History of Western Philosophy

By toribio
  • 354

    St. Augustine of Hippo

    St. Augustine of Hippo
    St. Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354 - 430) was an Algerian-Roman philosopher and theologian of the late Roman / early Medieval period. He is one of the most important early figures in the development of Western Christianity, and was a major figure in bringing Christianity to dominance in the previously pagan Roman Empire. He is often considered the father of orthodox theology and the greatest of the four great fathers of the Latin Church (along with St. Ambrose, St. Jerome and St. Gregory).
  • Jan 1, 1126


    Averroës (AKA Ibn Rushd or Ibn Roschd or, in full, Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd) (1126 - 1198) was a Spanish-Arabic philosopher, physician, lawyer and polymath from the Andalusia region of southern Spain in the Medieval period. After his death, the Averroism movement grew up around his teachings, and his work greatly influenced the subsequent development of Scholasticism in Western Europe.
  • Jan 1, 1135


    Moses Maimonides (AKA Moshe ben Maimon or Abu 'Imran Musa ben Maimun ibn 'Abd Allah or, from a Hebrew acronym, the Rambam) (1135 - 1204) was a Spanish-Jewish philosopher, physician and rabbi who lived in Andalusia, Morocco and Egypt during the Medieval period. He was the pre-eminent medieval Jewish philosopher, and marked the end of the golden age of Jewish culture in Moorish Spain. His copious works on Jewish law and Ethics were initially met with much opposition during his lifetime, but today
  • Jan 1, 1225

    St. Thomas Aquinas

    St. Thomas Aquinas
    St. Thomas Aquinas (AKA Thomas of Aquin or Aquino) (c. 1225 - 1274) was an Italian philosopher and theologian of the Medieval period. He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology at the the peak of Scholasticism in Europe, and the founder of the Thomistic school of philosophy and theology. The philosophy of Aquinas has exerted enormous influence on subsequent Christian theology, especially that of the Roman Catholic Church, but also Western philosophy in general. His most importa
  • Jan 1, 1285

    William of Ockham

    William of Ockham
    William of Ockham (or William of Occam) (c. 1285 - 1348) was an English Franciscan friar, philosopher and theologian of the Medieval period. Along with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus and Averroës, he is one of the major figures of late medieval Scholastic thought, and was at the centre of the major intellectual and political controversies of the 14th Century. He is sometimes called the father of Nominalism, strongly believing that universals are merely mental concepts and abstractions...
  • Jan 1, 1469

    Niccolo Machiavelli

    Niccolo Machiavelli
    Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (1469 - 1527) was an Italian philosopher, political theorist, diplomat, musician and writer of the Renaissance period. He was a central figure in the political scene of the Italian Renaissance, a tumultuous period of plots, wars between city states and constantly shifting alliances.
  • Jan 1, 1478

    Sir Thomas More

    Sir Thomas More
    Sir Thomas More (AKA St. Thomas More) (1478 - 1535) was an English philosopher, scholar, statesman and writer of the Renaissance period. His writing and scholarship earned him a great reputation as a Christian Humanist scholar in continental Europe, and was famously described by Robert Whittington as "a man for all seasons". He occupied many public offices under King Henry VIII, rising to the position of Lord Chancellor of England.
  • Jan 1, 1561

    Sir Francis Bacon

    Sir Francis Bacon
    Sir Francis Bacon (Baron Verulam, 1st Viscount St Alban) (1561 - 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, essayist and scientist of the late Renaissance period. He was an astute and ambitious politician in the turbulent and poisonous political climate of Elizabethan and Jacobean England. But, despite his sometimes nefarious dealings and constant battles against debt, he was also the possessor of a brilliant mind.
  • Thomas Hobbes

    Thomas Hobbes
    Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679) was an English philosopher of the Age of Reason. His famous 1651 book "Leviathan" and his social contract theory, developed during the tumultuous times around the English Civil War, established the foundation for most of Western Political Philosophy.
  • René Descartes

    René Descartes
    René Descartes (1596 - 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, scientist and writer of the Age of Reason. He has been called the "Father of Modern Philosophy", and much of subsequent Western philosophy can be seen as a response to his writings. He is responsible for one of the best-known quotations in philosophy: "Cogito, ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am")
  • Baruch Spinoza

    Baruch Spinoza
    Baruch Spinoza (AKA Benedict Spinoza) (1623 - 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Jewish origin who lived and worked during the Age of Reason. Along with René Descartes and Gottfried Leibniz, he is considered one of the great Rationalists of the 17th Century, although the breadth and importance of his work was not fully realized until years after his death.
  • John Locke

    John Locke
    John Locke (1632 - 1704) was an English philosopher of the Age of Reason and early Age of Enlightenment. His ideas had enormous influence on the development of Epistemology and Political Philosophy, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential early Enlightenment thinkers.
  • Voltaire

    Voltaire (real name François-Marie Arouet) (1694 - 1778) was a French philosopher and writer of the Age of Enlightenment. His intelligence, wit and style made him one of France's greatest writers and philosophers, despite the controversy he attracted. He was an outspoken supporter of social reform (including the defence of civil liberties, freedom of religion and free trade), despite the strict censorship laws and harsh penalties of the period, and made use of his satirical works to criticize..
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778) was a French philosopher and writer of the Age of Enlightenment. His Political Philosophy, particularly his formulation of social contract theory (or Contractarianism), strongly influenced the French Revolution and the development of Liberal, Conservative and Socialist theory. A brilliant, undisciplined and unconventional thinker throughout his colourful life, his views on Philosophy of Education and on religion were equally controversial but nevertheless...
  • Adam Smith

    Adam Smith
    Adam Smith (1723 - 1790) was a Scottish philosopher and political economist of the Age of Enlightenment and a key figures in the Scottish Enlightenment. He is widely cited as the father of modern economics, and sometimes as the father of modern Capitalism, and his magnum opus, "The Wealth of Nations", is considered the first modern work of classical economics. His metaphor of the invisible hand of the free market has been of untold influence in the development of laissez faire economics and...
  • Immanuel Kant

    Immanuel Kant
    Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) was a German philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. He is regarded as one of the most important thinkers of modern Europe, and his influence on Western thought is immeasurable. He was the starting point and inspiration for the German Idealism movement in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, and more specifically for the Kantianism which grew up around him in his own lifetime.
  • G. W. F. Hegel

    G. W. F. Hegel
    Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (often known as G. W. F. Hegel or Georg Hegel) (1770 - 1831) was a German philosopher of the early Modern period. He was a leading figure in the German Idealism movement in the early 19th Century, although his ideas went far beyond earlier Kantianism, and he founded his own school of Hegelianism. He has been called the "Aristotle of modern times", and he used his system of dialectics to explain the whole of the history of philosophy, science, art, politics and...
  • John Stuart Mill

    John Stuart Mill
    John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873) was an English philosopher, political economist and Member of Parliament of the early Modern period. His philosophical roots were in the British Empiricism of John Locke, George Berkeley and David Hume. But he is best known for his further development of the Utilitarian theory of his teacher, Jeremy Bentham, which he popularized as a movement and... which he became the best known exponent and apologist.
  • Karl Marx

    Karl Marx
    Karl Heinrich Marx (1818 - 1883) was a German philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary of the 19th Century. Both a scholar and a political activist, Marx is often called the father of Communism, and certainly his Marxist theory provided the intellectual base for various subsequent forms of Communism. Marxism, the philosophical and political school or tradition his work gave rise to, is a variety of radical or revolutionary Socialism conceived as a reaction against the rampant...
  • Friedrich Nietzsche

    Friedrich Nietzsche
    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 - 1900) was a 19th Century German philosopher and philologist. He is considered an important forerunner of Existentialism movement (although he does not fall neatly into any particular school), and his work has generated an extensive secondary literature within both the Continental Philosophy and Analytic Philosophy traditions of the 20th Century.
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein

    Ludwig Wittgenstein
    Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951) was an Austrian philosopher and logician, and has come to be considered one of the 20th Century's most important philosophers, if not the most important. Both his early and later work (which are entirely different and incompatible, even though both focus mainly on the valid and invalid uses of language) have been major influences in the development of Analytic Philosophy and Philosophy of Language. The Logical Positivists of the Vienna Circle in...
  • Martin Heidegger

    Martin Heidegger
    Martin Heidegger (1889 - 1976) was a 20th Century German philosopher. He was one of the most original and important philosophers of the 20th Century, but also one of the most controversial. His best known book, "Being and Time", although notoriously difficult, is generally considered to be one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th Century.
  • Michel Foucault

    Michel Foucault
    Michel Foucault (1926 - 1984) was a French philosopher, historian, critic and sociologist, often associated with the 20th Century Structuralism, Post-Structuralism and Post-Modernism movements (although he himself always rejected such labels). He was no stranger to controversy, and he was notorious for his radical leftist politics. Although not without his critics, he has however had a profound influence on a diverse range of disciplines.
  • Jacques Derrida

    Jacques Derrida
    Jacques Derrida (1930 - 2004) was a 20th Century Algerian-born French philosopher, best known as the founder of the Deconstructionism movement in the 1960s, and for his profound impact on Continental Philosophy and literary theory in general. He deliberately distanced himself from the other philosophical movements on the French intellectual scene (e.g. Phenomenology, Existentialism, Structuralism), and denied that Deconstructionism was a method or school or doctrine of philosophy of any sort. H
  • Boethius

    Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (usually known simply as Boethius) (c. 480 - 525) was a 6th Century Roman Christian philosopher of the late Roman period. He is sometimes called the last of the Roman philosophers and the first of the Scholastics, and his final work, the "Consolation of Philosophy", assured his legacy in the Middle Ages and beyond. His Latin translations of some of the works of Aristotle were the only ones available in Europe until the 12th Century