Major Ethical Philosophies

By dyssy
  • Period: 1225 BCE to 1274 BCE

    St. Thomas Aquinas

    He (AKA Thomas of Aquin or Aquino) 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. Combining the theological principles of faith with the philosophical principles of reason, he ranked among the most influential thinkers of medieval Scholasticism.
  • Period: 624 BCE to 546 BCE

    Thales of Miletus

    He was the founder of the Milesian School of natural philosophy, and the teacher of Anaximander. He was one of the first Western philosophers who attempted to find naturalistic explanations of the world (Naturalism or Materialism) without reference to supernatural or mythological explanations, such as the Greek anthropomorphic gods and heroes.
  • Period: 610 BCE to 546


    He was an early proponent of science, and is sometimes considered to be the first true scientist, and to have conducted the earliest recorded scientific experiment. He is often considered the founder of astronomy, and he tried to observe and explain different aspects of the universe and its origins, and to describe the mechanics of celestial bodies in relation to the Earth. He made important contributions to cosmology, physics, geometry, meteorology and geography as well as to Metaphysics.
  • Period: 585 BCE to 525 BCE


    In the physical sciences, Anaximenes was the first Greek to distinguish clearly between planets and stars, and he used his principles to account for various natural phenomena, such as thunder and lightning, rainbows, earthquakes, etc. Anaximenes wrote his philosophical views in a book, which survived well into the Hellenistic period, although nothing now remains of this. Anaximenes' main concern was to identify the single source of all things in the universe (Monism).
  • Period: 579 BCE to 490 BCE

    Pythagoras of Samos

    Pythagoras of Samos was the founder of the influential philosophical and religious movement or cult called Pythagoreanism, and he was probably the first man to actually call himself a philosopher (or lover of wisdom). He allegedly exercised an important influence on the work of Plato. Members of the school that he established at Croton were required to live ethically, love one another, share political beliefs, practice pacifism, and devote themselves to the mathematics of nature
  • Period: 354 BCE to 430 BCE

    St. Augustine of Hippo

    He was an early North African Christian theologian and philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. St. Augustine is a fourth century philosopher whose groundbreaking philosophy infused Christian doctrine with Neoplatonism. Augustine struggled to reconcile his beliefs about free will and his belief that humans are morally responsible for their actions, with his belief that one’s life is predestined and his belief in original sin.
  • Period: 348 BCE to 322 BCE


    He is one of the most important founding figures in Western Philosophy, and first to create a comprehensive system of philosophy, mainly Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics, etc. He made some highly influential contributions to the field of Ethics. He considered Ethics to be a practical science but also a general, rather than a certain, knowledge. Unlike some other moral philosophers before him, he started by posing the very general question of what it actually means to lead a good human life.
  • Period: 341 BCE to 270 BCE


    Epicurus was a Greek philosopher of the Hellenistic period. He was the founder ancient Greek philosophical school of Epicureanism, whose main goal was to attain a happy, tranquil life, characterized by the absence of pain and fear, through the cultivation of friendship, freedom and an analyzed life. His metaphysics was generally materialistic, his Epistemology was empiricist, and his Ethics was hedonistic.
  • Period: 334 BCE to 262 BCE

    Zeno of Citium

    He is considered the founder of the Stoicism school of philosophy.He founded the Hellenistic philosophy in the early 3rd century BC in Athens. with its school known as stoicism.Like the Cynics, Zeno recognized a single, sole and simple good, which is the only goal to strive for and which can only consist of Virtue. However, he deviated from the Cynics in his view that things which are morally indifferent could nevertheless have value to us.
  • Period: 428 to 348


    He was a hugely important Greek philosopher and mathematician from the Socratic (or Classical) period. He is perhaps the best known, most widely studied and most influential philosopher of all time. In Ethics, he had a teleological or goal-orientated worldview. He concluded that reason and wisdom should govern, thus effectively rejecting the principles of Athenian democracy as only a few are fit to rule.
  • Period: to

    Immanuel Kant

    He is one of the most influential philosophers in the history of Western philosophy. His contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics have had a profound impact on almost every philosophical movement that followed him. He made the Kantian ethics which developed as a result of Enlightenment rationalism, is based on the view that the only intrinsically good thing is a good will; an action can only be good if its maxim – the principle behind it – is duty to the moral law.
  • Period: to

    John Rawls

    He was an American moral and political philosopher in the liberal tradition. A Theory of Justice is a work of political philosophy and ethics by John Rawls, in which the author attempts to solve the problem of distributive justice (the socially just distribution of goods in a society) by utilising a variant of the familiar device of the social contract.
  • Period: to

    Jurgen Habermas

    He is a German sociologist and philosopher in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. The Theory of Communicative Action (German: Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns) is a two-volume 1981 book by Jürgen Habermas, in which Habermas continues his project of finding a way to ground "the social sciences in a theory of language", which had been set out in On the Logic of the Social Sciences (1967).