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Moderated Forums => Free-For-All => Non-Religious Topics => Topic started by: Shiny on February 11, 2011, 12:21:21 AM

Title: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Shiny on February 11, 2011, 12:21:21 AM
Who do consider to be the greatest philosopher that's ever lived so far?
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: theo philosopher on February 11, 2011, 12:27:11 AM
Jesus. And I don't mean that in some pious "Sunday School" way either. Jesus truly was the greatest philosopher to have ever walked the earth.

Socrates was wonderful, but he attempted to extrapolate the truth. Even Buddha had many good teachings, but he pointed to a truth. Jesus IS the Truth; He did not point to any abstract truth, He did not teach that we needed secret knowledge, instead He pointed to Himself and showed that He was the foundation for all metaphysics, all epistemology, all ethics, all government, and all things involving philosophy. Though Jesus is so much more than a philosopher, He is certainly the greatest philosopher to have ever walked the earth.

All others either work against Him and are therefore wrong, or work for Him and are therefore below Him.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Shiny on February 11, 2011, 12:40:37 AM
So I can't vote for you theo? Geez *kicks the can*
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Asteriktos on February 11, 2011, 01:45:15 AM
Fwiw, a while back Leiter had a poll among actual philosophers concerning who the 20 Most Important Philosophers of All Time (http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2009/05/the-20-most-important-philosophers-of-all-time.html) were.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: orthonorm on February 11, 2011, 02:48:53 AM
Fwiw, a while back Leiter had a poll among actual philosophers concerning who the 20 Most Important Philosophers of All Time (http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2009/05/the-20-most-important-philosophers-of-all-time.html) were.

Laughable.

All thinking begins and end in Heidegger.

The fact that "Socrates" even appears is very problematic.

And forget Heidegger, he himself would say Heraclitus.

Srsly, depends on "importance" and who is a "philosopher":

Heraclitus
"Socrates"
Plato
Aristotle
St. Augustine
St. Thomas Aquinas
Duns Scotus
Descartes
Kant
Leibnitz
Hegel
Schopenhauer
Nietzsche
Kierkegaard
Brentano
Frege
William James
Husserl
Heidegger
Goedel
(Late) Wittgenstein
Derrida
Deleuze
Luhman

Those are the "top" of the "top of my head".

But really these kinda lists are nonsense.




Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: orthonorm on February 11, 2011, 03:11:47 AM
My Favorite though?

(http://www.vigilantmonkey.com/Portals/VigilantMonkey/images/diogenes3.jpg)

The troll par excellence.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: theo philosopher on February 11, 2011, 04:19:36 AM
So I can't vote for you theo? Geez *kicks the can*

Ha!

I'm hardly a proper philosopher, hardly one of the greatest.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on February 11, 2011, 05:21:13 AM
I would have to put wise King Solomon right up there.


Selam
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: CRCulver on February 11, 2011, 05:48:54 AM
The fact that "Socrates" even appears is very problematic.

Socrates is the earliest example of the gadfly, and his argument ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ is why we feel like doing philosophy in the first place.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Iconodule on February 11, 2011, 09:43:34 AM
I don't know about "greatest" but my favorite has always been Zhuangzi.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Asteriktos on February 11, 2011, 10:46:45 AM
But really these kinda lists are nonsense.

And most people put Descartes on their list, which leaves no doubt that such lists are nonsense... then again, as I've surfed philosophy department sites, it seems that many people have great interest in Descartes, so I guess a lot of careers are built on nonsense. As for my own list, I'm hardly qualified to give an informed opinion of who the greatest is, but as far as who I've actually found helpful, Carneades, Schopenhauer, and Socrates just about round out the list (and it's odd that two of the three were only helpful because of the work of another man). Of course I've found tidbits here and there in others, such as Aristippus of Cyrene (or his grandson), Heraclitus, etc., and I am excluding people I consider theologians rather than philosophers.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: minasoliman on February 11, 2011, 10:51:43 AM
My Favorite though?

(http://www.vigilantmonkey.com/Portals/VigilantMonkey/images/diogenes3.jpg)

The troll par excellence.

In my undergrad Philosophy class, I wrote a paper on Diogenes and St. John the Forerunner (based on Fr. Bulgakov's book "The Friend of the Bridegroom) comparing and contrasting them.

I definitely enjoyed the philosophy of Cynicism.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Papist on February 11, 2011, 12:25:37 PM
St. Thomas Aquinas, and I don't mean the caricatures of St. Thomas.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: orthonorm on February 11, 2011, 12:57:24 PM
My Favorite though?

(http://www.vigilantmonkey.com/Portals/VigilantMonkey/images/diogenes3.jpg)

The troll par excellence.

In my undergrad Philosophy class, I wrote a paper on Diogenes and St. John the Forerunner (based on Fr. Bulgakov's book "The Friend of the Bridegroom) comparing and contrasting them.

I definitely enjoyed the philosophy of Cynicism.

Another word for the "irony" thread: cynicism.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: minasoliman on February 11, 2011, 12:58:56 PM
My Favorite though?

(http://www.vigilantmonkey.com/Portals/VigilantMonkey/images/diogenes3.jpg)

The troll par excellence.

In my undergrad Philosophy class, I wrote a paper on Diogenes and St. John the Forerunner (based on Fr. Bulgakov's book "The Friend of the Bridegroom) comparing and contrasting them.

I definitely enjoyed the philosophy of Cynicism.

Another word for the "irony" thread: cynicism.

Dogology  ;)
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: orthonorm on February 11, 2011, 01:03:22 PM
But really these kinda lists are nonsense.

And most people put Descartes on their list, which leaves no doubt that such lists are nonsense... then again, as I've surfed philosophy department sites, it seems that many people have great interest in Descartes, so I guess a lot of careers are built on nonsense. As for my own list, I'm hardly qualified to give an informed opinion of who the greatest is, but as far as who I've actually found helpful, Carneades, Schopenhauer, and Socrates just about round out the list (and it's odd that two of the three were only helpful because of the work of another man). Of course I've found tidbits here and there in others, such as Aristippus of Cyrene (or his grandson), Heraclitus, etc., and I am excluding people I consider theologians rather than philosophers.

If you talking in terms of importance on impact on thought and culture, no one can deny Descartes proudly changed and altered the world. His Meditations on First Philosophy should be required reading for all freshman high school students.

For more serious readers, it is the beginning and end of Modernity. Everyone else was just adding footnotes to his thought. The criticisms that can raised in his method are ignored and people keep living of his corpse today in dead "analytical departments".
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: orthonorm on February 11, 2011, 01:05:13 PM
My Favorite though?

(http://www.vigilantmonkey.com/Portals/VigilantMonkey/images/diogenes3.jpg)

The troll par excellence.

In my undergrad Philosophy class, I wrote a paper on Diogenes and St. John the Forerunner (based on Fr. Bulgakov's book "The Friend of the Bridegroom) comparing and contrasting them.

I definitely enjoyed the philosophy of Cynicism.

Another word for the "irony" thread: cynicism.

Dogology  ;)

Interesting work for an undergrad. Would you recommend Fr. Bulgakov's text? Is it in decent English translation?
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: orthonorm on February 11, 2011, 01:06:13 PM
St. Thomas Aquinas, and I don't mean the caricatures of St. Thomas.

Thing about St. Thomas Aquinas is that you should probably spend a decade or so with Aristotle before reading him.

But who does such things nowadays?
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: orthonorm on February 11, 2011, 01:07:32 PM
The fact that "Socrates" even appears is very problematic.

Socrates is the earliest example of the gadfly, and his argument ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ is why we feel like doing philosophy in the first place.

I think old Socrates would agree it was Xanthippe who holds that role. ; )
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: orthonorm on February 11, 2011, 01:11:54 PM
The fact that "Socrates" even appears is very problematic.

Socrates is the earliest example of the gadfly, and his argument ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ is why we feel like doing philosophy in the first place.

I think old Socrates would agree it was Xanthippe who holds that role. ; )

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Socrates_and_Xanthippe.jpg)
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Jetavan on February 11, 2011, 01:12:40 PM
The greatest philosopher is the one who love(s)(d) wisdom the most.

I'd vote for Mary.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Papist on February 11, 2011, 01:13:52 PM
St. Thomas Aquinas, and I don't mean the caricatures of St. Thomas.

Thing about St. Thomas Aquinas is that you should probably spend a decade or so with Aristotle before reading him.

But who does such things nowadays?
LOL. That's not because of a deficieny in Aquinas, but because many people are not aquainted with Aristotle, Plato, Damascus, or the Father. Aquinas assumes that his readers understand them because most student who would be reading Aquinas during his time had some knowlege of such. That being said, I think a month or two worth of serious study would be all that would be necessary to prepare for Aquinas. OR, some one could simply read Edward Feser's introductory book to Aquinas and be somewhat prepared. Of course, the best way to get wet is to go swimming.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: orthonorm on February 11, 2011, 01:18:15 PM
St. Thomas Aquinas, and I don't mean the caricatures of St. Thomas.

Ever read A Confederacy of Dunces

Awesome novel, manifold so if you have medieval philosophy under your belt. 
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Papist on February 11, 2011, 01:24:04 PM
Jesus. And I don't mean that in some pious "Sunday School" way either. Jesus truly was the greatest philosopher to have ever walked the earth.

Socrates was wonderful, but he attempted to extrapolate the truth. Even Buddha had many good teachings, but he pointed to a truth. Jesus IS the Truth; He did not point to any abstract truth, He did not teach that we needed secret knowledge, instead He pointed to Himself and showed that He was the foundation for all metaphysics, all epistemology, all ethics, all government, and all things involving philosophy. Though Jesus is so much more than a philosopher, He is certainly the greatest philosopher to have ever walked the earth.

All others either work against Him and are therefore wrong, or work for Him and are therefore below Him.
If philosophy is the love of wisdom, and Jesus is Wisdom, wouldn't he be the subject of philosophy, rather than a philosopher?
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Papist on February 11, 2011, 01:27:55 PM
St. Thomas Aquinas, and I don't mean the caricatures of St. Thomas.

Ever read A Confederacy of Dunces

Awesome novel, manifold so if you have medieval philosophy under your belt. 
I'll have to take a look.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: orthonorm on February 11, 2011, 01:28:11 PM
St. Thomas Aquinas, and I don't mean the caricatures of St. Thomas.

Thing about St. Thomas Aquinas is that you should probably spend a decade or so with Aristotle before reading him.

But who does such things nowadays?
LOL. That's not because of a deficieny in Aquinas, but because many people are not aquainted with Aristotle, Plato, Damascus, or the Father. Aquinas assumes that his readers understand them because most student who would be reading Aquinas during his time had some knowlege of such. That being said, I think a month or two worth of serious study would be all that would be necessary to prepare for Aquinas. OR, some one could simply read Edward Feser's introductory book to Aquinas and be somewhat prepared. Of course, the best way to get wet is to go swimming.

I wasn't suggesting a deficiency in St. Thomas Aquinas, but in general the propaedeutic approach to much reading of substantial thinkers. And that is not to say that Aristotle is simply propaedeutic to St. Thomas Aquinas!
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: orthonorm on February 11, 2011, 01:32:10 PM
St. Thomas Aquinas, and I don't mean the caricatures of St. Thomas.

Ever read A Confederacy of Dunces

Awesome novel, manifold so if you have medieval philosophy under your belt. 
I'll have to take a look.

It is rather a ribald, Southern Americana picaresque. wiki it to see if it might be up your alley. If your sensibilities are easily offended  or you don't have a love for intellectual mockery within the context of the broadest of comedy, might not be quite what the Doctor ordered.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Papist on February 11, 2011, 01:32:30 PM
St. Thomas Aquinas, and I don't mean the caricatures of St. Thomas.

Thing about St. Thomas Aquinas is that you should probably spend a decade or so with Aristotle before reading him.

But who does such things nowadays?
LOL. That's not because of a deficieny in Aquinas, but because many people are not aquainted with Aristotle, Plato, Damascus, or the Father. Aquinas assumes that his readers understand them because most student who would be reading Aquinas during his time had some knowlege of such. That being said, I think a month or two worth of serious study would be all that would be necessary to prepare for Aquinas. OR, some one could simply read Edward Feser's introductory book to Aquinas and be somewhat prepared. Of course, the best way to get wet is to go swimming.

I wasn't suggesting a deficiency in St. Thomas Aquinas, but in general the propaedeutic approach to much reading of substantial thinkers. And that is not to say that Aristotle is simply propaedeutic to St. Thomas Aquinas!
Well stated.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: minasoliman on February 11, 2011, 02:49:39 PM
My Favorite though?

(http://www.vigilantmonkey.com/Portals/VigilantMonkey/images/diogenes3.jpg)

The troll par excellence.

In my undergrad Philosophy class, I wrote a paper on Diogenes and St. John the Forerunner (based on Fr. Bulgakov's book "The Friend of the Bridegroom) comparing and contrasting them.

I definitely enjoyed the philosophy of Cynicism.

Another word for the "irony" thread: cynicism.

Dogology  ;)

Interesting work for an undergrad. Would you recommend Fr. Bulgakov's text? Is it in decent English translation?

The thing with choosing the text is that there isn't a lot of Orthodox theological views of St. John the Forerunner.  Sadly, we spent so many of our writings on the Theotokos (well deserved), but we have forgotten about the man who truly allowed himself to decrease that the Lord may increase.

So Fr. Bulgakov's book was the only book from an Orthodox perspective I could find and it was a very good book (it did give footnotes of translations where the English does injustice), with the exception of the last two or three chapters where he connects his Sophiology (at the time, I was confused at his Sophiology, so I didn't use those chapters in my research).  I was advised by my professor to compare and contrast the teachings in this book with the book by Dr. Luis E. Navia about Diogenes, who also in a small snippet in his book somewhat alluded to similarities between the two, Diogenes and the Forerunner.

I was asked to write 10 pages, but I could have written much much more, and I had to condense my writing to 13 pages.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Shiny on February 11, 2011, 09:53:03 PM
So I can't vote for you theo? Geez *kicks the can*

Ha!

I'm hardly a proper philosopher, hardly one of the greatest.
You'll get there.

BTW have you read The Philosophy of Jesus by Peter Kreeft? Any good?
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: theo philosopher on February 11, 2011, 10:05:37 PM
So I can't vote for you theo? Geez *kicks the can*

Ha!

I'm hardly a proper philosopher, hardly one of the greatest.
You'll get there.

BTW have you read The Philosophy of Jesus by Peter Kreeft? Any good?

"Good" doesn't describe the book. Neither does "great." Fantastic, one of his best books...something along those lines would adequately describe that book.

It's not deep and is written in an inspirational tone, but you'll still learn quite a bit. It's more of a devotional for those who are interested in or have studied philosophy.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: JLatimer on February 12, 2011, 12:04:21 PM
But really these kinda lists are nonsense.

And most people put Descartes on their list, which leaves no doubt that such lists are nonsense... then again, as I've surfed philosophy department sites, it seems that many people have great interest in Descartes, so I guess a lot of careers are built on nonsense. As for my own list, I'm hardly qualified to give an informed opinion of who the greatest is, but as far as who I've actually found helpful, Carneades, Schopenhauer, and Socrates just about round out the list (and it's odd that two of the three were only helpful because of the work of another man). Of course I've found tidbits here and there in others, such as Aristippus of Cyrene (or his grandson), Heraclitus, etc., and I am excluding people I consider theologians rather than philosophers.

If you talking in terms of importance on impact on thought and culture, no one can deny Descartes proudly changed and altered the world. His Meditations on First Philosophy should be required reading for all freshman high school students.


Are you serious?
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: JLatimer on February 12, 2011, 12:08:58 PM
Fwiw, a while back Leiter had a poll among actual philosophers concerning who the 20 Most Important Philosophers of All Time (http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2009/05/the-20-most-important-philosophers-of-all-time.html) were.

Laughable.

All thinking begins and end in Heidegger.
No it doesn't.
Quote
The fact that "Socrates" even appears is very problematic.
Why is Socrates in quotes?
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Shiny on February 12, 2011, 07:03:43 PM
Socrates is probably in quotes because the historicity of him has been disputed. He could of been just a mouthpiece of Plato.

I personally love Socrates as a philosopher, whether he existed or not.

Heidegger...I'll have to do some research on him.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: JLatimer on February 12, 2011, 09:38:53 PM
What about Xenophon?

The historicity of Jesus has also been "disputed".
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Shiny on February 12, 2011, 09:43:49 PM
The historicity of Jesus has also been "disputed".

So has Alexander the Great. It's only been disputed because there were those in history who went above the Church's authority.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: CRCulver on February 13, 2011, 05:28:04 AM
Socrates is probably in quotes because the historicity of him has been disputed. He could of been just a mouthpiece of Plato.

The historicity of Socrates is pretty undisputed. Xenophon mentions him in multiple books, Aristophanes lampoons him in The Clouds, there are other, fragmentary accounts of Socrates' teaching, and documents relating to his trial persisted in the Athenian archives until at least the 2nd century AD. Now, obviously Plato's dialogues have Socrates proposing some ideas that Plato probably didn't come up with until long after Socrates' death, but nonetheless there's plenty of evidence that the man existed and practiced philosophy.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: theo philosopher on February 13, 2011, 11:30:36 AM
Socrates is probably in quotes because the historicity of him has been disputed. He could of been just a mouthpiece of Plato.

The historicity of Socrates is pretty undisputed. Xenophon mentions him in multiple books, Aristophanes lampoons him in The Clouds, there are other, fragmentary accounts of Socrates' teaching, and documents relating to his trial persisted in the Athenian archives until at least the 2nd century AD. Now, obviously Plato's dialogues have Socrates proposing some ideas that Plato probably didn't come up with until long after Socrates' death, but nonetheless there's plenty of evidence that the man existed and practiced philosophy.

Exactly, most scholars agree that the earliest of Plato's works are probably the pure Socrates. By the time we get to The Republic, we see more of Plato than Socrates.

And I would say that any list that omits Plato or Socrates as great philosophers isn't a list worth looking at; both of these philosophers laid the groundwork for ideas and vocabulary that the Church Fathers would later use to explain Christian theology.
Title: Re: The greatest philosopher?
Post by: Asteriktos on April 02, 2011, 02:00:39 AM
Found this on the leiterreports blog (http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2011/03/philosophy-signals.html), originally created by Landon Schurtz...

(http://leiterreports.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c2e6353ef0120a665db1e970b-pi)