Articles in the category philosopher


(21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778) Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet) was a French writer of essays, plays, stories, poetry, history, science. Voltaire was much impressed by the toleration he saw on a visit to England, and campaigned for religious tolerance, constitutionalism, and judicial reform in France. Attributed to him are the famous words on […]

David Hume

(7 May 1711 – 25 August 1776) David Hume was a Scottish philosopher and historian, regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment. Hume was an empiricist, arguing that we should only believe those things for which we have good evidence, and has been a […]

Herbert Spencer

(27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) Herbert Spencer was a philosopher and sociologist, contemporary with Charles Darwin. Contrary to popular usage, the phrase ‘Surivial of the fittest’ was actually coined by Spencer and not Darwin. Born in Derby, England, Spencer was the only child of nine to survive infancy.  He was largely educated by his […]


(469-399 BCE) Socrates was a Classical Greek philosopher, born in Athens, the son of a stonemason. Socrates left no writings, but we know of his teachings through the writings of his pupil Plato, who presented many of his works in the form of Dialogues in which Socrates was the main speaker, though it is probable that […]

Jeremy Bentham

(15 February 1748 – 6 June 1832) Jeremy Bentham was a philosopher, jurist and legal and social reformer. He is widely regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism – the philosophy that an action is right if it results in the greatest good for the greatest number of people – later developed further by John […]

John Stuart Mill

(1806–1873) John Stuart Mill was a philosopher, economist, and pioneer of utilitarianism. Struggle with religion Son of the utilitarian philosopher and Benthamite reformer James Mill, he was early exposed to anti-religious thought and claimed in his autobiography that he did not ‘throw off religious belief but never had it’. However, it has been asserted that he […]

Bertrand Russell

(18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) Betrand Russell was foremost a philosopher and mathematician, but also subscribed to many causes throughout his long life. He lived for most of his life in England, with brief interludes in the United States and China Russell was born in Cleddon Hall, Trellech, Monmouthshire and studied at Trinity […]