The world’s most famous philosophers

Philosophers have always played a big role in the way we view the world and are largely credited with enlightenment and progressiveness. These days, philosophers are pretty much a dying breed, but, in ancient times there were loads of philosophers, spread all across the world. These guys were largely responsible for spreading ideas, teachings, and ways of life to their followers.

Philosophers encouraged rational inquiry and critical thinking on a number of topics, including the meaning of life, and things like aesthetics, logic, physics, mathematics, art, history, and psychology. There are so many philosophies and ways of thinking that we maintain today that are taken from some of the best philosophers throughout history. Here are some of the world’s most famous and best-known philosophers, who have had a major impact on the world.


Plato is one of the philosophers we know the most these days, and his works are studied in higher education institutions throughout the modern world. Plato was taught by another famous philosopher, Socrates, and, in many ways, he advanced his old master’s teachings. The majority of his theories concerned politics, namely that rulers and leaders must be wise or they are ineffectual rulers. Of course, this is still a philosophy that applies today. He also felt that, through philosophy, the world could read his a higher level of enlightenment, and eradicate evil.



Considered the Grandfather of modern philosophy, Socrates influenced a lot of other famed philosophers, most notably Plato. We don’t know too much about Socrates and his ideals, but, we do know about his teachings through his students. His principal teachings seem to surround the encouragement of debate to increase understanding of certain issues and topics. He also championed the format we use now of solving a problem by breaking it down into a series of questions. His impact and influence can be felt across the world.


Friedrich Nietzsche

German philosopher Nietzsche is one of the most respected and revered philosophers of all time. He is often considered to be one of the first well-known existentialists and challenged the foundations of Christianity. He looked for ways of enhancing individual creativity, health, and life. Nietzsche’s work and legacy have endured, and are studied in universities throughout the world. He attracted a lot of social criticism, but also inspired a lot of people with his teachings on power and anti-religion.



Confucius was viewed as one of the oldest and most important philosophers in the Eastern world. The Chinese philosopher lived between around 551 and 479 BC and had significant philosophies about politics and ethics. He supported the idea of an emperor but also wanted limitations on the powers of the individual. Using many of the philosophies and ideals practiced in Ancient Greece, Confucius had a marked effect on the Chinese Empire and has inspired modern philosophy as well.


These are some of the world’s top philosophers, all of who have had an incredible impact on the way we view the world, and how we study modern philosophy. Without the impact and influence of these great philosophers, we wouldn’t have the knowledge and teachings we do today.

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