20 “Most Important” Philosophers in the Modern Era

Brian Leiter had a poll to see which philosophers were the most important meaning influence and ideas.  Results are below from over 750 people polling:

1. Immanuel Kant (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)

2. David Hume loses to Immanuel Kant by 409–209

3. Rene Descartes loses to Immanuel Kant by 474–138, loses to David Hume by 351–242

4. Ludwig Wittgenstein loses to Immanuel Kant by 497–123, loses to Rene Descartes by 382–218

5. John Locke loses to Immanuel Kant by 549–63, loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 359–219

6. Gottlob Frege loses to Immanuel Kant by 538–77, loses to John Locke by 295–242

7. John Stuart Mill loses to Immanuel Kant by 550–65, loses to Gottlob Frege by 285–260

8. G.W.F. Hegel loses to Immanuel Kant by 555–48, loses to John Stuart Mill by 280–265

9. Gottfried Leibniz loses to Immanuel Kant by 564–69, loses to G.W.F. Hegel by 286–262

10. Bertrand Russell loses to Immanuel Kant by 561–97, loses to Gottfried Leibniz by 291–274

11. Baruch Spinoza loses to Immanuel Kant by 564–81, loses to Bertrand Russell by 295–274

12. Thomas Hobbes loses to Immanuel Kant by 564–68, loses to Baruch Spinoza by 303–254

13. Friedrich Nietzsche loses to Immanuel Kant by 557–78, loses to Thomas Hobbes by 325–244

14. Karl Marx loses to Immanuel Kant by 558–55, loses to Friedrich Nietzsche by 264–252

15. Soren Kierkegaard loses to Immanuel Kant by 541–62, loses to Karl Marx by 287–263

16. George Berkeley loses to Immanuel Kant by 583–57, loses to Soren Kierkegaard by 299–261

17. Jean-Jacques Rousseau loses to Immanuel Kant by 577–66, loses to George Berkeley by 281–257

18. W.V.O. Quine loses to Immanuel Kant by 572–43, loses to Jean-Jacques Rousseau by 287–283

19. Saul Kripke loses to Immanuel Kant by 570–89, loses to W.V.O. Quine by 328–215

20. John Rawls loses to Immanuel Kant by 588–24, loses to Saul Kripke by 270–242

I’ve read them all except for 6, 9, 18, and 19.

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About shaunmiller

I am a Ph. D student at Marquette University. The primary purpose of this blog is to get my ideas out there, and then have other people scrutinize, critique, build upon, and systematize beliefs. This blog will sometimes pertain to what I'm learning in my classes, but it will occasionally deal with non-classroom issues that I'm thinking about as well.
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3 Responses to 20 “Most Important” Philosophers in the Modern Era

  1. Mike says:

    I’ve read some of all of them except 17 and 19 and I haven’t read much from 14. I intend to read Rousseau shortly, I’m not sure when I’m going to read Kripke. I guess from the list I’m most attached to Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Kant, and Hume.

    If you haven’t read Quine try Two Dogmas of Empiricism. I’m not sure how much you’d want to rectify the Leibniz reading. The only thing I’ve really borrowed from him are his monads.

  2. shaunmiller says:

    haha, if I ever saw Leibniz, I’d tell him that keep his monads. It almost sounds like a disease.

    I do need to read Quine because it’s considered a classic in modern epistemology. As for Kripke, I really haven’t gotten that much in philosophy of language (except for Wittgenstein and Austin) so who knows if I’ll ever read him.

  3. aubreycierra says:

    How sad that Rawls is on the bottom…But Kant is on top ^.^ LOL. I need to read more of these, I have not read half of the list. I do know the just of most of them though.

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