Immanuel KantPeriod: 1724 to 1804 BCE " The sole features that gives an action moral worth is not the outcome that is achieved by the action, but the motive that is behind the action.
Thales of MiletusPeriod: 624 to 546 BCE " All things derive from a single first cause or source which called arche or archai " " Water is the foundation of universe."
- First Western Philosopher who attempted to find naturalistic explanation of the world without reference to supernatural and mythological explanations.
AnaximanderPeriod: 610 to 536 BCE " A certain infinite nature is first principle of the things that exist. From it come the heavens and the worlds in them. It is eternal and ageless, and it contains all the worlds."
- considered the founder of Astronomy
Pythagoras of SamosPeriod: 579 to 490 BCE " A highly structured way of life and espoused the doctrine of metempsychosis."
- founder of influential philosophical and religious movement or cult.
- credited with mathematical and scientific discoveries
PlatoPeriod: 428 to 348 BCE " Happiness or well-being is the highest aim of moral thought and conduct, and the virtues are the skills needed to attain it."
- maintains virtue-based eudaemonistic ethics.
AristotlePeriod: 384 to 322 BCE " Virtue is practical, and that the purpose of ethics is to become good, not merely know."
- create comprehensive system of philosophy
- posing general question of what it actually means to lead a good human life.
St. Augustine of HippoPeriod: 354 to 430 BCE " To become righteous, wise and holy eternity like God, man must seek to grow in virtue, knowledge and love now by submitting his intellect and will, disordered by sin, to God's perfect charity."
- humans are morally responsible for their actions.
EpicurusPeriod: 341 to 270 BCE " Pleasure is the end of life"
" Only thing that is intrinsically valuable is one's pleasure; anything else that has value is valuable merely as means to securing pleasure for oneself."
- main goal was to attain a happy, tranquil life, characterized by the absence of pain and fear. through cultivation of friendship, analyzed life and freedom.
Zeno of CitiumPeriod: 334 to 262 BCE " Happiness is lay in conforming the will to divine reason, which governs the universe."
- Philosophical system includes logic and theory of knowledge, physics, and ethics.
- recognized a single, sole and simple good, which is the goal to strive for and which can only consist of virtue.
AnaximenesPeriod: 585 to 525 BCE " Air is the source of all things."
- main concern is to identify the single source of all things in the universe.
St. Thomas AquinasPeriod: 1225 to 1274
" Good is to be done and evil is to be avoided."
- beliefs that all actions are directed towards ends and that happiness is the final end.
John RawlsPeriod: 1921 to 2002 " Only under a 'veil of ignorance' could human beings reach a fair and impartial agreement as true equals not biased by their place in society."
- Moral and political philosopher in the liberal tradition.
Jurgen HabermasPeriod: 1929 " Morally principle needs to be rationally deduced, to avoid the accusation that is kind of ethnocentric, culturally specific prejudice about actions rather than principle with universal validity and general ethical force."
- German Philosopher and sociologist in the tradition and critical theory.