12 Famous Philosophers and Their Guiding Principles


Philosophy, the ancient study of wisdom, can often feel overwhelming to those who didn’t study the concepts and questions posed by some of the greatest thinkers to ever live. But many of the thoughts from the likes of Socrates to more modern philosophers like Ayn Rand and Simone de Beauvoir can be used today as a means to guide us through life’s ups and downs.

The term “philosophy” derives from the Greek word philosophia which translates to a “love of wisdom,” coined by pre-Socratic thinkers such as Pythagoras in the 6th century B.C. These ancient Greek philosophers were influential in laying the foundations for the modern world; searching for meaning in everyday life and shaping their musings into a system of thoughts documented in books and manuscripts, letters, plays, and other media.

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy can be described as the rational, abstract, and methodical consideration of reality. Philosophy has been a central fixture in the history of civilization, from ancient Greece to modern day. In the centuries that have passed, notable philosophers both young and old have produced original thoughts and made contributions to all industries and disciplines including politics, mathematics, literature, art, and science. Below are some of the most influential philosophers, their schools of thought, and what we can learn from their forward-thinking approach.

Invaluable created this neat infographic that breaks down the guiding principles of some of the most famous philosophers to ever grace us with their thoughts, and how each can inspire our career and creativity. Gather inspiration from the visual below!

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