Worst Famous Philosopher in History

  1. So... who do you think?

    And why?
  2. jcsd
  3. Descartes, because you were utterly wrong about dualism.
  4. But perfectly right about existence :wink:.
  5. As far as the topic of the thread goes...

    I really don't know, as my knowledge of Philosophy is extremely limited. But I never much cared for Socrates (he is the one that popularized the immorality of the soul, right?).
  6. selfAdjoint

    selfAdjoint 7,521
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Heidegger because not only did he consort with the Nazis, he claimed his philosophy supported them. And he never recanted or apologised.
  7. Like Mentat, my knowledge of philosophy is limited. So, after reading
    self-adjoint's post, I'll say Heidgger would be the "worst" philosopher. But, personally, I strongly believe no one is the "worst", but instead some didn't have as much influence as others did.
  8. The Confused Philosopher on CBC's "Royal Canadian Air Farce", he'd be perfect for the Ask a stupid question forum.

    I would wonder the question, as 'Philos' and 'Sophos' are love and wisdom, kinda difficult to be 'worst' at, loving wisdom. IMHO
  9. Philosophers like Descartes and Socrates may have been wrong about lots of things, but it's their attitudes that make them good philosophers.

    Descartes believed in finding rational proofs for religious beliefs (no doubt an influence from his scientific background) - something many religious people today don't do (they just say: 'you shouldn't try to find proofs for religion because it's about faith blah blah blah. . .')

    Socrates said that the only authority we should listen to is the authority of reason - so just because our leaders say something doesn't automatically mean that what they say is right. This leads to the emphasis in thinking for oneself - the whole point of philosophy.

    A bad philosopher is someone who would never reconsider his/her own position even against conflicting evidence. Bertrand Russell is an excellent philosopher in the way he constantly revised his own thoughts. Someone who never looks at opposing views fairly and just assumes that other people are wrong if they disagree with him/herself should never be a philosopher in the first place. I am sure few of the famous philosophers are actually like that.
  10. i reckon sartre is a pretty terrible philosopher, even if he's a great writer, he is just far too arogant, his ideas are immature and never fully developped or argued and his only good ideas were stolen from simone de beauvoir anyway.

    i think 'huis clos' is an amazing book, how uselful is the quote 'hell is other people' in everyday conversation! but apart from that phrase can anyone honestly remember what he stood for philosophically? at least with philosophers like descartes or socrates you knew what you were dealing with (and we don't even have any written evidence of socrates' ideas!), but beneath the mountain of prestige and acclamations where is the philosophy?
  11. Ayn Rand.... That is if one even considers her a philosopher... "Peddler of hegemony" would be a much better term.

  12. i agree on Descartes; however, i don't see how you can say that a man who claimed he knew nothing was wrong.

    oh, and i probably will get some complaints on this; but in my opinion Nitche was rather loopy as well.
  13. Another God

    Another God 985
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    LOL, that is ammusing simply because a good friend of mine just recently left her Ayn Rand book with me telling me that I have to read it, its great. The book is Atlas Shrugged, and I am interested in it, but we'll see how it goes.

    Obviously I can't evaluate it until I've read it.

    And as for Sartre...eeewww... I had to read some of his stuff a couple of years ago...Perhaps it was my own stupidity at the time which stopped me from comprehending it, but lets just say I wasn't left with a good impression of the bloke.

    He probably sits in my least liked philosopher position, but in line with Zimbo's thinking, simply due to the nature of being a philosopher, I can't think of an bad philosophers. If you are a bad philosopher, then you aren't really a philosopher. (The amount of wrong conclusions you reached aren't a real measure of how good you are at it...)
  14. Amazing what a difference one letter can make!:wink:
  15. I always wondered why she was considered the least bit of a philosopher.
  16. I don't consider Ayn Rand a philosopher. She was a writer with some extreme ideas on individualism. Outside of America she barely has a reputation at all and the rest of philosophy barely footnotes her.
  17. I would say John Searle.
    His take on AI in 'minds,brains and programs' is not convincing in the least bit.
    Its easy to learn chinese than getting convinced by his logic :wink:.
  18. Sartre....mindless drivel.
  19. Whether their ideas supported Nazism or not, I don't think you can consider Heidegger and Nietzsche to be worst philosophers. These two are major philosophers who have had an impact way beyond the foolishness of their political ideas. Even such liberals/social democrats/radicals as Rorty and Derrida owe a huge intellectual debt to Heidegger and Nietzsche.
  20. i never have read any Heidegger, but i found most of Nietzsche's stuff to be totally absurd; regardless of his affiliation. i just found much of it very biased and argumentative, not philosophy in my book.
  21. In terms of how many people had to die, due to a mere philosophy, I think we have the winner here.
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