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Western Philosophers

Western philosophy is the school of thinking of Western civilization spanning from approximately 600 BC until present day. Generally, it is seen to start with the philosophy of Ancient Greece. Its early development mainly occurred in Europe and the countries around the Mediterranean.

It is different from Eastern philosophy, which developed in Asian countries such as China, Persia, Japan, India and Korea.

Philosophical thought developed in Babylon, and that relating to Islam are sometimes counted as “Eastern”, and sometimes as “Western”.

Below, you will find significant philosophical thinkers, their history, and contributions to social development.

Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western world. Historically, the term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western culture, beginning with Hellenic (i.e. Greek) philosophy of the Pre-Socratics such as Thales (c. 624 – c. 546 BC) and Pythagoras (c. 570 – c. 495 BC), and eventually covering a large area of the globe. The word philosophy itself originated from the Hellenic: philosophia (φιλοσοφία), literally, “the love of wisdom” (φιλεῖν philein, “to love” and σοφία sophia, “wisdom”).

The scope of philosophy in the ancient understanding, and the writings of (at least some of) the ancient philosophers, were all intellectual endeavors. This included the problems of philosophy as they are understood today; but it also included many other disciplines, such as pure mathematics and natural sciences such as physics, astronomy, and biology (Aristotle, for example, wrote on all of these topics.)

Western philosophical thought also encompasses the following periods, to name a few:

– Neoplatonic and Christian philosophers of Late Antiquity
– Medieval period
– Early modern and contemporary approaches
– Analytical
– Continental
– German idealism
– Phenomenology
– Existentialism
– Pragmatism
– Thomism
– Marxism

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