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Chronological List of Philosophers

If you need a chronological list of philosophers, then you have come to the right place. Following is a list of 43 of the major philosophers of all time, from 500 BC to the 20th century.

Chronological List of Philosophers

The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek words "philos" and "sophia" which mean "love of wisdom". It is basically a search for knowledge, understanding, or meaning of fundamental aspects of life, like truth, reality, integrity, life, and values that can go down many paths. It usually relies on an approach that uses rational thought.

Here is the chronological list of philosophers with the dates of their life and their country of origin. Some of the earlier dates are approximate.

  • Anaxagoras (500 - 428 B.C.) Greek
  • Socrates (464 - 399 B.C.) Greek
  • Plato (428 - 348 B.C.) Greek
  • Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.) Greek
  • Plotinus (205 - 270) Egypt
  • St. Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)
  • Boethius (475 - 535) Italy
  • Avicenna (980 - 1037) Persia
  • St. Anselm (1033 - 1109) Italy
  • Peter Abelard (1079 - 1142) France
  • Averroes (1126 - 98) Spain
  • Maimonides (1135 - 1204) Spain
  • St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 74)
  • John Duns Scotus (c. 1266 - 1308) Scotland
  • William of Ockham (1285 - 1349) England
  • Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 - 1527) Italy
  • Sir Thomas More (1478 - 1535) England
  • Sir Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626) England
  • Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679) England
  • Rene Descartes (1596 - 1650) France
  • Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662) France
  • Baruch Spinoza (1623 - 1677) Holland
  • John Locke (1632 - 1704) England
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646 - 1716) Germany
  • Voltaire (1694 - 1778) France
  • David Hume (1711 - 1776) England
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778) Switzerland
  • Adam Smith (1723 - 1790) Scotland
  • Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) Germany
  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 - 1831) Germany
  • Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860) Germany
  • John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873) England
  • Soren Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855) Denmark
  • Karl Marx (1818 - 1883) Germany
  • William James (1842 - 1910) United States
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 - 1900) Germany
  • John Dewey (1859 - 1952) United States
  • Alfred North Whitehead (1861 - 1947) England
  • George Santayana (1863 - 1952) Spain
  • Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970) England
  • G. E. Moore (1873 - 1958) England
  • Martin Heidegger (1889 - 1976) Germany
  • Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 - 80) France

Schools of Thought and Notable Quotes

Now that you have a chronological list of philosophers, you may be interested in some of the schools of thought that were influenced by them and some famous quotes.

  • John Locke: founder of British empiricism
  • Karl Marx: laid the foundation for socialism and communism
  • Plato: father of Western philosophy
  • Plotinus: founder of Neo-Platonism
  • Rene Descartes: father of modern philosophical inquiry
  • St. Thomas Aquinas: influential in scholasticism and father of the Thomistic school of philosophy and theology
  • Thomas Hobbes: one of the founders of modern political philosophy
  • Voltaire: one of the major voices of the Enlightenment
  • William James: one of the founders of Pragmatism
  • Jean-Paul Sartre: one of the founders of existentialism

Following are a few philosophical quotes:

  • Immanuel Kant - "Happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination."
  • John Locke - "No man's knowledge here can go beyond his experience."
  • John Stuart Mill - "Liberty consists in doing what one desires."
  • Niccolo Machiavelli - "God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us."
  • Rene Descartes - "I think, therefore I am."
  • Socrates - "True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing."
  • Thomas Hobbes - "The life of a man (in a state of nature) is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
  • Voltaire - "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him."