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Thread: Greatest Philosopher Ever (Poll)

  1. #51
    Senior Member Pilgrim's Avatar
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    Socrates, the greatest of ancient philosophers. Plato.

    Also St. Justin Martyr.

    Peter Kreeft and William Lane Craig among modern philosophers, as well as Kant who pointed out some of the limitations of studying phenomena. And of course C. S. Lewis.

    And hats off to Nietzche for pointing out some terrifying questions that come up in modern thought. I call him "The Mad Prophet".
    Last edited by Sigurd; Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 01:19 PM. Reason: You have twenty-four hours to edit your post. Please make use of that if you wish to add another paragraph in the same vein, if no discussion has ensued yet. :-)

  2. #52
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    Essentially, we cannot say which philosopher is the greatest overall. For that, philosophers have tackled topics too diverse, you can only measure two philosophers against each other if they have tackled the same strands of philosophy.

    Anything else becomes a comparison of apples and oranges, even amongst the same philosophers: We can compare Descartes' cogito ergo sum with Rousseau's Natural Man - but we cannot compare Descartian dualism with Rousseau's Social Contract ... the two are two entirely different things.

    Another strand that comes into it, which is philosophical but often hardly comparable with most philosophers is the area of jurisprudence: It can be compared with other forms of social, and moral philosophy - we see that the ideas of Kant, Rousseau, Hobbes, Locke, even Machiavelli, and more anciently Plato, Aristotle, Augustine of Hippo and Aquinas to come into it ... but when comparing to many more modern philosophers such as Nietzsche, it would again be a comparison between Apples and Oranges.

    It is this latter field of jurisprudence that I feel I can offer the most conclusive opinion about. I would generally hold Plato and Aquinas to be most important in theory, John Austin and Jeremy Bentham as most important in practice --- but overall, I would find Lon L. Fuller's The Case of the Speluncian Explorers to be the single most valuable work - even if it is just an article - because it essentially fuelled a new Positivist/Naturalist debate.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

  3. #53
    Senior Member Pilgrim's Avatar
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    Just finished reading the book Niccolo's Smile. A fascinating introduction to Niccolo Machiavelli. Read it.

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    Oh well, the link seems to be not working here...

    Anyway I would have voted either Jacques Derrida or Martin Heidegger. Søren Kierkegaard is also an interesting one, as is Spinoza.

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    Senior Member Irby's Avatar
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    In terms of modern Western thought, we cannot have a discussion without Hegel. All philosophy since Hegel is essentially a reaction to his philosophy. Furthermore, one cannot conceived of modern thought without his dialectical analysis.
    De weg naar de hel is geplaveid met goede voornemens.

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    Sokrates is greatest philosopher ever, who never wrote any of his thoughts, so Plato collected all the fame. He was simple and genius, and died for what he belived. And of course, he was inspiration for Plato who was aloso genius, but complicated too much.

    So Sokrates it is.

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    Senior Member feisty goddess's Avatar
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    Nietschze

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    That goes to Confucius. He created a practical social framework that assured the racial and cultural survival of the chinese people (and all those who listened to his message) for 3000 years - while all other ancient civilizations have fallen one by one.

  9. #59
    Senior Member wittwer's Avatar
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    Greatest?

    It's difficult, if not well impossible to establish a "Greatest" Philosopher category. At different times and in different places various Schools of Philosphy have developed to answer the various pressing problems and questions of their day and those of Humanity and not one of them has become the end all. The following is just a sampling:

    1. Pre - Socratics
    2. Post Socratics, Platonists/Aristotelians/Stoics
    3. Medieval School
    4. Reniasance School
    5. Empirical School
    6. German Idealists
    7. Pragmatic School
    8. Existential School
    9. Post - Modern Schools

    All of these raise and answer many questions in the fields of Epistlemology, Metaphysics, Socio - Politco - Economics, Law, Theology, Science, etc., etc. thus expanding our knowledge and understanding of ourselves and the world.

    So in the interest of the "Love of Knowledge" (Philosophia) one cannot really establish a "Greatest" Category.

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