A special day for Greatest Philosophers, did you know that every third Thursday of November of each year is ‘’The World Philosophy Day?’’ Well, many people, both young and old, partake in this celebration annually. Initiated in 2002 and proclaimed in 2005 by the UNESCO General Conference, ‘’The World Philosophy Day’’ is a day to honor philosophical thinking around the globe. Specifically, it’s a day for people around the world to share free thoughts, honestly delve into the enormous world of creative minds and openly talk about critical ideas, start public conversations on social change, and talk about society’s challenges. With the kind of activities that happen on this day, it’s easy to see why philosophy is still important today. In this segment, we are going to talk about the 3 greatest philosophers in the world, including their contributions and achievements. Keep reading;
Socrates, nicknamed the father of philosophy, was a revered Greek philosopher. Today, many know him as the founder of Western Philosophy. His controversial philosophical thinking and ways of doing things got him in the bad books of Greek politics, and this resulted in his death sentence in 399 B.C. by hemlock poisoning.
Date and place of birth
His date of birth is not clear, but credible sources say that he was born in the period between 470 and 469 BC in Alopeke, Athens. His father, Sophronicus, was a sculptor and his mother, Phaenarete, was a mid-wife.
There is no authentic information about the greatest Socrates' education background, but many studies believe that he got basic education, then studied grammar, gymnastics and musical instruments and later on took up his father’s profession as a sculptor. He served with honor, dignity and respect in the Greek army and even saved General Alcibiades’ life at the battle of Potidaea.
At the age of 50, he married an upper-class woman called Xanthipe whom they had 3 sons with.
Contributions and Achievements
Socrates is known for his rational thinking and critical findings he made like epistemology. The Socratic method of questioning, also referred to as elenchus, inspired his name choice. His famous quote, ‘’ The one thing I know is that I know nothing’’ stills lingers in the minds of many today. His most important contribution was the ‘’Socratic Technique, ’’ a technique for arguing a point. He applied this technique to several aspects in life including truth and justice. This technique aims to help individuals dispel unwanted theories and remain with logic ones. The technique earned him the title, ‘’The Father of political philosophy, morality and good logic.’’ In fact, legal experts say that the Socratic technique is a vital component of the American Legal system today.
Aristotle is an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist. Together with Plato and Socrates, they laid much of the cornerstones of western philosophy. He’s considered one of the greatest philosophers in ethics, psychology and politics.
Date and place of birth
Aristotle was born around 384 BC in Stagira, a small city in the Macedonian region of northeastern Greece. He grew up to become one of the most popular and influential philosophers the world has ever seen. Aristotle’s father, Nicomachus, who died while Aristotle was still young, was the personal physician to the Macedonian king Amyntas II. His mother, Phaestis, also died when Aristotle was still young. Proxenus of Atarneus, Aristotle’s older sister’s husband took care of Aristotle until he was strong enough to take care of himself.
When he turned 17, Aristotle was sent to Athens to pursue higher education in Plato’s academy. He started tutoring Alexander the Great in 338 BC. Alexander the Great soon went out and conquered the unknown world soon after his education. Aristotle decided to venture out on his own while in Athens, and that’s when he founded his own little school called the Lyceum. He spent his entire life in this school studying, teaching and writing.
Contributions and achievements
One of Aristotle’s main achievements includes writing about 200 books in the fields of ethics, politics, psychology, reasoning, rhetoric, and science. Other achievements include;
Inventing the Aristotelian logic, which is, basically, the study of logic. His system is known as term logic, syllogistic logic or traditional logic today. The most common aspect of Aristotelian logic is Syllogism, a type of logical argument that implements deductive reasoning to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. A classic example of Syllogism is ‘’ All men are mortal.’’
He’s regarded as the founder of biology; Aristotle is known as the first human to study biology systematically. In fact, the western tradition describes him as the first biologist in the world.
He made massive contributions to economic thought. Aristotle is the first human to analyze the origin of money.
3.Ralph Waldo Emerson
Considered the father of American literature, Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American lecturer, poet, essayist and philosopher. He was one of the greatest and most popular thinkers and influencers in the 19th century. He started the transcendentalist movement, which vehemently opposed the pressures forced on to humanity by the government, society, and organized religion, and instead favored the ideals of freedom, individualism and an emphasis on the relationship between the human soul and the environment. In other words, he believed that everything that exists in the world is a micro-organism of the universe. Although he was not a naturalist, the 20th-century movement took up and implemented his ideas.
Date and place of birth
Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, William Emerson, was a Boston preacher.
In 1812, he joined the Boston Public Latin School. In 1817, at the age of 14, he joined Harvard College. While in college, he was interested in studying the diverse literature and the traditions of Asia, as well as the Middle East. But the college didn’t dedicate enough time for those, so he was forced to focus on British logicians and philosophers, Greek and Roman writers, Euclidean geometry and algebra.
Contributions and achievements
His famous lecture series saw him tour different parts of the country. The most popular piece, Self-Reliance, tells other writers to be confident about their ideas and write freely about their feelings.
His main achievement was to help set up transcendentalism
In 1836, He was instrumental in the founding of the transcendental club
In 1836, his first essay, Nature, featured in many publications.
He founded and co-edited ‘’The Dial,’’ a popular literary magazine in the country that talked, in detail, about politics, philosophy and literature.
His essays and lectures reflect the vision of the United States.
Ralph Waldo Emerson died on April 27, 1882, but his literary works, beliefs and ideas continue to influence the writings of many authors. His literary works have also encouraged writers to find their own writing style and voice instead of imitating others. Ralph Waldo Emerson viewed the American dream in a different way. To him, the American Dream means the opportunity for people to live in peace with themselves, and to save their souls and not their pennies. Many writers and individuals throughout the country saw him as a mentor and role model and took his writing advice because of his admirable personality and perspective on life. The unique thing about Ralph Waldo Emerson is that he changed souls with only his voice.
While there are many great philosophers that ever lived, these three still carry massive influence in the 21st century. Their works have been (and continue to be) cited massively by students, writers and scholars and are the foundation of most teachings in high schools and college.