The Top 40 Philosophers of the Last 200 Years

by Max Andrews

Below is a list of the top forty philosophers within the last 200 years. The tally was composed of 600 votes.  On a side note, I’m quite please to see David Lewis making it up to 13 and C. S. Peirce at 20.

1. Ludwig Wittgenstein  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Gottlob Frege  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 261–160
3. Bertrand Russell  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 280–137, loses to Gottlob Frege by 218–156
4. John Stuart Mill  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 280–135, loses to Bertrand Russell by 204–178
5. W.V.O. Quine  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 291–150, loses to John Stuart Mill by 214–198
6. G.W.F. Hegel  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 290–130, loses to W.V.O. Quine by 214–210
7. Saul Kripke  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 314–138, loses to G.W.F. Hegel by 224–213
8. Friedrich Nietzsche  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 290–117, loses to Saul Kripke by 209–207
9. Karl Marx  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 359–95, loses to Friedrich Nietzsche by 254–138
10. Soren Kierkegaard  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 358–124, loses to Karl Marx by 230–213
11. Rudolf Carnap  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 345–90, loses to Soren Kierkegaard by 245–194
12. John Rawls  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 379–80, loses to Rudolf Carnap by 212–175
13. David K. Lewis  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 352–92, loses to John Rawls by 211–166
14. G.E. Moore  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 362–59, loses to David K. Lewis by 188–152
15. Donald Davidson  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 342–50, loses to G.E. Moore by 171–158
16. Martin Heidegger  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 351–63, loses to Donald Davidson by 188–161
17. Edmund Husserl  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 336–51, loses to Martin Heidegger by 169–140
18. Hilary Putnam  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 338–51, loses to Edmund Husserl by 148–138
19. William James  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 347–42, loses to Hilary Putnam by 151–146
20. Charles Sanders Peirce  loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 333–40, loses to William James by 145–109

Continue reading the whole post at Leiter Reports…


5 Comments to “The Top 40 Philosophers of the Last 200 Years”

  1. Where is Plantinga and William lane craig :D?

  2. If you ask me, I think 8, 9, and 12 are unjustifiably high…

  3. Could somebody please tell me why so many philosophers are enamored by Wittgenstein? I thought that he was considered to be a philosopher that allowed postmodernism to gain traction. But seeing how postmodernism is seemingly rejected in academic philosophy today, I guess I don’t understand why he is so popular and called the “philosopher’s philosopher.”

    • I haven’t studied much Wittgenstein, really. I just know that he was a major player in the philosophy of language, which dominated philosophical discourse for most of the 20th century. He was also quite afflicted with personal problems of his own.

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