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Who's your top philosopher?

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posted on May, 15 2010 @ 10:01 AM
I'm not really a big fan of Aristotle. Sure, he's contributed a great deal to science and understanding, but his ideas were... so plain. He believed that he had everything figured out, that there was no such thing as a TRUE vacuum.... I believe this cannot be true, there MUST be a vacuum somewhere out there in this vast space of which we occupy and have knowledge of very very little. For another, he did not believe in real infinities, at the same time he did believe in logical infinities. This makes no sense, if there is such things are logical infinities then there must, somewhere, sometime, perhaps, perhaps beyond the boundaries of what we can perceive, beyond the boundaries of the universe, beyond the boundaries of matter.... Aristotle most certainly had some radically wrong ideas, but at the same time, he had a good understanding of reality, and for that he must be shown respect.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 10:20 AM
reply to post by onequestion

[edit on 15/5/2010 by Hedera Helix]

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 12:20 PM
reply to post by onequestion

I have a number of people who by intent or accident have provided me with new insight, always a very pleasant experience. Some of the below are contemporary, some not. Listed in order they came to mind.
(1: Joseph Campbell. Author: "The power of myth". Not a philosopher per say, but a mythologist. He interpreted ancient morality play's with a modern perspective.
(2: Sun Tzu. Author: "The art of war". He wrote a how to book, that became a self help book, that became a way of life.
(3: John Locke
(4: Plato
(5: Jonathan Miller M.D. Playwrite, author, director. This guy was born a philosopher, he doesn't just play one on TV. You see it in everything he say's. I don't always agree with him, but it's very hard not to listen to what he says. His 1978 series "the body in question" put the art back in the art of medicine. Check out his video series on U Tube: Atheism, A brief history (see below)Commen sense, with self reflection and compassion.
(6: Malcolm Muggeridge. Author, journaalist, satirist, soldier and spook. Like Miller, the conclusions he comes to are themself very interesting. The way he came to them are much more so.

Sorry there's no link (should be fixed shortly) but please take the effort to Google: "Jonathan Miller" you could add playwrite,etc. but don't need to. You will see several U Tube programs. Oh come on.. it's not like you have to go to the effort of actualy getting up off your butt.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 05:17 PM
I recently watched Robert Anton Wilson's Maybe Logic and it resonated well with me, not as complete and total, but as an applicable mechanism that can sometimes liberates one from the burdens having to know one way or the other, about everything. I am speaking for myself here, but an occasional surrender to an absolute brings forth tolerance and acceptance and even compassion. Not with everything/all the time of course, but sometimes this philosophical angle of "maybe" is convenient and meaningful, imo.


[edit on 15-5-2010 by speculativeoptimist]

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 05:57 PM
I can't believe I didn't mention this earlier, or anyone else for that matter, but of course how could we forget the greatest philosopher in the past century? Martin Luther King!

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 11:15 PM
Marcus Aurelius
Sun Tzu
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mark Twain
Bruce Lee
Humberto Rohden
Robert Anton Wilson
Richard Bandler

posted on May, 16 2010 @ 12:15 AM
I have to say Nietzche and his work on defining Good and Bad.
He said that, in greek times, good was “the power” and bad “was the sick man”. He then came up with with two kinds of morality: master morality and slave morality.

The master morality represented the power, the dignity, the aristocracy and the men capable of ruling.

The slave morality, on the other hand, thought mercy, humbleness, weakness and it emerged because of christianity, as a “slaves` rebellion”.
Out of resentment, the first christians labeled as bad all that they could not achieve: power, courage, vainglory and labeled as good their own features.

Nietzche named christianity, a religion of pity, an assault to human species, because humans were supposed to follow the natural selection. Unfortunately, christianity valued the wrong worths.

[edit on 16/5/10 by sandri_90]

posted on May, 16 2010 @ 01:25 AM
Jane Austen
"Pride and Predjudice"
One of the ten most important
books of the 20th century. Seriously.

It carried a vast number of British "Dough boy"
soldiers through the trenches of WWI and it change
the future of mankind when they returned to England.

The depth of influence this book has had on shaping the
modern world, and the people in it, has yet to be fathomed.

David Grouchy

[edit on 16-5-2010 by davidgrouchy]

posted on May, 18 2010 @ 07:00 PM
reply to post by Wolf321

It' all relevant to how inclusive your definition of philosopher is. The rocks have a different philosophy on life than the trees. Seen through an animists eyes all you have to do is ask and pay attention to what the world around you is telling you.

posted on May, 18 2010 @ 07:15 PM
Chapter "The teacher" from Confucious by H. G. Creel 1929

"But the moment eloquence or the language of debate enters, true reasoning becomes impossible. For the purpose of the debater is not to find the truth but to win the argument, and to this end he will often stray as far as possible from the real issues"

"Eloquence and debate are designed, not to decide issues, but to sway people, for this reason they lean heavily on appeals to emotion and prejudice, and make use of neat, clever, and sometimes humorous turns of phrase rather than profound analysis of ideas"

"Of all this Confucious was contemptuous"

posted on May, 18 2010 @ 07:30 PM
There is no author/philosopher who has had a greater impact on my life than Carl G Jung. His books are not easy to read and he has written 19 volumes. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to read all of them in my lifetime. The trouble lies in the fact that I need to re-read his books so often, I wear them out and have to buy another copy. There's a difference between reading and understanding that just seems (to) take me a while.

The best, imo, is the one that sums up his life's work:

Memories, Dreams and Reflections

I had that book for decades and kept going back to it so much, it literally (pun intended) fell apart.

His studies of alchemy are mind-bending stuff, as is his understanding on theology and the common artistic talents we all share.

Some of his quotes:

All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination.

Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.

The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.

The word "belief" is a difficult thing for me. I don't believe. I must have a reason for a certain hypothesis. Either I know a thing, and then I know it - I don't need to believe it.

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

grammar edit

[edit on 18/5/10 by masqua]

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 04:26 PM
Oh, Robert Anton Wilson! I've read many of his works. He has given me hours and hours of reading pleasure. His books are just fun! I think I have to read the "illuminatus trilogy" again. It was every conspiracy you can think of rolled into one book. How about Walter Russell? He is the American Da Vinci. Good excuse to read more books!!!

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 04:29 PM
Sun Tzu

Robert A. Heinlein

Two of my favorites

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 10:24 PM
reply to post by onequestion

Philosophy is a way of life. My favorite is Socrates. He believed and followed a philosophy that I have adopted as my own. His belief was that the human body was a vehicle for the soul to experience life through. That it was the responsibility of the body to get it's soul through life with as litte damage as possible...That a body damaged it's soul through purposeful or accidental injury of any kind to it's own body/soul as well as that of another body/soul. He was, in effect, a keeper of souls. Socrates also never wore shoes or sandals or boots on his feet. Ever during his service in the Pelophonesian Wars he fought and marched bare foot.

For you who prefer Descartes:
Descartes became famous for his COGITO (Cogito Ergo Sum)..."I think, therefore I am." I think he was wrong. I think he should have said, "I think, therefore I am who I think I am."

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 10:36 PM
Well I first started with some of the classics, no doubt Plato, including everything he wrote on Socrates. But no doubt the French got me hooked later on, particularly Voltaire and Jean-Jacques. Voltaire though, stands above the rest in my opinion, even above some of the classics, no one wrote quick like him in my opinion, the wit and charm of his writing is what kept me reading his works.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 10:48 PM
Kirkagaard, not sure I spelled it properly and I am to lazy to grab a book from the shelf. Is my favorite.

I think he was trying to understand himself through the use of the third person. Most, if not all of his letters and short stories were written under an assumed name.

He grew up in a very devote Christian house and was, in order to be the 'good son' was to enter the Monestary, if I am not mixing a biography of him with one of his letters. Its been awhile since I focused on philosophy.

Sarte' and T. Aquinas are excellent as well, but harder for me to identifiy with.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 11:25 PM
One of my favorites is Nietzsche. His views on universal morality and the power of a persons will are quite fascinating to me. His doctrine of eternal recurrance is interesting as it forces people to be more focused on the world of today and not that of an escapist heaven where one goes to be relived of all the pain this life held. Becoming more focused on the afterlife is failure to live up to the life you are currently in. Although i am not an atheist i do agree with alot of his ideas regarding christianity and religion.

Also i like the poet Khalil Gibrand. Although he was not a philosopher, his poem "The Prophet" is quite philosophical in nature. It has definetly left its mark on me after reading it.

Lao Tzu also is right up there in my top ten as well as Gautama Buddha and Jesus.

posted on May, 20 2010 @ 12:04 AM
Don't think I'm taking this lightly, as the question is favorite and not most influential, or wise but.......

K.R.S. One .............if you don't know, he's a "rapper" from N.Y. city.

I love George Carlin for his common sense. I am a BIG Bruce Lee fan.
Most don't realize that Lee's first martial arts training as a young boy, was Tai Chi. By my A.T.S. name you can tell I'm a fan/schollar/slave to Chi. By the way that (Chi) is internal energy not Chicago.

I know K.R.S. One is not someone you will seek out if you didn't grow up listening to him. However, check out his album "My Philosophy". He's street smart, book smart, and conspiracy smart.

For those that would judge me as a low life, please consider that punk rock is also a huge influence........wait !....not helping my case.

posted on May, 21 2010 @ 08:52 AM
How telling this will be...

Well I am a huge supporter of Whitman but I am not sure if an essayist can be considered in this discussion. Whith him however I ould go with Engels for his Social phylosophies and hi caring for the working man.

"From the first day to this, sheer greed was the driving spirit of civilization.” - Engels

Admitedly I have not studied a ton o philosophy overall but this is what I have for you


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