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Favorite Philosophers and Why You Favor Them
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33 / M
Posted 2/25/13 , edited 2/26/13
Thales of Miletus.

He was the first human to show that the circle is bisected by its diameter. This discovery itself wasn't notable - it was pretty much accepted as a given by all who came before him. No, what was revolutionary was that he was the first to introduce the notion of a proof. For all intents and purposes, he created the proof.

Before Thales, mathematics was based upon empirical evidence gathered by the Egyptians and Babylonians. Unfortunately for them, it was almost always just plain wrong. The Egyptians claimed that the area of a quadrilateral was (1/4) * (a +c)*(b+d). The Babylonians claimed that the length of a right triangle's hypotenuse was c = b + (a^2/(2*b)). The Egyptians believed that the area of a circle was the area of a square with sides 8/9ths the length of the circle's diameter.

Or in other words, before Thales the greatest mathematicians found an approximation and then declared it to be truth. Thales was the first to derive truth without simply assuming it to be true. He showed that something was true if something else was true. Without Thales, there would have been no Pythogoras. Without Pythogoras, there would have been no Plato. Without Plato, there would have been no Euclid. Without Euclid, there would have been no The Elements. This text has been used for over 2000 years, and is probably one of, if not THE, oldest correct textbooks in all of existence.

And without Thales we have none of this.
Posted 2/27/13 , edited 2/28/13
Alan Watts
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25 / M
Posted 3/1/13 , edited 3/2/13
Niccolo Machiavelli: The guy is one of few in philosophical history to actually make views of life that actually relate to everyday life, and seek to empower you, not hold you down in useless ethics, like Kant, and searching for something one cannot really get in life like truth, examples being Socrates and Descartes.

Friedrich Nietzsche: His whole points on nihilism to wreck the older forms of ethics that, as I have said before, seek to needlessly restrain people, and his "Der Wille Zur Macht" which fuels individual desire and ambition, also something that I admire in the philosophy realm of things.

Oscar Wilde: While not a philosopher himself, he still advocated for Aestheticism, which ties into philosophy. Any kind of guy that would live life their way, regardless of what others thought gets my respect. Shame that the Catholic Church took care of him...
Posted 3/2/13 , edited 3/2/13
Posted 3/4/13 , edited 3/4/13
Soom Rathma.
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Posted 3/4/13 , edited 3/4/13
The person who came up with the stoic philisophy, I like Seneca because he was one. I love there way of looking at life, no emotions.
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34 / M / south wales, UK
Posted 3/5/13 , edited 3/5/13
I'd have to go with lao zi, the founder of modern taoism.
simply because he's the laid back hippy of philosophers with his philosophies of "follow your own path" and "the way of doing nothing" aka "just go with the flow and see where life takes you"
he saw that even the bitter parts of life were in the end sweet as they built character, make us what we are and help steer our way.
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20 / M / now
Posted 3/22/13 , edited 3/23/13
Im going to go with a modern philosopher who goes by the name of Allan (maybe its Alan... not sure) watts, I have had thoughts which I had been gradually digging my way into on my own, and then i came across he, who happened to not only cover and agree with many of the same ideas as me, but helped me to delve deeper into them... not personally but through what he taught and left behind. also listening to him speak for extended periods of time is entertaining.

he was within the time period when cameras and microphones had been invented, so he was on on some tv show somewhere. search him on youtube and there are tons of results
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48 / M / Oklahoma
Posted 3/23/13 , edited 3/24/13
Philip K Dick and William Gibson
Sailor Candy Moderator
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Posted 4/13/13 , edited 4/13/13
OP nuked. Locked.
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