Arthur Schopenhauer (22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher known for his atheistic pessimism and philosophical clarity. At age 25, he published his doctoral dissertation, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which examined the fundamental question of whether reason alone can unlock answers about the world.
Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl was a philosopher who is deemed the founder of phenomenology. He broke with the positivist orientation of the science and philosophy of his day, believing that experience is the source of all knowledge, while at the same time he elaborated critiques of psychologism and historicism. Born into a Moravian Jewish family, he was baptized as a Lutheran in 1887. Husserl studied mathematics under Karl Weierstrass, completing a Ph.D.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a 19th-century German philosopher and classical philologist. He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, using a distinctive German-language style and displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism. Nietzsche's influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy, notably in existentialism and postmodernism.
Johann Gottlieb Fichte (May 19, 1762 – January 27, 1814) was a German philosopher. He was one of the founding figures of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, a movement that developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kant. Fichte is often perceived as a figure whose philosophy forms a bridge between the ideas of Kant and the German Idealist Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
Gilles Deleuze, (18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French philosopher of the late 20th century. From the early 1960s until his death, Deleuze wrote many influential works on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art. His most popular books were the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), both co-written with Félix Guattari.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher, one of the creators of German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of the total reality as a whole revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to continental philosophy and Marxism.
Henri-Louis Bergson (18 October 1859–4 January 1941) was a French philosopher, influential especially in the first half of the 20th century. Bergson convinced many young people through his writing that immediate experience and intuition were as important as rational and scientific thinking for understanding reality.
Jürgen Habermas is a German sociologist and philosopher in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. He is perhaps best known for his work on the concept of the public sphere, the topic of his first book entitled The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere.
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, existentialism, and Marxism, and his work continues to influence fields such as Marxist philosophy, sociology and literary studies.
Julia Kristeva (born 24 June 1941) is a Bulgarian-French philosopher, literary critic, psychoanalyst, sociologist, feminist, and, most recently, novelist, who has lived in France since the mid-1960s. Kristeva became influential in international critical analysis, cultural theory and feminism after publishing her first book Semeiotikè in 1969.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (March 14, 1908 – May 3, 1961) was a French phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Karl Marx, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger in addition to being closely associated with Jean-Paul Sartre (who later stated he had been "converted" to Marxism by Merleau-Ponty) and Simone de Beauvoir. At the core of Merleau-Ponty's philosophy is a sustained argument for the foundational role that perception plays in understanding the world as well as engaging with the world.
Max Horkheimer (February 14, 1895 – July 7, 1973) was a German philosopher-sociologist, famous for his work in critical theory as a member of the 'Frankfurt School' of social research. His most important works include The Eclipse of Reason (1947) and, in collaboration with Theodor Adorno, The Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947). Through the Frankfurt School, Horkheimer planned, supported and made other significant works possible.
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, and psychologist. Kierkegaard strongly criticised both the Hegelianism of his time and what he saw as the empty formalities of the Danish National Church. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives, focusing on the priority of concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment.
Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund Adorno (September 11, 1903 – August 6, 1969) was a German-born international sociologist, philosopher, and musicologist. He was a member of the Frankfurt School of social theory along with Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, Jürgen Habermas, and others. He was also the Music Director of the Radio Project from 1937 to 1941, in the U.S.
Martin Heidegger (26 September 1889 – 26 May 1976) was an influential German philosopher. His best known book, Being and Time, is considered to be one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century. Heidegger remains controversial due to his involvement with National Socialism.
Saint Edith Stein (October 12, 1891 – August 9, 1942) was a German-Jewish philosopher, nun, martyr, and saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Born into an observant Jewish family but an atheist by her teenage years, she converted to Christianity in 1922, was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church and was received into the Discalced Carmelite Order as a postulant in 1934.
Michel Foucault, born Paul-Michel Foucault (15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984), was a French philosopher, sociologist, and historian. He held a chair at the Collège de France with the title "History of Systems of Thought," and also taught at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Berkeley.
Jacques Derrida (15 July 1930 – 8 October 2004) was a French philosopher born in Algeria, who is known as the founder of deconstruction. His voluminous work has had a significant impact on literary theory and continental philosophy.
"La Beauvoir" redirects here; also see: Beauvoir (disambiguation). Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, called Simone de Beauvoir (January 9, 1908 – April 14, 1986), was a French writer, existentialist philosopher, feminist, Marxist, Maoist and social theorist. She wrote novels, monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues, essays, biographies, and an autobiography in several volumes.
Louis Pierre Althusser (16 October 1918 – 22 October 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. He was born in Algeria and studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he eventually became Professor of Philosophy. Althusser was a longtime member – although sometimes also a strong critic – of the French Communist Party. His arguments and theses were set against the threats that he saw attacking the theoretical foundations of Marxism.
Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906 – December 4, 1975) was an influential German Jewish political theorist. She has often been described as a philosopher, although she refused that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular. " She described herself instead as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact that "men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world.
Pierre Bourdieu (1 August 1930 – 23 January 2002) was a French sociologist. Bourdieu pioneered investigative frameworks and terminologies such as cultural, social, and symbolic capital, and the concepts of habitus, field or location, and symbolic violence to reveal the dynamics of power relations in social life. His work emphasized the role of practice and embodiment or forms in social dynamics and worldview construction, often in opposition to universalized Western philosophical traditions.
Johann Kaspar Schmidt (October 25, 1806 – June 26, 1856), better known as Max Stirner (the nom de plume he adopted from a schoolyard nickname he had acquired as a child because of his high brow, in German 'Stirn'), was a German philosopher, who ranks as one of the literary fathers of nihilism, existentialism, post-modernism and anarchism, especially of individualist anarchism.
Guy Ernest Debord (December 28, 1931 - November 30, 1994) was a French Marxist theorist, writer, filmmaker, hypergraphist and founding member of the groups Lettrist International and Situationist International (SI). He was also briefly a member of Socialisme ou Barbarie.