Who's your favorite philosopher?

Weeks-Galaini (@cj420weeks) 9 years, 7 months ago

I personally like friedrich nietzsche, but who is your favorite?

June 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm
Morgan Hensley (185) (@mghensley) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Doesn’t have to be the one you totally agree with, but it can be if you’d like. Just list a name and maybe a few salient points about their philosophy that intrigues you. I’ll start…

Jean Paul Sartre- we are both totally free and totally responsible for our actions.

An example I thought was interesting: When you stand on an edge of a cliff, you feel anxiety. This isn’t a fear of falling, it is the fear that you have supreme autonomy to do whatever you want, jump and die or not.

Secondly, we like to believe that we don’t have this much choice, so we try to find ways to divert some blame to others (psychological determinism).

Anyways, let’s hear what y’all have to say. And correct me if I’m wrong about Sartre, I’ve only read some of his works.

Brandon Phillips (142) (@brandonphillips) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Albert Camus, you would only have to read the short essay The Myth of Sisyphus to realize how great his work is. His words are simple and clear yet intellegent and very well thought out. He does a lot of work on Absurdism and can be compared to Kafka.

Sam (13) (@samueljohngibbs) 7 years, 5 months ago ago

Camus is the man

Anonymous (170) (@) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

@mghensley, Its cliche, but I would have to go with one of the greatest minds of all time, Socrates.

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.

As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.

A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.

The unexamined life is not worth living.
Need I say more.


“An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.”
Albert Camus

Petergd (149) (@petergd) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Rene Descartes- Doubted everything that could be doubted, including our senses which we perceive the world with. Most well known for his famous line “Cogito Ergo Sum” or “I think, therefore I am”.

Boethius- 6th century philosopher who believed that we are all subject to fortune and misfortune and that the world operated in a continuous, never-ending cycle of the two. He also thought that because of that cycle, the world operated in a predictably-unpredictable manner.

ButternutSquash (75) (@equanimity) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

I really like Immanuel Kant. I see some of this theories as rather flawed, but studying him led me to think more about the ethics of my actions. For example, if I started lying, then it would have to be okay for everyone to lie. Obviously this does not account for the complexities of life though.

I also like Nietzsche and Michael Sandel (I think he’s a professor at Harvard at the moment).

SumtinProphetic (4,925) (@sumtinprophetic) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

@imhotep, my favorite aspect about Socrates was that he taught by asking questions.

I’m definitely coming back to this thread when I have some more time to really put some valuable thoughts down.

ACID (4) (@acid) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Socrates was one of the best philosophers in my opinion.

Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Me. But I like Da Vinci, Archimedes, Socrates, Plato, Artstotle, pretty much all of them, including those not recognized as philosophers such as Shakespeare and religious icons, Tesla, etc etc. I think everyone has to philosophize at some point in their life, to establish any belief, and I like anyone who does, I even have an interest in the most horrific conclusions, not that I have to like them.

Christian Chavez (49) (@sonofsaul) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Frederick Nietzsche, mostly because of his concept of the overman. A man who judges, creates, and values only that which he has created for himself. The overman gives up all social constructs, as well as himself, in order that he may create his own morality. If anyone wants I can send them a paper I wrote which compares the ideas of the overman with Tyler Durden

The_truth_is_ (91) (@sirensetmefree) 9 years, 7 months ago ago


This is a tough one. I guess it really depends on the subject.

If we’re talking politics, I’ll quote Hobbes’ view of state of nature over Locke or Spinoza at any time. But if we’re talking will, Kane seems to be the only person I’ll turn to. Ethics? Gotta be Kant and his categorical imperative. Questions about religion are best answered by Hitchens. And death is best covered by Nagel (even thought I disagree with him).

I guess Nagel would be the best, though. He’s one of the few philosophers I’ve seen take on every field of study there is and come out as one of the best intellectuals on that field. Definitely one of the few geniuses of our time.

I wish that I could sit down and have conversations with Plato, Einstein, Hobbes, Spinoza, and Nagel.That would be the best round table discussion ever.

Anonymous (170) (@) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

@sumtinprophetic, Ah the Socratic Method, the famous (or infamous depending on the person) precursor to the scientific method. I definitely love to read about his usage of the method, its quite awe inspiring. You should read Charmides by Plato, here Socrates explorers the meaning of temperance, using his Socratic Method, its a great read.

Eric (1,819)M (@blankey) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Myself – because I create it.

DaJetPlane (994)M (@lytning91) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

@petergd, it’s all about the Descartes swag bros and broettes. Dude literally must have spent 24/7 thinking WAAAY deeper than 99% of the entire world.

blessed (2) (@blessed) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

‘life of reasoning is the happiest one’ – was plato or socrates i can’t remember it right

having knowledge and knowing truth is good thing that ignorance world have to realize

Fluxface (32) (@fluxface) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Robert Anton Wilson is high up there

Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

My favourite of all time is probably Nietzsche: “Now I advise you to forsake me, and find yourselves; and only when you have denied me will I return to you!”

There is a great book called Nietzsche and Zen for those interested, and can afford it.

I am also really getting into Slavoj Zizek right now, his radical left interpretation of capitalism rings very true to me.

Peaceflower (72) (@cosmicplur) 9 years, 7 months ago ago


Big Nietzsche fan, def interested in your paper, if you wouldnt mind (:

Anonymous (17) (@) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Can I say that I love them all?
They all have something interesting to contribute to what I feel and believe– if I don’t agree with it entirely, I still find it beautiful in a way.

Alicia Lee (146) (@aliwine) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Plato!! He has amazing ideas towards the education of children and so much more. Also his student Aristotle =]

yoinkie (1,498)C (@yoinkie) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Its hard to pick a favorite, but for today ill go with Douglas Adams.

“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”

“He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.”

I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be.

“There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”

“He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.”

Joe (10) (@justsomeguy) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

alan watts- “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”


Anonymous (2,654) (@) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Mark Twain. I know he’s not an “official” philosopher, but I can’t disagree with anything he said about life. :) But then again, I don’t have a least favorite. Funny topic, I can’t see any good thing about having a favorite philosopher.

Morgan Hensley (185) (@mghensley) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

@beyond, The reason I asked everyone to post their “favorite” philosopher is because, generally speaking, if you have a favorite, you are very passionate about that one philosopher. And if you are passionate about their philosophy, then most likely you know their philosophy very well and have some interesting insights as well.

I see what you’re saying though, not to mention that with so many great minds out there it’s hard to pick only one.

AtheismGod (1,762) (@zonetti) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Douglas Adams, George Carlin and Louis C.K.

Allison (68) (@bostontonic) 9 years, 7 months ago ago

Bertrand Russell. I recommend everyone read his “Problems of Philosophy” it’s a short book, and well worth your time.

One of my favorite quotes by him:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”

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