Continental philosophy is the name we give to the philosophy that is mostly practiced in continental Europe, excluding the British isles. Continental philosophy, as opposed to analytical philosophy, is more literary and speculative than its more analytical and scientific counterpart. Here’s a list of the greatest continental philosophers of all time.
5. Descartes: He was a philosopher, mathematician and scientist. He is one of the founders of rationalism, with his statement: “I think, therefore I am”. He questioned whether the world outside his own head was real or just an illusion. He said that therre was no way he could prove it was real, but at least he knew that he existed because of his “cogito ergo sum” statement above.
4. Aristotle: Student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the great, Aristotle studied philosophy, biology, astronomy, mathematics, etc. He was a Platonist, until Plato’s death, when he became more of a naturalist. His work on ethics are still relevant today, and other works as well.
3. Plato: Taught by Socrates, and tutored Aristotle, Plato is one of the greatest philosophers of all time. He is most remembered for the questions he asked, rather than the answer he gave to those questions. Sometimes, asking a question is more important than finding an answer.
2. Kant: An important figure in German idealism, and in the enlightenment age, Kant wondered how our ideas could conform with the real world. Inspired by Descartes and Hume, he went on to write three critiques: The critique of pure reason, the critique of practical reason, and the critique of the faculty of judging. He said that metaphysics was in a crisis and that they should stop until that crisis was done. In fact, Kant may have contributed to the end of metaphysics.
1. Hegel: At the apex of German Idealism was Hegel. Just as Aristotle was in disagreement with Plato, so does Hegel with Kant. Hegel thought that Kant’s conception of subject and object was incomplete, and so he developed “absolute idealism”, in which he overcame the dialectic between subject and object.