Thursday, May 21, 2009

The 20 "Most Important" Philosophers of All Time

The results are in over at Leiter Reports...over 900 people voted :

1. Plato (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Aristotle loses to Plato by 367–364
3. Kant loses to Plato by 411–328, loses to Aristotle by 454–295
4. Hume loses to Plato by 534–166, loses to Kant by 533–176
5. Descartes loses to Plato by 597–117, loses to Hume by 356–269
6. Socrates loses to Plato by 548–101, loses to Descartes by 327–270
7. Wittgenstein loses to Plato by 610–85, loses to Socrates by 385–193
8. Locke loses to Plato by 659–29, loses to Wittgenstein by 311–239
9. Frege loses to Plato by 611–86, loses to Locke by 279–256
10. Aquinas loses to Plato by 642–57, loses to Frege by 289–284
11. Hegel loses to Plato by 615–82, loses to Aquinas by 288–285
12. Leibniz loses to Plato by 650–36, loses to Hegel by 281–266
13. Spinoza loses to Plato by 653–49, loses to Leibniz by 281–207
14. Mill loses to Plato by 645–39, loses to Spinoza by 272–247
15. Hobbes loses to Plato by 647–47, loses to Spinoza by 269–245
16. Augustine loses to Plato by 663–46, loses to Mill by 296–247
17. Marx loses to Plato by 653–52, loses to Augustine by 305–248
18. Nietzsche loses to Plato by 691–63, loses to Marx by 327–269
19. Kierkegaard loses to Plato by 622–106, loses to Nietzsche by 330–256
20. Rousseau loses to Plato by 638–41, loses to Kierkegaard by 280–209

The usual suspects round out the the top five, but Frege and Wittgenstein in the top ten?!


Anonymous said...

Marx should be in the top 10.


Hanno said...

Of course Wittgenstein is in the top ten.

Hanno said...

And for importance, Frege is way up there. Where is Russell?

Hanno said...

And that is one of the keys to the question: importance depends very much on what project/problems/questions a particular philosopher is working on. If you are working on Foucault, Frege and Russell are not important. But if you are working within the Analytic tradition, there are few more important figures.

The poll then is not a poll of importance, but a poll about the kinds of questions the polled people are working on.

Anonymous said...

They are of course all well and truly long ago very dead.

Remarkably the most extraordinary "philosopher" that ever lived, "died" in November last year.

His "philosophy" outshines them all.