Top 10 most influential Greek philosophers

science & technology

Bringing owls to Athens nowadays might be a better idea than bringing money to the capital of Greece. Athens 500 BC was an intellectual hotbed, where thoughts were traded like hotdogs during a ballgame. In many ways the philosophers of Ancient Greece have played a decisive role in the way the western thought has ev0lved over the last 2500 years. So, who was the most influential Greek philosopher? Have a look at our – of course – disputable list:

  1. Gorgias – also known as ‘ The Nihilist’. One of the most notable Sophists.
  2. Democritus –  more a scientist than a philosopher, many consider Democritus to be ‘the father of modern science’
  3. Anaxagoras – pre-Socratic philosopher who was especially interested in natural phenomena
  4. Plotinus – important philosopher in the field of metaphysics. Plotinus’ writings have inspired great religions. He is seen as a neo-platonist.
  5. Epicurus – according to Epicurus the purpose of philosophy was to attain a happy, peaceful life. What happens in the world eventually depends on the actions of atoms acting in an empty space
  6. Pythagoras – great pre-socratic mathematician and philosopher whose work was written down centuries after his life. Famous for his Phytagorean theorem.
  7. Parmenides – one of the most significant pre-Socratic philosophers. His distinction between ‘the way of truth’ and ‘ the way of opinion’ influenced whole western philosophy, most notably Plato.
  8. Socrates – not a writer like his student Plato, Socrates’  ideas regarding ethics, logic and epistemology provided a foundation for western philosophy
  9. Aristoteles – student of Plato. Generally viewed as a founding figure of western philosophy,  Aristotle was multi-talented on an even wider range of subjects than Plato,  including physics, ethics, biology, linguistics and many more
  10. Plato – leading philosopher, influential one a wide range of subjects, including politics, mathematics, rhetoric and logic. Founder of the Platonic realism.
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