changing and new ideas were being explored for the very first time. Kant’s most memorable piece of work was the Kingdom of Ends.
Kant essentially believed that every rational being belonged to the kingdom, and if people were treated fairly that only good would come from it. His work mainly focused on ethics, political theory, and epistemology.
Probably one of the most well-known philosophers of all time is Plato. Plato changed the way law is written all around the world. He lived about four hundred years before the current era, making him one of the oldest philosophers to have ever lived*.
He studied the ideas of Socrates, who also taught young Plato grammar and music. His biggest and most popular doings were actually in the area of education, and not philosophy. He is known for founding the Academy in Athens and for creating some great ground work in the area of science.
Creating some of the greatest philosophical ideas of the early 1000’s is Avicenna. He is one of the most influential philosophers of Persia. Avicenna was an Islamic scholar, and most of his early works revolved around his study of the Quran, which is where most of his early philosophical ideas originated. He went on to write the Book of Healing, which is an encyclopedia of information on both philosophy and medicine.
In England, around the end of the seventeenth century, one of the greatest modern philosophers was born. John Locke created some amazing ideas that have shaped the way nations live, work, and make laws. He worked his whole life to create political ideas that have shaped modern law and the rights of people around the globe. He pushed for people to all have the right to life, liberty, and property while seeing to it that no government obtained too much power. He was a great man with some incredible ideas!
Zeno of Citium
In 334 B.C.E. Zeno of Citium was born in Cyprus. Zeno lived in Cyprus his entire life, but had a great emphasis on philosophy from around the world. As the demand for moral philosophy grew, his ideas were adapted in Rome and Greece. He is mostly famous for his work on peace of mind and moral philosophy. Zeno was aslo able to establish a school of philosophy which taught the aspects of the soul, nature, and peace.
Epicurus was born into a small Greek family in 341 B.C.E. where he was raised to question everything and anything. When Epicurus turned 18 he moved to Athens, where he served in the military for two years before going back to studying philosophy. His experience in the military helped him develop new ideas, and gave him a way of staying out of war!
Epicurus is best known for his philosophy about moral code and reason. His rational outlook on life turned heads. He believed that if each individual lived his or her life to the fullest and surrounded themselves with friends, they would be able to accomplish anything. He was also one of the very first to question how different Gods would treat people after death.
Living in the late nineteenth-century, Friedrich Nietzsche, changed the world with some unconventional ideology. He began his career by studying both Greek and Roman texts/doctrines. Friedrich wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy, and science. He is well-known for his ideas on God. He believed that God was dead, and people should not devote their lives to a doctrine that takes away from thinking about more broad ideas about life.
Confucius was born about 550 years before the current era. Confucius is probably one of the most quoted Chinese philosophers to have ever lived. He believed that it was more important to know how to properly judge a situation rather than to have knowledge of specific laws. While most of his work revolved around law and justice, he ended up being exiled.
The late sixteenth century is riddled with great thinkers, but none as prominent as Rene Descartes. He was a philosopher who refused to accept old ideas, so he created his own.
Descartes stood by one theory that is unlike any other. Unlike others before him, he defended the existence of God. One of his reasons for believing in God is that he knows (or thinks) that God is perfect. Since perfection includes existence, he therefore assumed that God must exist. Rene was also accredited as a genius, who helped rev up the modern world of science.
Born 384 years before the current era, he is one of the most renowned philosophers of all time. Aristotle, in my opinion, was the best philosopher to have ever lived. He studied at Plato’s Academy in Athens, and created some very thought-provoking ideals which are still used today.
It’s believed that he was one of the very first men to study logic formally, giving him a world of understanding. He is well-known due to his writings on virtue, which are still applied in many aspects today. His work mainly focused on ethics, science, rhetoric, theology, medicine, literary theory, and political theory.