Top 10 World’s Most Renowned Philosophers

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A philosopher is a person who uses a set of ideas to solve various problems of people and understand people. A philosopher is one who guides people in right direction. Philosopher motivates people and enlighten people about various things using his philosophy. Every human in a way is a philosopher in his own way.

10.Bertrand Russell

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Bertrand Russell was a renowned British Philosopher, Mathematician and an eminent writer. He strove immensely in politics also. He served as a professor in institutions like the California University and the New York College. He received Nobel Prize for literature in 1950. A controversial person, he was a great thinker. His thoughts are influential even now. Eight months prior to his death, he had opposed the Russian Prime Minister, Kosygin, for expelling Alexander Solzentism from the Soviet Writer’s Federation. He was 97 years old then. This greatest thinker of the 20th century was also an orator.

9.Pythagoras

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Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher and a mathematician. Pythagoras was well educated, and he played the lyre throughout his lifetime, knew poetry and recited Homer. He was interested in mathematics, philosophy, astronomy and music. Pythagoras is known for “Pythagoras theorem”. The Pythagorean Theorem is often cited as the beginning of mathematics in Western culture, and ever since mathematics -the art of demonstrative and deductive reasoning- has had a profound influence on Western philosophy. Pythagoras believed that all things are numbers. Mathematics is the basis for everything, and geometry is the highest form of mathematical studies. The physical world can understood through mathematics. He also believed that the soul resides in the brain, and is immortal. It moves from one being to another, sometimes from a human into an animal, through a series of reincarnations called transmigration until it becomes pure. Pythagoras believed that both mathematics and music could purify.

 8.Karl Marx

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Karl Marx was a great German philosopher. He was born to a middle-class family. He became interested to philosophical ideas at a very young age. He became a famous person in London because of his campaign for socialism. His theory is Marxism which describes that humans progress through class struggle i.e a conflict between an ownership class that controls production and human that provides labor for production. He has been one of the most influential personality in History.

7.Rene Descartes

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Rene Descartes was a French Mathematician and a philosopher. His works in Algebra was responsible for the creation of Cartesian geometry. He feels that all the ideas and happenings must be certain so it must be based on Mathematics. Some historians call him as the father of modern Western philosophy for having changed the thinking of Western philosophy through a different approach of skepticism and doubting. He was a very intellectual personality.

Descartes states: “And so something that I thought I was seeing with my eyes is in fact grasped solely by the faculty of judgment which is in my mind.”

 6.Plato

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Plato was born to a rich family of Athens. He is known as the “The father of the Western political philosophy”. Teacher of Aristotle and student of Socrates, he left Athens on a world tour when Socrates was sentenced to death. After travelling through Europe and West Asia, he met Dioniceus, first king of Syracuse. He tried to reform the king through his ideals and imagination. He tried to reform the king through his ideals and imagination. Dioniceus was ill-treating his people, being a dictator. But, Plato failed in reforming him. After returning to Athens he established a school called “The Academy” and strove to turn out ideal citizens through it. Mathematics, politics and philosophy were taught there.

Plato explained his ideals in “The Republic”. It elucidates an ideal state and the concept of philosopher-king, as well as rules of education. “Laws”, “Statesman and “Apology” are his other works.

5.Confucius

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Confucius was a Chinese philosopher whose main stress was on character. He was also a social reformer. He had to earn his bread from the early age of 8 years. He married at the age of 16. After marriage, he matured into a philosopher and started preaching his philosophical ideas and ideals to people. He kept away from the mundane world and earthly temptations and led a simple life like an ascetic. The main thrust of Confucian philosophy was individual character. He preached children to respect their parents. Chinese people then, as now also hold Confucius in high self-esteem as a great philosopher, thinker and social reformer. He occupied many high posts in China because of his accomplishments and self-less service. He prepared many plans for the eradication of poverty which was his greatest affliction.

It was the firm opinion of Confucius that morality should be the basis of society and religion. He suggested many ways to avoid class conflict. “Do not treat others in a manner that you would not like others to treat you,” was his basic thought.

4.Aristotle

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Aristotle was the greatest philosopher of Greece. He was the student of Plato. He was inspired by his father, who was a physician at the royal court of Philip 2nd, King of Macedonia. At the age of 17 he joined Plato’s Academy and assisted Plato in his research. The king of Macedonia invited Aristotle to teach his son, Alexander. Aristotle taught Alexander for some time. He opened his own school of philosophy called the Lycium academy. Aristotle knew several subjects. A master of zoology, Botany, Physics, political science, Economics, Psychology, discussion and poetry. He wrote hundreds of books, but all his works are not available. He once stated “There is a difference between the educated and the illiterate, just as there is a variation between the living beings and the non-living ones”.

He declared: “There is no dignity in obtaining awards. Real dignity lies in the fact whether we are qualified for the awards.

3.Mahatma Gandhi

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Mahatma Gandhi was born in Gujarat. At young age, he heard stories from the scriptures and mythology through his mother. He grew up with a commitment to truth and honesty. When he returned to India from South Africa after arguing the case of Dada Abdulla Sait, he was not interested in practice of law.

He started the Satyagraha Ashram near Ahmedabad and lived there. He believed that man should live by truth and non-violence, he said and preached hatred towards none and charity towards all. He launched non-cooperation, civil disobedience etc. to fight against British. The salt Satyagraha had baffled the British and he had dared to make salt himself, to oppose tax on it. He was a humanitarian, he opposed untouchability and he strove to banish differences between the Hindus and Muslims.

Gandhi’s famous quote: “Eye for an eye makes the entire world blind”. United Nations has declared that October 2nd birth date of Gandhi to be observed as World Non-Violence day.

2.Socrates

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Socrates was born in Athens. His father was a sculptor. He joined the army as a youth and fought in several wars of Athens. He married a women and there was no compatibility between them. Her nature was wicked and she was always furious. He was not contented in married life, he became a philosopher. He adopted a method of finding answers by questioning himself to find the truth. He used to question himself until deriving the correct answer. His unconventional ideas angered the government. Though Socrates was very intelligent, people were not willing to accept his sayings. He questioned the existence of gods who were being worshipped traditionally in Athens. The government sentenced him to death by forcing him to drink poison, accusing him of misleading youths by his thoughts. He died happily by consuming the poison for the sake of his thoughts and beliefs.

A famous quotation from Socrates is: “Beauty is short- lived”. He also said “A husband turns a philosopher if wife is wayward”. His life illustrate the truth in his sayings.

1.Chanakya

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Chanakya is a legendary and historical name in India. The name ‘Chanakya’ is associated with shrewdness, philosophy, statesmanship and the art of political administration. He was born in a poor Brahmin family of Taxila. Chanakya is also known as ‘Kautilya’ and famously known for having written “Artha Shastra”. He was a self-less person who only worked for the welfare of the king, kingdom and the people. He lived an ascetic life even though he was very near and dear to the king in those times and could have enjoyed the luxury and comforts of royal life. Actually he lived in a mud house near the king’s palace. Chanakya once told to his king Chandra Gupta that the weed or unwanted grass must not be just cut at the ground level and thrown out, but must be pulled out along with the root so that it may not grow again. Just like this act, an enemy must be defeated and destroyed in full so that he may not raise his head again.

His famous quote: “Learn from the mistakes of others, you can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves”

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