Articles in the category philosopher

Benjamin Franklin

(January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) Benjamin Franklin was one of the greatest figures in the American Enlightenment and the struggle for American independence. He was born in Boston and was apprenticed to the printing trade — where he educated himself. He set up his own printing trade after a brief spell in Britain. He […]

William Morris

(24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) William Morris was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist. Morris was educated at Exeter College, Oxford, where he developed an interest in art and the Middle Ages and became friends with artists such as Burne-Jones. He read a great deal of theology and ecclesiastical history. He was […]


(341 – 270 BCE) Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher. He is often cited as a precursor of modern Humanism, but very little of his teachings have survived except in the recollections of his later followers, in particular in De Rerum Natura by the Roman poet Lucretius. This epitaph, based on his philosophy, can still […]

Bernard Williams

(21 September 1929–10 June 2003) Sir Bernard Arthur Owen Williams was an English moral philosopher, described by The Times as the “most brilliant and most important British moral philosopher of his time”. Sorry, this article hasn’t been completed yet. Would you like to write it for us? Humanist Heritage relies on contributions from users so […]

Olaf Stapledon

(10 May, 1886 – 6 September, 1950) William Olaf Stapledon was a British philosopher and author of several influential works of science fiction. Stapledon was born in Seacombe, Wallasey and educated at Abbotsholme School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he acquired a BA in Modern History in 1909 and a MA in 1913. During World War […]

G.E. Moore

(4 November 1873 – 24 October 1958) George E Moore was a distinguished and influential English philosopher. A friend of Bertrand Russell, influenced a whole generation of Cambridge graduates, including E.M. Forster and members of the Bloomsbury group. In Principia Ethica, he explored the idea that goodness is a quality one can experience intuitively, and a […]

Karl Marx

(5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) Karl Heinrich Marx was a German political philosopher who wrote about economics and politics. His ideas played a significant role in the development of modern communism. Marx argued that capitalism, like previous socioeconomic systems, would inevitably produce internal tensions which would lead to its destruction. Just as capitalism […]

Adam Smith

(baptised 16 June 1723 – 17 July 1790) Adam Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economics. He was one of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment and was part of a brilliant intellectual circle that included David Hume, John Home, Lord Hailes and William Robertson. In 1764, Smith left […]

A.J. Ayer

(29 October 1910 – 27 June 1989) Sir Alfred Jules Ayer, better known as A. J. Ayer was a British philosopher known for his promotion of logical positivism. He was also President of the British Humanist Association (BHA) from 1965-70. Ayer wrote in his Language, Truth and Logic that all religious and metaphysical statements were […]

Mary Wollstonecraft

(27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) Mary Wollstonecraft was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and feminist. Wollstonecraft was a remarkable woman. In her thinking she was ahead of her time to an extraordinary degree. She lived in the eighteenth century when women’s lives were very restricted, but wrote in favour of women’s rights. She […]