Top 5 Philosophers of All Time

Immanuel Kant painted portraitHistory is full of great philosophers. Each one made an indelible imprint on the intellectual development of society. While listing all of the great philosophers would fill a book, here is a short list of the top five most influential philosophers.

V. Immanuel Kant. Born in Germany, Kant gave the world A Critique of Pure Reason his most famous and seminal work. His influence on modern thought was long-lasting and continues to this day to influence such diverse fields as psychology, cognitive science, and phenomenology.

IV. Fredrick Nietzsche. Nietzsche is the philosopher that has had greatest impact on the way that the modern world is perceived. It was Nietzsche who famously said that “God was dead.” As a product of the late 19th Century he saw in its industrialization the social structure that would dominate the future.

III. Friedrich Hegel. Hegel took on such lofty projects as describing the entirety of the existence of the world. In fact it was the subject of his book The Phenomenology of Spirit. Perhaps the most prominent Romantic philosopher, Hegel set forward that man had fulfilled all that he would fulfill and that democracy and new advances in communication would end world as he knew it.

II. Rene Descartes. “I think, therefore I am” were the famous words uttered by the French philosopher Descartes. He is widely regarded as the father of modern philosophy. In his writings he set forward the idea that philosophy is about a personal experience with the world.

I. Socrates and Plato. It’s a tie. These two classic Greek philosophers arguably started the whole thing. Their ideas created the foundation for much of Western thought.