5 Influential Philosophers You’ll Discover With Us

5 Influential Philosophers You’ll Discover With Us

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Philosophy can be a hugely rewarding subject, helping to expand your worldview and develop intellectual skills and thought processes that can provide some guidance on how to live your life.

Philosophy can be a hugely rewarding subject, helping to expand your worldview and develop intellectual skills and thought processes that can provide some guidance on how to live your life.

Our Philosophy Diploma touches on some of the most influential classical and contemporary philosophers and below we’ve listed a selection of these great minds and thinkers:

John Locke

Known as the Father of Classical Liberalism, John Locke’s influence is pretty undeniable – as one of the first British Empiricist’s, he influenced a who’s who of philosophers including David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant, and his ideas on representative forms of government even extended to the rhetoric of America’s Declaration of Independence.

Rene Descartes

Viewed as the Father of Modern Philosophy, Descartes is a controversial figure in philosophy circles as he refused to accept the authority of previous philosophers who had come before him. He emphasised the use of reason in the development of the natural sciences, and pioneered the idea of Dualism whereby the mind controls the body but that the body can also influence the rational mind. Descartes is perhaps most famously know for the phrase “I think, therefore I am”, theorising that as thought exists – and thought cannot be separated from the thinker – then they exist too.

Immanuel Kant

Philosophy as a subject tends to be split into pre and post-Kant because his ideas were so ground breaking. One of Kant’s major philosophies was that fundamental concepts are the very structure of human experience and that the concept of reason is the source of humanity’s morality. Using this he aimed to resolve disputes between empirical thinkers and the rationalist thinkers by arguing that experience is subjective without being processed by reason.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Coming from trouble and turmoil of a rich and influential Austrian family, Wittgenstein developed his philosophical ideas over the course of his lifetime – arguably doing a 180* turn on his earlier musings – which continue to be debated. His early thoughts, showed the application of modern logic in regards to metaphysics via the use of language – providing insight into the world, thought, language, and philosophy. In his later philosophies, Wittgenstein attempted to critique all traditional philosophy, including his own, and developed the idea that philosophy is not a doctrine and hence should not be approached stubbornly.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Shining brightly for a brief period of time in the 19th Century, Nietzsche’s work looked at theories such as achievement and ambition (characterised as the Will to Power), the Ubermench principle which asserts that every man should focus on the goal of advancing humanity, and the concept of Amor Fati and Eternal Recurrence whereby everything has happened before will happen again and we should embrace our fate. Nietzsche’s influence remains substantial in philosophy subjects such as existentialism and post-modernism and his work continues to influence modern day thinkers.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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