Ordered by date of birth. Order by name

Alphabetical list

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646 - 1716) -- prominent rationalist philosopher who based his metaphysics on the existence of simple immaterial substances called monads.

Pierre Bayle (1647 - 1706) -- French scholar who systematically criticised an enormous scope of religious and philosophical doctrines.

Daniel Defoe (1660 - 1731) -- prolific English novelist and journalist.

Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745) -- satirist and champion of the Irish people.

Giambattista Vico (1668 - 1744) -- influential Italian philosopher, who argued that we can have certain knowledge only about things which we have created.

William Congreve (1670 - 1729) -- English dramatist and writer of poetry in the Restoration period.

third Earl of Shaftesbury (1671 - 1713) -- originally Anthony Ashley Cooper, Shaftesbury coined the phrase 'moral sense' to describe his philosophy of emphasising the emotional component of morality.

Samuel Clarke (1675 - 1729) -- rationalist philosopher who claimed that moral decisions can be as certain as mathematical ones, and who promoted the work of Isaac Newton.

George Berkeley (1685 - 1753) -- English philosopher who argued against Lockean scepticism and posited an alternative based, famously, on common sense.

Charles-Louis de Secondat Montesquieu (1689 - 1755) -- French political philosopher.

Joseph Butler (1692 - 1752) -- Anglican Bishop whose moral philosophy criticises hedonism and provides an alternative which borrows from a number of other approaches.

Voltaire (1694 - 1778) -- the greatest 18th century French author and thinker, noted for his wit, satire and critical capacity.

David Hartley (1705 - 1757) -- using Newton’s theory of vibrations.

Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784) -- writer who is remembered in philosophy for his rejection of sceptical metaphysics.

Thomas Reid (1710 - 1796) -- aiming to replace the 'ideal system' with a system based on 'common sense', Reid was especially critical of Hume's philosophy.

David Hume (1711 - 1776) -- great eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher who sought to reveal the limitations of reason, and in doing so reached famous sceptical conclusions.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778) -- philosopher in the French Revolution who made important contributions to the field of political philosophy.

Denis Diderot (1713 - 1784) -- man of letters, philosopher and art critic, chief editor of the L'Encyclopedie, one of the principal works of the Age of Enlightenment.

Ã?tienne Bonnot de Condilac (1715 - 1780) -- French philosopher, who made important investigations in the field of language, and who attempted to found an epistemology suitable for the project of the Enlightenment.

Thomas Gray (1716 - 1771) -- eighteenth century English poet.

Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797) -- English author, famous for his letters and Gothic romance.

Paul-Henri Thiry Holbach (1723 - 1789) -- a determinist and atheistic materialist, Holbach comprehensively argued for his philosophical position in his Système de la nature.

Adam Smith (1723 - 1790) -- a renowned economist, Smith was originally a professor of logic and then of moral philosophy.

Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) -- the most important philosopher of modern times, Kant argued that man is capable of posessing synthetic a priori knowledge, which is independent of experience; in morality, he proposed the famous 'categorical imperative'.

Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797) -- English politician, Irish born, whose writings on politics may have influenced the growth of conservatism.

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