Who's your favorite philosopher?
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
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.
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.
@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.”
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
@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.
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.
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.”
@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.
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.”