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Description: Peter Abelard (Pierre Abelard, Abailard, Petrus Abaelardus), 1079-1142. Noted early medieval philosopher and theologian. He is popularly known for the ill-fated romance between him and his lover Heloise, which led to his castration. His scholarly work, repeatedly branded as heresy in his own time, consisted primarily of exegetical studies of Aristotle, Porphyry and others.
Peter Abelard (Pierre Abelard, Abailard, Petrus Abaelardus), 1079-1142. Noted early medieval philosopher and theologian. He is popularly known for the ill-fated romance between him and his lover Heloise, which led to his castration. His scholarly work, repeatedly branded as heresy in his own time, consisted primarily of exegetical studies of Aristotle, Porphyry and others.
Description: Judah Abrabanel (Abravanel), 1460-1523. Late medieval Spanish-Italian Jewish philosopher also known as Leone Ebreo or Leo Hebraeus, the son of Isaac Abrabanel. Philosophically, he was a representative of the Italian Platonist school of humanist thought.
Judah Abrabanel (Abravanel), 1460-1523. Late medieval Spanish-Italian Jewish philosopher also known as Leone Ebreo or Leo Hebraeus, the son of Isaac Abrabanel. Philosophically, he was a representative of the Italian Platonist school of humanist thought.
20th century Polish philosopher
Description: Don Isaac (Yitzchak) ben Judah Abrabanel, 1437-1508. Late medieval Spanish Jewish philosopher, theologian and statesman. His political writings and biblical commentaries paved the way for later humanist thought.
Don Isaac (Yitzchak) ben Judah Abrabanel, 1437-1508. Late medieval Spanish Jewish philosopher, theologian and statesman. His political writings and biblical commentaries paved the way for later humanist thought.
Robert Adamson, 1852-1902. British professor at Owens College and the University of Manchester. Primarily known as an educational administrator, he also undertook extensive studies of philosophy and logic.
Description: Adelard (Athelhard) of Bath (Adelardus Bata), c.1070 - c.1145. Medieval English theologian and philosopher, noted for his role in introducing the Arabic or Muslim philosophical tradition in Western Christendom.
Adelard (Athelhard) of Bath (Adelardus Bata), c.1070 - c.1145. Medieval English theologian and philosopher, noted for his role in introducing the Arabic or Muslim philosophical tradition in Western Christendom.
20th century, American philosopher, worked at the University of Chicago with the legendary president, Robert Hutchins. Known for his efforts to revolutionize education. Author of "How to Read a Book" and editor of the multi-volumed "Great Books of Western Civilization" and its associated "Syntopicon."
Description: Theodor Adorno, born Theodore Ludwig Adorno Wiesengrund, 1903-1969. He is known as a leading thinker among the Marxist scholars of the Frankfurt School. Notable aspects of his work focused on aesthetics (especially musical criticism) and the theory of dialectics.
Theodor Adorno, born Theodore Ludwig Adorno Wiesengrund, 1903-1969. He is known as a leading thinker among the Marxist scholars of the Frankfurt School. Notable aspects of his work focused on aesthetics (especially musical criticism) and the theory of dialectics.
Description: Aenesidemus, fl. 1st century BC. A Greek philosopher who taught in Alexandria and began his philosophical career as a member of the Platonist Academy. He later broke with the Academy to found the "Pyrrhonist" school of classical Skepticism. Aenesidemus'' works have not survived. We know of his teachings mostly through the writings of the later Pyrrhonian Sextus Empiricus.
Aenesidemus, fl. 1st century BC. A Greek philosopher who taught in Alexandria and began his philosophical career as a member of the Platonist Academy. He later broke with the Academy to found the "Pyrrhonist" school of classical Skepticism. Aenesidemus' works have not survived. We know of his teachings mostly through the writings of the later Pyrrhonian Sextus Empiricus.
Giorgio Agamben. Italian scholar and esthetician.
Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz, 1890-1963. Polish philosopher who focused on logical and linguistic topics, including problems of meaning.
Description: Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Tarkhan ibn Awzalagh al-Farabi (Alpharabius, Abunaser), 870-950. Influential medieval Islamic philosopher usually classed as a Neoplatonist. His chief legacy was in metaphysics.
Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Tarkhan ibn Awzalagh al-Farabi (Alpharabius, Abunaser), 870-950. Influential medieval Islamic philosopher usually classed as a Neoplatonist. His chief legacy was in metaphysics.
Description: Abu Hamid Ibn Muhammad Ibn Muhammad al-Tusi al-Shafi’i al-Ghazali (Algazel), 1058-1111. Noted medieval Sufi thinker. Although he was born and died in Khorasan, Iran (then called Tus), much of his working life was spent as a teacher in Baghdad. Known as a strong defender of Muslim orthodoxy. In philosophy, his chief legacy is his strong epistemological criticism of the philosophers'' claim to knowledge.
Abu Hamid Ibn Muhammad Ibn Muhammad al-Tusi al-Shafi’i al-Ghazali (Algazel), 1058-1111. Noted medieval Sufi thinker. Although he was born and died in Khorasan, Iran (then called Tus), much of his working life was spent as a teacher in Baghdad. Known as a strong defender of Muslim orthodoxy. In philosophy, his chief legacy is his strong epistemological criticism of the philosophers' claim to knowledge.
Description: Yaqub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi (Alkindus, Yaaqub ibn Ishaq), c. 800 AD - c. 873 AD. Medieval Islamic Neoplatonist scholar, first of the great Islamic philosophers. His thought, which placed faith above reason, was later taken up and defended by Avicenna.
Yaqub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi (Alkindus, Yaaqub ibn Ishaq), c. 800 AD - c. 873 AD. Medieval Islamic Neoplatonist scholar, first of the great Islamic philosophers. His thought, which placed faith above reason, was later taken up and defended by Avicenna.
Description: Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (ar-Razi, Rhazes), c. 865 AD - c. 930 AD. Persian Islamic philosopher and scientist of the medieval period. His medical accomplishments, which include the first clear definition of smallpox, make him an important figure in medical history.
Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (ar-Razi, Rhazes), c. 865 AD - c. 930 AD. Persian Islamic philosopher and scientist of the medieval period. His medical accomplishments, which include the first clear definition of smallpox, make him an important figure in medical history.
Albert of Saxony (ca. 1316-1390), Renaissance logician and natural philosopher.
Description: Alcmaeon of Croton, fl. c. 500 BC. Ancient Greek medical writer and philosopher whose works survive only as fragments. His relationship to Pythagoreanism is controversial. He is the first Greek known to have conducted human dissections.
Alcmaeon of Croton, fl. c. 500 BC. Ancient Greek medical writer and philosopher whose works survive only as fragments. His relationship to Pythagoreanism is controversial. He is the first Greek known to have conducted human dissections.
Amos Bronson Alcott, 1799-1888. American transcendentalist writer, a strong influence on Emerson. Father of Louisa May Alcott.
Jean le Rond d'Alembert, 1717-1783. Leading thinker of the French Enlightenment and a key member of the Encyclopedist movement. He is also remembered for his contributions to calculus and the theory of fluid dynamics.
Description: Samuel Alexander, 1859-1938. British Realist philosopher and academic born in Australia, of the Jewish faith. His greatest contribution lay in the philosophy of mind, which he strove to put in touch with developments in psychology and other sciences.
Samuel Alexander, 1859-1938. British Realist philosopher and academic born in Australia, of the Jewish faith. His greatest contribution lay in the philosophy of mind, which he strove to put in touch with developments in psychology and other sciences.
Description: Alexander of Aphrodisias (the Exegete), fl. c. 200 AD. Hellenistic philosopher of the Peripatetic school, known above all for his commentaries on Aristotle. His philosophy of the intellect, expressed in his On the Soul, was influential on many medieval thinkers.
Alexander of Aphrodisias (the Exegete), fl. c. 200 AD. Hellenistic philosopher of the Peripatetic school, known above all for his commentaries on Aristotle. His philosophy of the intellect, expressed in his On the Soul, was influential on many medieval thinkers.
Description: William P. Alston, b. 1921. American Christian philosopher, celebrated as an epistemologist and philosopher of religion.
William P. Alston, b. 1921. American Christian philosopher, celebrated as an epistemologist and philosopher of religion.
Description: Ammonius Saccas, fl. early 3rd century AD. Classical Platonist philosopher and teacher of Plotinus and Origen, often regarded as the father of Neoplatonism. He is not known to have written anything.
Ammonius Saccas, fl. early 3rd century AD. Classical Platonist philosopher and teacher of Plotinus and Origen, often regarded as the father of Neoplatonism. He is not known to have written anything.
Description: Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, c. 500 BCE - c. 428 BCE. Ancient Greek speculative philosopher who is believed to have presented a mechanistic view of the world.
Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, c. 500 BCE - c. 428 BCE. Ancient Greek speculative philosopher who is believed to have presented a mechanistic view of the world.
Description: Anaxarchus of Abdera (Anaxarchos, Anaxarkhos), fl. 4th century BC. Ancient Greek philosopher, a follower of Democritus who accompanied Alexander the Great. Diogenes Laertius says that Pyrrho the Skeptic was his student. He is remembered for little except his absolutist political pronouncement that "kings, like gods, can do no wrong."
Anaxarchus of Abdera (Anaxarchos, Anaxarkhos), fl. 4th century BC. Ancient Greek philosopher, a follower of Democritus who accompanied Alexander the Great. Diogenes Laertius says that Pyrrho the Skeptic was his student. He is remembered for little except his absolutist political pronouncement that "kings, like gods, can do no wrong."
Anaximander of Miletus, c. 611 BCE to c. 547 BCE. Along with Thales and Anaximenes, he is one of the three great Milesian Presocratic thinkers. Judging from surviving fragments, he taught that all earthly variation comes from self-transformations of the Unbounded.
Description: Anaximenes of Miletus, fl. 550 BCE. Presocratic philosopher who is numbered among the "Milesian" school, along with Thales and Anaximander. He seems to have taught that the universe is composed solely of air, in varying densities.
Anaximenes of Miletus, fl. 550 BCE. Presocratic philosopher who is numbered among the "Milesian" school, along with Thales and Anaximander. He seems to have taught that the universe is composed solely of air, in varying densities.
Description: Andronicus of Rhodes, fl. 1st century BC. Greek Peripatetic philosopher, scholarch of the Lyceum. He is chiefly known for establishing and editing the standard corpus of Aristotle''s works.
Andronicus of Rhodes, fl. 1st century BC. Greek Peripatetic philosopher, scholarch of the Lyceum. He is chiefly known for establishing and editing the standard corpus of Aristotle's works.
Description: Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe, 1919-2001. Distinguished English analytic philosopher, who also translated many of Wittgenstein''s works into the English language. Her own principal contribution was in ethics.
Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe, 1919-2001. Distinguished English analytic philosopher, who also translated many of Wittgenstein's works into the English language. Her own principal contribution was in ethics.
Description: Antiphon of Rhamnus (Rhamnous), c. 480 BC - 411 BC. There has been some dispute among classical scholars concerning whether the various references to an Athenian "Antiphon" in this period refer to one, two or three people. At any rate, one of them was a Sophist rhetorician and contemporary of Socrates. There was also an Antiphon, who may have been the same person, who made substantial achievements in ancient mathematics.
Antiphon of Rhamnus (Rhamnous), c. 480 BC - 411 BC. There has been some dispute among classical scholars concerning whether the various references to an Athenian "Antiphon" in this period refer to one, two or three people. At any rate, one of them was a Sophist rhetorician and contemporary of Socrates. There was also an Antiphon, who may have been the same person, who made substantial achievements in ancient mathematics.
Athenian philosopher and founder of the Cynic sect who was born around 440 BCE.
Academic pages in English. Thanks.
Life and work of Karl-Otto Apel, born in 1922. German philosopher who has combined the analytical and continental philosophical traditions.
Description: Arcesilaus (Arkesilaus), c. 315 BC - c. 240 BC. Ancient Hellenistic thinker and head of the Platonic Academy who abandoned the dogmatic tradition and began the Academy''s movement toward Skepticism. He launched a vigorous attack on Stoic epistemology.
Arcesilaus (Arkesilaus), c. 315 BC - c. 240 BC. Ancient Hellenistic thinker and head of the Platonic Academy who abandoned the dogmatic tradition and began the Academy's movement toward Skepticism. He launched a vigorous attack on Stoic epistemology.
Description: Archelaus of Athens (also called Archelaus of Miletus), fl. 5th century BC. Ancient Greek philosopher, pupil and successor of Anaxagoras of Clazomenae. Sometimes called "the last of the physicists," he is also said to have been a teacher of Socrates. None of his works survive.
Archelaus of Athens (also called Archelaus of Miletus), fl. 5th century BC. Ancient Greek philosopher, pupil and successor of Anaxagoras of Clazomenae. Sometimes called "the last of the physicists," he is also said to have been a teacher of Socrates. None of his works survive.
Description: Archytas of Tarentum, fl. early 4th century BC. Greek mathematician, political leader and philosopher. He represented the mathematical wing of the Pythagorean school. Archytas was also an associate of Plato.
Archytas of Tarentum, fl. early 4th century BC. Greek mathematician, political leader and philosopher. He represented the mathematical wing of the Pythagorean school. Archytas was also an associate of Plato.
Description: Hannah Arendt (1906-1975). German-born intellectual and political philosopher who played a leading role in the New School for Social Research in New York City. Best known for her view of the "banality of evil," as presented in Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963).
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975). German-born intellectual and political philosopher who played a leading role in the New School for Social Research in New York City. Best known for her view of the "banality of evil," as presented in Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963).
Description: Aristippus (Aristippos) of Cyrene, c. 435 BC - c. 356 BC. Associate of Socrates, who founded the Cyrenaic school of philosophy. The first known philosopher to espouse the ethical doctrine of hedonism, or seeking pleasure.
Aristippus (Aristippos) of Cyrene, c. 435 BC - c. 356 BC. Associate of Socrates, who founded the Cyrenaic school of philosophy. The first known philosopher to espouse the ethical doctrine of hedonism, or seeking pleasure.
Academic pages in English. Thanks.
This category is dedicated to Aristotle (382-322BC), the Greek philosopher born in Stagyra, Macedonia. A student of Plato's Academy, he left when a rival was named head and became tutor to Alexander the Great. He later founded his own Athenian school, the Lyceum, but ended his life in exile in the wake of Alexander's death and resurgent anti-Macedonian feeling. Aristotle was a materialist, standing in contrast to his mentor Plato, an idealist; that is, he theorized that substance is the nexus of both form and matter. He was the first philosopher to observe the use of definition, induction, and deduction in the formation of knowledge, and to attempt to correlate all human knowledge into a comprehensive system of ideas. The invention of the syllogism is attributed to him. His contributions to philosophy are too numerous and far-reaching to adequately outline in this space; he impacted the academic study of logic, politics, rhetoric, linguistics, and literature, among other fields. The rediscovery of Aristotle's works in large measure propelled the Italian Renaissance, but also served to undermine the advance of modern science.
Description: David M. Armstrong, b. 1926. Contemporary Australian philosopher, whose work has focused on the philosophy of mind and metaphysics.
David M. Armstrong, b. 1926. Contemporary Australian philosopher, whose work has focused on the philosophy of mind and metaphysics.
Description: Antoine Arnauld, 1612-1694. Early Modern French thinker and theologian who corresponded extensively with Descartes and Leibniz, and who vigorously criticized Nicholas Malebranche. A partisan of the Jansenist Catholic reform movement, he was defended by Pascal in that author''s Provincial Letters.
Antoine Arnauld, 1612-1694. Antoine Arnauld, 1612-1694. Early Modern French thinker and theologian who corresponded extensively with Descartes and Leibniz, and who vigorously criticized Nicholas Malebranche. A partisan of the Jansenist Catholic reform movement, he was defended by Pascal in that author's Provincial Letters.
Mary Astell, 1666-1731. Early English feministic thinker and follower of Malebranche.
French philosopher best known for his translations of Aristotle
20th century American philosopher
Description: Peter Auriol (Aureol, Auriole, d''Auriole, Oriol, Petrus Aureoli), c. 1280-1322. Medieval Franciscan thinker and theologian remembered for his commentaries on the Sentences, and for his philosophical study of cognition.
Peter Auriol (Aureol, Auriole, d'Auriole, Oriol, Petrus Aureoli), c. 1280-1322. Medieval Franciscan thinker and theologian remembered for his commentaries on the Sentences, and for his philosophical study of cognition.
Description: John Austin, 1790-1859. British legal philosopher and theorist, widely regarded as the founder of "legal positivism." His theory was strongly influenced by Utilitarianism.

The legal theorist John Austin should not be confused with 20th-century philosopher of language J.L. Austin.
John Austin, 1790-1859. British legal philosopher and theorist, widely regarded as the founder of "legal positivism." His theory was strongly influenced by Utilitarianism.
John Langshaw Austin, 1911-1960. British philosopher of language, a member of the Ordinary Language Movement and pioneer of speech act theory and philosophical analysis. Most of his work was published posthumously.

J.L. Austin should not be confused with 19th-century legal theorist John Austin.
John Langshaw Austin, 1911-1960. British philosopher of language, a member of the Ordinary Language Movement and pioneer of speech act theory and philosophical analysis. Most of his work was published posthumously.
Description: Averroes, Latinized form of his actual name Ibn Rushd, 1126-1198. Medieval Islamic scholar known for his defenses of Aristotle and his view that philosophy and religion are not incompatible. In this regard, he may be considered an important figure in the medieval philosophy of religion.
Averroes, Latinized form of his actual name Ibn Rushd, 1126-1198. Medieval Islamic scholar known for his defenses of Aristotle and his view that philosophy and religion are not incompatible. In this regard, he may be considered an important figure in the medieval philosophy of religion.
Description: Ibn Sina (980-1037), Medieval Persian philosopher known in the West by the Latin name Avicenna. He is known for the introduction of Greek philosophical thought into the Islamic tradition, as well as for his medical work.
Ibn Sina (980-1037), Medieval Persian philosopher known in the West by the Latin name Avicenna. He is known for the introduction of Greek philosophical thought into the Islamic tradition, as well as for his medical work.
For sites about Alfred Jules Ayer (1910-1989), the philosopher who established the central doctrines of English logical positivism.
"There never comes a point where a theory can be said to be true. The most that one can claim for any theory is that it has shared the successes of all its rivals and that it has passed at least one test which they have failed."
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Last update: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 3:56:40 PM EDT - edit