Greatest Philosopher of the 20th-Century?

March 2, 2009

You can find out here.

But seriously: Lewis came second to Wittgenstein? (I could understand how LW might rank top in a poll involving the general public, but the first ranking was supposedly based mostly on the Leiter readership!)

Update: some interesting thoughts on Russell’s ranking here and here.



  1. Actually, Lewis came in third behind Wittgenstein and Russell!

  2. Sorry – I should have said: I was going by the first poll!

    (The second one was supposed to have been be skewed by non philosophers voting.)

  3. Well, Wittgenstein was the only philosopher explicitly mentioned by name in the original post. It’s true that Leiter mentioned him only to suggest that he shouldn’t come out on top, but there’s definitely some percentage of the Leiter readership that would vote specifically against Leiter’s recommendations.

  4. I hadn’t thought of that.

    Other things I found surprising: how low Kripke ranked and how high Heidegger ranked. I guess I just don’t have as good an idea of what professional philosophers consider important work as I thought I did…

  5. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

    All Natural Cure For Stopping Acne In 3 Days!

  6. I suspect that Kripke ranks low only because anyone who would be inclined to vote for him would likely vote for either Quine or Lewis instead. If the votes were for the top two most important philosophers of the century, or top three, he would almost certainly come out much higher.

  7. Its all so provincial.

    What about philosophers who worked outside of the Western tradition, or those that did not work within the dismal reductionist parameters of the academy?

  8. i really,i mean i didn’t even really glance at the texisation due to the fact,not that it’s probably not interesting to me or of interest to me,i just randomly pick a sight along with the enter to declare that i feel that , although my understanding will never peak ,for lifes trails and errors can never be compared with any one singular person to another no matter how similar.anywho,my reason as for my interuption is to declare that i feel that I am the greatest philosopher next to plato , jung & oswald spangler ¤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: