10 most outstanding German philosophers

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Philosophy dates back to ancient Greece VII-V centuries before ad. Initially, it was customary to call everyone philosophers educated people and only gradually this term began to apply to those who have studied worldview issues. The word philosophy literally translates as “any wisdom”, that is, a love of wisdom. In her the task is to study the general principles and laws of being, development of human society, the process of thinking and acquisition knowledge, beliefs, and the study of value systems, in particular moral. This extensive system extends to a large number of specific areas, ranging from epistemology and metaphysical searches and ending with such highly specific topics like design philosophy or philosophy of cinema.

Germany, being a developed country with a high level of education, gave the world a lot of talented and outstanding people: scientists, writers, composers and of course philosophers. In this article we will introduce you with famous German thinkers whose ideas have had significant impact on society and the formation of modern European, and in some cases world culture.

Rating of the most outstanding German philosophers

Nomination a place Philosopher rating
Rating of the most outstanding German philosophers 10 Martin Heidegger 4.1
9 Edmund Husserl 4.2
8 Karl Marx 4.3
7 Ludwig Feuerbach 4.4
6 Johann Gottlieb Fichte 4.5
5 Max Weber 4.6
4 Arthur Schopenhauer 4.7
3 Immanuel Kant 4.8
2 Friedrich Nietzsche 4.9
1 Georg Hegel 5.0

Martin Heidegger

Rating: 4.1

Martin Heidegger

Heidegger graduated from the University of Freiburg im Breisgau, where in addition to philosophy, he studied theology, mathematics and natural science. After defending his doctoral dissertation, he worked for a long time. an assistant with Edmund Husserl. In 1923 received the title professors, and ten years later he became dean of the faculty, however, he soon resigned. In the early stages of worldview Heidegger was largely formed under the influence of his ideas mentor, as well as the philosophy of Wilhelm Dilthey. His main the work was the book “Genesis and Time”, which is a an attempt to explore the existence of man through his practical interaction with the world in a socio-historical context. In his Heidegger reflects on the problem of conformism and how In this way, a person, based on his in-depth experience, is able to gain a sense of the authenticity of one’s being. The philosopher was skeptical of attempts by some scientists of the 20th century to use mathematical methods to the field of social sciences. Late, post-war works Heidegger is devoted to the traditional issues of metaphysics.

Edmund Husserl

Rating: 4.2

Edmund Husserl

The famous philosopher of the late XIX – early XX century is considered the founder of phenomenology, the concept of the phenomena of consciousness. According to Husserl’s interpretation, it is a science of pure consciousness, free from any dogma and aimed at the knowledge of entities. At the beginning of his teaching career, his worldview was influenced British empiricists and Franz Brentano in later years he turned to the theories of Immanuel Kant. First published book Husserl became the “Philosophy of Arithmetic”, where the philosopher in general terms investigated the relationship of psychology and formal logic. Further developing his views, he sought to discover self-evident and non-prerequisite principles of logic. Key to shaping Husserl devoted consciousness to the experience of sensory contemplation. The main the works of Edmund Husserl are considered “Formal and Transcendental logic “and” Crisis of European Sciences. “The philosopher helped the development of existentialism, he also laid the foundation for the formation of gestalt psychology and methods of psychoanalysis.

Karl Marx

Rating: 4.3

Karl Marx

Although Karl Marx is known primarily as a public the figure who laid the foundation for the communist movement, his contribution to philosophy is also recognized as very significant. Education received at Bonn University, after which he continued his studies at the capital of Germany. Young Karl Marx was especially fascinated classical theories of ancient philosophers: Democritus and Epicurus. Of contemporaries, he was inspired by the work of Hegel and Feuerbach. Since 1843 Marx lives in France, where he meets Frederick Engels and the poet Heinrich Heine. In 1845, after moving to Brussels, as a member of a secret international society, he is in collaborating with Engels makes up the “Communist Manifesto parties. “Active social activities and atheistic Marx’s worldview at that time almost never met a warm response, in the end he and his family had to emigrate to London. It was there that he worked on his main work under the name “Capital”. The philosophical views of Karl Marx, subsequently formed in a separate flow called “Marxism” was based on materialism and the pursuit of revolutionary transformations in the social environment.

Ludwig Feuerbach

Rating: 4.4

Ludwig Feuerbach

Feuerbach began his acquaintance with philosophy, studying with Karl Dauba later listened to Georg Hegel’s lectures in Berlin. Finished University of Erlangen, he continued his studies, and his first an important work was the “History of a new philosophy from Bacon to Spinoza. “In 1830, Feuerbach published a small anonymous work, in which proved the inconsistency of religious doctrine of immortality of the soul. When the name of the author became known to the public, he was stripped of his teacher status. However, this did not stop philosopher, who in his views was increasingly inclined to atheistic picture of the world. However, he did not share a look 18th century enlighteners on religion as the fruit of superstition and a political tool, believing that a penchant for religious the search comes from the intrinsic anthropomorphism of man. Also Feuerbach was a supporter of eudaimonistic ethics, according to which the main criterion of morality is the pursuit of happiness. Of published works are considered the most important “Essence religion “and” Fundamentals of the philosophy of the future. ”

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

Rating: 4.5

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

Famous philosopher of the late XVIII – early XIX century, Johann Fichte was a follower of critical idealism. Based on this teachings he deduced his new form called speculative transcendentalism. At the beginning of his life, Fichte met the works of Immanuel Kant, which essentially set the direction for everything his further philosophical work. First job to receive public recognition has become the “experience of criticism of all creation.” Soon after its publication, he was appointed professor at Jena University. In 1799, Fichte had to leave teaching career due to allegations of proliferation atheistic views. In his subsequent works, the philosopher touched on ethics, metaphysics and social pedagogy. is he created the prerequisites for the idea of ​​state socialism, also formulated the principle that truth is most often in the middle between the thesis and antithesis.

Max Weber

Rating: 4.6

Max Weber

Thanks to his father, who held public office, Max Weber was interested in politics and science since childhood. Having received education in law, he defended his dissertation, becoming thus a doctor of law. Some time weber worked as a teacher at the University of Berlin, later held post of assistant editor in a scientific publication. Most important his book on philosophical issues has become “Protestant ethics and the spirit of capitalism.” This work examined the influence of culture and religion on the development of the state system economics. Unlike Karl Marx, Max Weber considered religious worldview as an important element for becoming civilization. The philosopher is considered one of the founders of sociology, the first to introduce such a concept as “social action”. IN his studies, Weber focused on society in the first the queue, as a society of individual individuals, was also convinced that the key factors in motivation are ideas whose world dominates the materialistic. In the political sphere, he showed a supporter of democracy and constitutional reform. Weber Ideas had such a serious impact on German society of the 20th century, that he even took part in creating a new constitution Weimar Republic.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Rating: 4.7

Arthur Schopenhauer

The main philosopher-pessimist of the XIX century Arthur Schopenhauer already with young years had a penchant for misanthropy and practical-judicious (sometimes bordering on cynicism) view of a life. To a large extent contributed to such circumstances, like the suicide of a father (with whom a 16-year-old Arthur had a close relationship) and a complex relationship with his mother, considering a child a burden. The future philosopher drew inspiration from the work of Immanuel Kant, whom he considered his ideological mentor. To other thinkers such as Fichte and Hegel, Schopenhauer was dismissive, criticizing their ideas for any opportunity. Despite his skeptical worldview, after the publication of his main book “The World as a Will and Representation” he enjoyed considerable popularity among young snobs of his time. The greatest literary recognition to Schopenhauer brought collection aphorisms, many caustic quotes from it remain famous and demanded to our time.

Immanuel Kant

Rating: 4.8

Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant is considered one of the most prominent figures. classical philosophy of the XVIII century. He grew up on the outskirts of Koenigsberg, among artisans, but thanks to their desire for knowledge without difficulty entered the University. A huge mark in the student’s worldview abandoned the teachings of Isaac Newton. Due to financial problems Cantu had to leave school, and for the next ten years he worked in as a home teacher for children from wealthy families. At the same time he was engaged in scientific research in the field of physics, astronomy, geography, and also wrote philosophical works character. At first, Kant was influenced by the dominant ideology of wolfianism, but eventually developed his own views, which became revolutionary for Europe at that time. One of the fundamental ideas of the philosopher was the statement of the value of each individual personality and inalienable right to personal freedom of action. Among the works of Immanuel Kant there are three fundamental works. The first of these, Critique of Pure Reason, touches on cognitive opportunities and obtaining evidence in isolation from empirical knowledge. The second, “Critique of Practical Reason”, devoted to ethical issues, and the third one called “Criticism judgment abilities “contains reflections on aesthetics and teleology.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Rating: 4.9

Friedrich Nietzsche

The world famous philosopher was born in 1844 near German city of Leipzig. Educated in Leipzig University at the Faculty of Philology. Around this time young Nietzsche got acquainted with the views of Arthur Schopenhauer set forth in his book “The World as a Will and Representation”, which awakened a living interest in philosophy. After completing his studies, he was immediately invited Lecturer at the University of Basel in Switzerland. The development of Nietzsche’s philosophical ideas, which later lead to the formation of a separate movement called Nietzscheanism, in its time was taken ambiguously and did not meet with a wide response the public. His most striking work is the book “So said Zarathustra, “she does not lose popularity to this day. Friedrich Nietzsche is the author of the symbolic idea of ​​”death of God” under which means a loss of confidence in religious landmarks and values. Nietzsche also called for a revision of the generally accepted view of envy, which in his opinion is a powerful source of human motivation.

Georg Hegel

Rating: 5.0

Georg Hegel

Georg Hegel is one of the founders of the German philosophy of idealism, author of many theories that have been controversial for over a hundred years old. An important place in his teachings was played by the theological education he received at the University of Tubingham. Since 1808 Hegel served as rector in Nuremberg, taught a number philosophical and humanitarian subjects, as well as mathematics. Besides of this, he worked on his writings: first it was published the first work, “Phenomenology of the Spirit,” followed by the “Science of Logic.” Hegel’s philosophical concept was recognized at the highest state level, becoming almost an official ideology Prussia at the beginning of the 19th century, and he himself was invited to Berlin university. Although some ideas of Hegel subsequently recognized obsolete, other of them have remained relevant. It is believed that it was he who laid the foundation for the emergence of a humanistic sociology.


Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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