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Perhaps, in the life of every person comes sooner or later the moment when he begins to ask himself different existential questions. What is the meaning of being? Why is the world so unfair? what primary – mind or matter? Although … here we got excited, rarely anyone asks questions of materialism or idealism.
These issues have haunted humanity since time immemorial. AND various thinkers of the past tried to answer them. Or though to correctly formulate the questions themselves. As a result, the story humanity has been influenced by a huge number of philosophers. Part of their ideas broke up in dust and remained only in textbooks, part – embodied in modern social institutions, part – just a reason to shine erudition.
And no matter why you turned to the history of thinking – do you want to get answers to the most important questions of being; to understand whether society and other people; or maybe just boast of Seneca’s quotes in dialogs when buying broccoli in Billa for stocks – we made ranking of the 15 most famous philosophers of the world.
To compile the rating, data from search engines were used. What kind of philosopher is most often asked – the most famous one.
Overview of the most famous philosophers of the world
|Rating of the most famous philosophers of the world||15||Alvin Toffler||4.3|
|9||Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel||4.6|
|1||Karl Heinrich Marx||5.0|
Alvin Toffler is a representative of the latest philosophical school. His the works published in the second half of the 20th century describe postindustrial, information society, and man’s place in him. That is the situation that is being observed right now.
In his emerging cult work, Shock of the Future, for the first time published in 1970, Alvin Toffler described the so-called “third wave” – a completely new type of society, formed in the result of an intellectual revolution. He predicted the formation a huge number of subcultures, the phenomenon of mass consumption, blurring the boundaries between “producers” and “buyers”, but the main thing is the primacy of information. Really, now ideas become more valuable than any goods. He also predicted the formation of a “consumer economy” that will replace traditional capitalism.
Despite the fact that during his lifetime this philosopher did not gain particularly popular, his ideas that are now being embodied in the surrounding world brought Alvin Toffler fame. His predictions – from local (the effect of the “shock of the future”, expressed in foolish consumer behavior with buying new iPhones every year after release just to keep up with the changing society) to global – are being executed right now. And if you suffer from an incomprehensible headache and just can’t catch it last bus – read his books.
Arthur Schopenhauer – one of the most famous representatives of the German schools of philosophers. Moreover, his thinking was opposed predecessors. For example, he was very active in criticizing Kant’s writings. and generally inclined to the ideas of irrationalism.
Schopenhauer’s philosophy traces the idea of existence unknowable. He divides our world environment into simple things that are accessible to understanding by the human mind, and into spheres, which is simply impossible to understand. However, the tendencies of mysticism, traceable in the thoughts of this philosopher, they say that these unknowable areas are accessible to us through revelations, faith, feelings and other “influences.”
However, this philosopher is very popular in the modern world. gained primarily due to the idea of universal pessimism. According to his writings, the only organ of knowledge is intelligence. But Moreover, it is supplemented by an important feature of the human psyche – the will. And the idea of universal pessimism is that this will – meaningless, because our world in which you and I live is worst possible. And the task of man is to go through this world, through the “arena dotted with flaming coals.” And there is no point keep the will to live, because the intellect must understand that the existence of man on earth only multiplies his suffering.
At the same time, Arthur Schopenhauer, like Buddhists, was ardent an adversary of suicide. The task of man is to go through this world, rather than cheating to avoid the path through the arena dotted with glowing coals. ”
Diogenes – perhaps the only philosopher in the ranking, not known their labors, and shocking behavior. He constantly poked fun at by the Athenians, and at the same time extracted from these “pranks” highly intelligent conclusions.
For example, one day he went to the city square of Athens and began give some kind of philosophical lecture. True, no one listened to him. Then Diogenes bequeathed like a bird – and a crowd gathered around him onlooker. And he criticized them – they say, when he told important things, no one listened to him, but it was worth screaming as if unreasonable a bird – and the Athenians stand with their mouths open.
Diogenes became the founder of the school of cynics – a special trend philosophy, which originated in the lower classes of society. Cynics defiantly despised the world and traditional worldview, extolling their poverty as a symbol, as a renunciation of pleasures, from statehood and public morality. Diogenes searched in this also virtue, considering the goal of man is liberation from the blessings given to him from above, by society or by luck.
Therefore, the worldview of Diogenes can hardly be called cynical in modern understanding of the term, rather shocking and ascetic, with the ascension of asceticism to flags and criticism of fortune, society and the benefits they give.
Niccolo Machiavelli is one of the most famous philosophers, studied the ideas of statehood and people management. Main part of his work is devoted to criticism and reasoning about activities various rulers of antiquity, antiquity and modernity (on moment of the author’s life, that is, the beginning of the 16th century).
Niccolo Machiavelli’s most famous work is The Sovereign. In it he describes both methods of seizing power and methods of government, and also cites a portrait of an ideal chapter. And, characteristically, ideas Machiavelli, published in this work, have not lost their relevance and to this day. In his opinion, there are several ways to come to power – weapons, strength, luck. And since man is not fortunate authoritative, the “Sovereign” details ways to achieve success using violence. According to Machiavelli, good the ruler must sometimes be likened to animals – and special respect in the eyes of the Italian philosopher cause foxes and lions.
According to Niccolo Machiavelli, people value success more ruler than virtuous because the success of the state leads to the prosperity of the whole society, and the virtue of the sovereign – only certain groups. And this is manifested in modern society. Even the rulers who are cruel to their people are justified, when their countries achieve some success in one way or another sphere.
English philosopher and educator John Locke is one of founders of the course of liberalism. His ideas about human rights and freedoms, for example, are reflected in the Declaration Jefferson and Washington, the main government document USA.
However, the main line of thought of John Locke affects the formation of the human mind. He brought up the idea of tabula rasa – “clean slate”. Each person is born with a pure mind and in throughout his life fills him with his own experience, consisting of single perceptions. According to John Locke, human feelings primary and priority over the mind. As a result, the same different people perceive objects differently.
The main product of thinking as a property of the soul, according to John Locke, are ideas. They come from the external and internal experience. Simple ideas further develop into complex, more large-scale. Experience is the only source of such thoughts, and no “influx” and mysticism cannot be in this.
In other works, John Locke considers the ideas of statehood. According to him, the only condition worth to reach a person is complete freedom. People must have full the right to dispose of their property and being. No one a person in society cannot be a servant or a vassal, and not only in relation to another person, but also a state Institute. This should be manifested, for example, in freedom. movement or property management.
John Locke’s ideas are currently reborn. Including due to the fact that more and more presidents and chapters states choose liberalism and libertarianism as core ideology.
Voltaire is one of the most famous French philosophers. Exactly his ideas and works influenced the formation of the Enlightenment. At this during the life of Voltaire (the first half of the XVIII century) they quite criticized by current socio-political we are building.
According to Voltaire, at the heart of a fair society are three the basic principle is freedom, equality and fraternity. And each of them opposed to the current social layer. Feudalism characterized by inequality, the influence of the church – not freedom. At Voltaire himself understood that any society in which a phenomenon like property is doomed to be divided into rich and the poor.
Therefore, freedom, according to Voltaire, may well replace own. People should have the right to choose who to work for. This freedom of work will help them obtain property that is not actually having her.
Voltaire actively criticized religion. In his opinion, the church, in among other things, was to blame for the division of society. But he is also atheism criticized too. In an enlightened society, according to this philosopher, religious freedom is observed. Voltaire called for fraternal unity of representatives of various faiths.
Voltaire’s socio-political writings shaped the idea proclaimed monarchy, which later became constitutional. AND in the XIX-XX centuries, more and more states chose this path board.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, better known simply for his surnames – one of the representatives of the philosophers of classical German schools, founder of the current of German idealism. Ideas of this directions imply the supremacy of consciousness and spirit. In the writings Hegel observed absolute idealism, this philosopher believed that everything real strives for the triumph of philosophy and becoming pure thinking.
The main idea of Hegel’s philosophy is the triumph of reason. Throughout he considered the surrounding nature as part of an absolute idea, considered events as prerequisites, turning chance into necessity. An important feature of Hegel’s idealism is thought. that at different stages of the history of mankind every individual people can be imagined as the bearers of world reason.
The basic concept of Hegel’s thought is that an absolute idea goes through three stages of development. The first is existence her in her own “den”, in fact, complete primacy. Second – its transition into “other being”, turning into natural phenomena and surrounding objects. And the final one is a generalization of the absolute idea in the form real world in human consciousness.
Rene Descartes – French philosopher, thinker, researcher and mathematician. Born in 1596, he significantly influenced the scientific and cultural paradigm of the Middle Ages. AND directly in philosophy he is known as the creator of the method radical doubt.
Descartes’ task was to determine such grounds for any knowledge that would not cause the slightest doubt. Basically, this method of thinking is based on ancient Greek skepticism, however, the French philosopher developed it. And it manifests itself most clearly in trying to prove (or disprove) the existence of God.
Descartes derives proof of the existence of God through the idea human imperfections. Because people can become aware of themselves imperfect – that means they are able to compare themselves with any a more perfect being, possibly creating them. God exists, according to Descartes, including due to the existence of the very idea of him.
Many of the ideas of Rene Descartes formed the basis of European philosophy. He deduced the idea of a perfect being (God), of separation matter from the mind, about the infinite universe and the common good, manifested in the need for the solidarity of a person with the rest of the world.
Friedrich Nietzsche – not only a representative of the German school philosophers. He even created his own current, which is currently time is considered non-academic, but at the time of creation it struck the minds of many thinkers of that time.
However, Friedrich Nietzsche himself did not adhere to any a certain philosophical course. In his writings can be found elements of nihilism (denial of generally accepted values), elements metaphysics and perspective subjectivity. But he is most famous two ideas about the superman and the death of God.
The idea of a superman is based on the idea of human fragmentation existence. The superman is a being who has regained peace. it creator, creator of new development vectors. He does not need to split your life to fulfill individual needs, because these he has no needs. The idea of superman is reflected in the modern world – as a symbiosis of mind and machine, as an amplification intelligence technological solutions.
The idea of ”God dead” is one of the elements of nihilism. According to Nietzsche, modern people have lost the value of moral guidelines, based on supernatural concepts. Death of god manifested in the fact that people no longer feel the guarantee of goodness being, ideas about forgiving beings or concepts are no longer able to satisfy a person.
Socrates is an antique, ancient Greek philosopher who changed the direction of thinking of the whole country. If before him people tried understand nature, its phenomena and meanings, then after it drew attention is already on their own mind, feelings and personality.
That is why many researchers call Socrates the first philosopher in the classical sense of the term. His writings aimed at reflection, the study of oneself, the search for answers to existential questions of being. The Philosophical Doctrine of Socrates explores own principles and techniques.
The main idea of Socrates is the primacy of knowledge and the search for truth. is he studies moral virtues using the most A popular technique of the time was dialectical debate. therefore directly the works of Socrates did not survive, but about his philosophical ideas can only be judged by contemporaries and followers.
Ideas about the thought of Socrates can be obtained from his “paradoxes” – short sayings that may seem contradictory common sense. This philosopher claimed that evil comes from ignorance of virtue, and each person does not want to do evil in own will. He called knowledge the most virtue.
Socrates is known as one of the founders of mayevtics – the method gaining knowledge in disputes involving a critical attitude towards dogma. He asked opponents clarifying questions, bringing them to forming a final answer.
Confucius – the most famous oriental philosopher, whose works and image thinking formed the basis of the direction of “Confucianism.” This teaching covers issues of ethics, politics, science, worldview, image life and even religion – and not only is it common now in China, but also in Japan and Korea.
The main ideas of Confucius describe the creation of the ideal, a harmonious society in which there is a place and function for each personality. It is based on the concepts of devotion and mutual respect. Confucius singled out five constancies of a righteous man who has place in this society:
- Humanity. Each person is the sum of the experience that a person in creates itself. And it requires that it be aimed at philanthropy;
- Justice. Truth dominates society and personality, not own aspirations;
- Fidelity to customs. Society is based on rituals that required to comply. For example, reverence for to parents;
- Discretion. A person must be able to calculate the consequences their actions;
- Good faith. Acts need to be done sincerely, only with good intentions.
Many elements of the teachings of Confucius were reflected in the western philosophy. However, he was not always enthusiastic. For example, Hegel spoke of Confucianism and his followers as about “walking morality”, and the above list of constancy called a set of platitudes of life wisdom devoid of any metaphysics.
Aristotle – a philosopher, researcher and thinker of Ancient Greece, who managed to “be noted” in almost all areas human knowledge: mathematics, physics, politics, logic and much, much more.
Despite the fact that Aristotle was a student of Plato, and he in turn, studied with Socrates, this philosopher in his writings refers primarily to nature and the world. For example, in “Metaphysics” he considers four main reasons, the beginning the whole being – matter, form, action and purpose. Wherein he calls God the prime mover – it is with him that everything begins beginning.
Aristotle does not see God as the omnipotent original creature, but as the source of all things – some substance, global and indefinable for the senses and reason. It is she contains the other four reasons, creating matter, form, action and purpose.
In addition, Aristotle actively explores being and existential questions. He highlights thinking and its elements – logic, concepts and judgments. Moreover, being is inextricably linked with consciousness and manifests itself through sensations, memory and habit. Aristotle also formed a system of virtues, moreover, dividing their ethical and mental. The first is a set of qualities, peculiar to man. The second is a way of behavior in which people do their best in all situations.
Immanuel Kant – one of the founders of the German classical philosophy. In his epistemology, he rejected dogmatic methodology. cognition and suggested criticizing classical concepts, concentrating on researching the mind directly.
The most famous work of Immanuel Kant is, of course, “Criticism pure reason. “In it, the author considered the possibility of true knowledge not related to experiments and research, a priori. IN Kant later began to ask existential questions, but not stopped learning ways of knowing. He argued that knowledge based including on the subject of knowledge.
According to Kant, we do not study objects directly, but their phenomena – own experience formed in the study object. In addition, we have a conflict between reason and experience. And to confirm this, Kant derives four antinomies – judgments refuting themselves. To try to make peace with these contradictions, the philosopher suggests turning to faith, because science is not omnipotent and cannot explain them.
It is worth noting that modern scientific knowledge refutes Kant’s antinomies. However, at one time they are pretty strong “shocked” because they suggested the need for religion with research point of view.
Plato is one of the few ancient Greek philosophers whose works have reached our time in full form. Being a student Socrates, he turned to the study of the mind – and thereby became one of the founders of idealism.
In his writings, he denied the social notion of being. By according to Plato, “being” can only be seen in some absolute entities not attached to time and space. Philosopher called them “eidos,” or “ideas.”
The world from the point of view of Plato consists of three elements (genera) – eidos, eternal and existing outside space; things that change throughout their lives; and the space in which these things exist. This point of view is especially pronounced in Timaeus dialogue, where the thinker describes his concept the universe.
The work “Parmenides” argues that the world of ideas exists separately from the material universe. These areas opposed to each other. And because of this, modern Plato’s researchers can’t determine exactly how he represented the world – for if universes are opposed to each other friend, how does one space exist?
Plato also studied the soul and deduced 4 arguments that confirm its immortality:
- Opposites imply each other – like a dream and vigor, for example. Therefore death must be complemented immortality;
- There are universal concepts such as “beauty” and “justice” without media. And if a person knows them, then he must learn it somewhere. Plato believed that the soul before birth knows about absolute essences, which confirms its immortality;
- Since the soul predominates in the unity of body and soul, and her body obeys, which means that the soul is close to divine beings. Immortal, in general;
- The soul is eidos, the idea of life, the root cause of the existence of the body. AND that means – her being extends beyond the bounds of the conscious world.
In his philosophical studies, Plato used this method cognition as a dialectic. Therefore, most of his work is written in the form of a dialogue where one character asks questions or counterarguments to another.
Karl Heinrich Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx is often studied primarily as economist, author of many works on political economy and the person who wrote Capital. But he is a philosopher. Is that his thought does not concern existential issues, but features device society.
The ideas of Marx arise from the thoughts of Hegel. He believed that a person can develop from the level of subjective thinking to the level absolute speculation. Hegel called this path “phenomenology”, and his logic is “dialectics.” Marx, in turn, demanded “flip” is thinking.
Thus, it was Marx who stood at the foundations of the materialistic dialectics as a science. In his opinion, human thinking develops according to the same laws as the surrounding reality. Furthermore, consciousness manifests itself as a reflection of being (society and nature). Together with his comrades, Karl Marx deduced the three laws of the materialistic dialectics:
- The unity and struggle of opposites. In any subject the object is an internal source of development. It “is given in movement “struggle of opposites, which at the same time are inseparable from each other;
- Transition of quantity into quality. Quantity doesn’t matter for being, but quality determines it. Therefore, one measure goes into another;
- Denial of negation. With the evolution of a measure, object or phenomenon each new step is a denial of the previous one, but at the same time development is progressive-repeatable (spiral-cyclic) character.
- The materialistic approach to Hegel’s dialectic led to that Karl Heinrich Marx formed the concept of a new public system – communism (socialism). However, he criticized the utopian socialism, calling its own scientific. Marx believed that the social system he created grows from the ideas of classical German philosophers.
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