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Famous Philosophers from China

Updated October 13, 2018 6.4k views96 items

List of notable or famous philosophers from China, with bios and photos, including the top philosophers born in China and even some popular philosophers who immigrated to China. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Chinese philosophers then this list is the perfect resource for you. These philosophers are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known philosopher from China is included when available.

List includes Bruce Lee, Sun Yat-sen and more.

This historic philosophers from China list can help answer the questions "Who are some Chinese philosophers of note?" and "Who are the most famous philosophers from China?" These prominent philosophers of China may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Chinese philosophers.

Use this list of renowned Chinese philosophers to discover some new philosophers that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
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  • 1
    Dec. at 32 (1940-1973)

    BirthplaceChinatown, California, United States of America

    NationalityHong Kong, United States of America

    Lee Jun-fan (Chinese: 李振藩; November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973), known professionally as Bruce Lee (Chinese: 李小龍), was a Hong Kong-American actor, director, martial artist, martial arts instructor, and...  more

    Bruce Lee Stories That Show How Man Became Legend#248 of 1,017 The Best Actors In Film History#43 of 289 The Coolest Actors Ever

  • 2
    Dec. at 72 (1868-1940)

    BirthplaceShaoxing, China

    NationalityChina

    Cai Yuanpei (Chinese: 蔡元培; pinyin: Cài Yuánpéi; 11 January 1868 – 5 March 1940) was a Chinese educator, Esperantist, president of Peking University, and founder of the Academia Sinica. He was known...  more
  • 3
    Age: 1001

    BirthplaceChang'an, China

    NationalityChina

    Zhang Zai (simplified Chinese: 张载; traditional Chinese: 張載; pinyin: Zhāng Zài; Wade–Giles: Chang Tsai) (1020–1077) was a Chinese philosopher, essayist, politician, writer, and cosmologist. He is most...  more
  • 4
    Dec. at 62 (1879-1942)

    BirthplaceAnqing, China

    NationalityChina, Empire of the Great Qing

    Chen Duxiu (Chinese: 陳獨秀; Wade–Giles: Ch'en Tu-hsiu; October 8, 1879 – May 27, 1942) was a Chinese revolutionary socialist, educator, philosopher and author, who co-founded the Chinese Communist...  more
  • 5
    Dec. at 74 (1696-1771)

    NationalityChina

    Chen Hongmou (simplified Chinese: 陈宏谋; traditional Chinese: 陳宏謀; pinyin: Chén Hóngmóu; Wade–Giles: Ch'en Hungmou, October 10, 1696—July 14, 1771), courtesy name Ruzi (汝咨) and Rongmen (榕門), was a...  more
  • 6
    Age: 988

    BirthplaceLuoyang, China

    NationalityChina

    Cheng Yi (simplified Chinese: 程颐; traditional Chinese: 程頤; pinyin: Chéng Yí; Wade–Giles: Ch'eng I, 1033–1107), courtesy name Zhengshu (正叔), also known as Yichuan Xiansheng (伊川先生), was a Chinese...  more
  • 7
    Age: 1707

    BirthplaceHenan, China

    NationalityChina

    Zhidun (Chinese: 支遁; pinyin: Zhīdùn; Wade–Giles: Chih-tun; 314-366 CE) was a Chinese Buddhist monk and philosopher. A Chinese author, scholar, and confidant of Chinese government officials in 350 CE,...  more
  • 8
    Age: 1004

    BirthplaceHunan, China

    NationalityChina

    Zhou Dunyi (Chinese: 周敦頤; Wade–Giles: Chou Tun-i; 1017–1073) was a Song dynasty Chinese Neo-Confucian philosopher and cosmologist born during the Song Dynasty. He conceptualized the Neo-Confucian...  more
  • 9
    Age: 111

    NationalityChina

    Chu Anping (Chinese: 储安平; pinyin: Chǔ Ānpíng; Wade–Giles: Ch'u Anp'ing, 1909–1966?) was a Chinese scholar, liberal journalist and editor of Guancha (观察, The Observer) in the Civil War era of the late...  more
  • 10
    Chungliang “Al” Huang (Chinese: 黃忠良) is a notable philosopher, dancer, performing artist, and internationally acclaimed taijiquan master and educator, having received the Republic of China’s most...  more
  • 11
    Dec. at 72 (550 BC-478 BC)

    BirthplaceLu

    NationalityChina

    Confucius ( kən-FEW-shəs; 551–479 BC) was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period. The philosophy of Confucius, also known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and...  more

    The Most Famous Confucius Quotes#82 of 347 The Most Important Leaders In World History#233 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • 12
    Dec. at 53 (1724-1777)

    BirthplaceChina

    NationalityChina

    Dai Zhen (Chinese: 戴震; pinyin: Dài Zhèn; Wade–Giles: Tai Chen, January 19, 1724 – July 1, 1777) was a prominent Chinese scholar of the Qing dynasty from Xiuning, Anhui. A versatile scholar, he made...  more
  • 13
    Dec. at 75 (178 BC-103 BC)

    BirthplaceHengshui, China

    NationalityChina

    Dong Zhongshu (Chinese: 董仲舒; Wade–Giles: Tung Chung-shu; 179–104 BC) was a Han Dynasty Chinese philosopher, politician, and writer. He is traditionally associated with the promotion of Confucianism...  more
  • 14
    Age: 1571

    NationalityChina

    Fàn Zhen (范縝, hanyupinyin Fàn Zhěn) (c. 450 - 515) was a Chinese philosopher of the Southern Qi Dynasty, remembered today for his treatise Shén Miè Lùn (simplified Chinese 神灭论, traditional Chinese...  more
  • 15
    Dec. at 94 (1895-1990)

    BirthplaceTanghe County, China

    NationalityChina

    Feng Youlan (Chinese: 馮友蘭; Wade–Giles: Feng Yu-lan; 4 December 1895 – 26 November 1990) was a Chinese philosopher, historian, and writer who was instrumental for reintroducing the study of Chinese...  more
  • 16
    Age: 1738

    BirthplaceChina

    NationalityChina

    Ge Hong (葛洪; b. 283 - d. 343 or 364 ) was an Eastern Jin Dynasty scholar, and the author of Essays on Chinese Characters. He is the originator of First Aid in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and...  more
  • 17
    Dec. at 75 (324 BC-249 BC)

    NationalityChina

    Gongsun Long (simplified Chinese: 公孙龙; traditional Chinese: 公孫龍; pinyin: Gōngsūn Lóng; Wade–Giles: Kung1-sun1 Lung2, c. 325–250 BC) was a Chinese philosopher and writer who was a member of the School...  more
  • 18
    Age: 106

    NationalityChina

    Gu Zhun (Chinese: 顾准; 1915–1974) was a Chinese intellectual, economist and pioneer of post-Marxist Chinese liberalism. A victim of "anti-Rightist" purges, he spent his later life in prisons and...  more
  • 19
    Guo Xiang (Chinese: 郭象; pinyin: Guō Xiàng; Wade–Giles: Kuo Hsiang; died 312 AD) is credited with the first and most important revision of the text known as the Zhuangzi which, along with the Tao Te...  more
  • 20
    Dec. at 47 (279 BC-232 BC)

    BirthplaceHan

    NationalityChina

    Han Fei (; traditional Chinese: 韓非; simplified Chinese: 韩非; pinyin: Hán Fēi; c. 280 – 233 BC), also known as Han Fei Zi, was a Chinese philosopher or statesman of the Legalist school during the...  more
  • 21
    Age: 275

    BirthplaceChangzhou, China

    NationalityChina

    Hong Liangji (Chinese: 洪亮吉; pinyin: Hóng Liàngjí; Wade–Giles: Hung Liang-chi, 1746–1809), courtesy names Junzhi (君直) and Zhicun (稚存), was a Chinese scholar, statesman, political theorist, and...  more
  • 22
    Hong Zicheng was a Chinese philosopher who lived during the end of the Ming Dynasty. Zicheng 自誠 was Hong's zi 字 "courtesy name", his given name was Hong Yingming 洪應明, and his hao 號 "pseudonym" was...  more
  • 23
    Age: 109

    BirthplaceJiangsu, China

    NationalityChina

    Hu Qiaomu (4 June 1912 – 28 September 1992) was a revolutionary, sociologist, Marxist philosopher and prominent politician of People's Republic of China. In the age of economic reform that followed...  more
  • 24
    Dec. at 70 (1891-1962)

    BirthplaceShanghai, China

    NationalityChina

    Hu Shih (Chinese: 胡適; pinyin: Hú Shì; Wade–Giles: Hu2 Shih4; 17 December 1891 – 24 February 1962), also known as Hu Suh in early references, was a Chinese philosopher, essayist and diplomat. Hu is...  more
  • 25
    Dec. at 84 (1610-1695)

    BirthplaceYuyao, China

    NationalityChina

    Huang Zongxi (Chinese: 黃宗羲; September 24, 1610 – August 12, 1695), courtesy name Taichong (太冲), was a Chinese naturalist, political theorist, philosopher, and soldier during the latter part of the...  more