American People Famous Philosophers from the United States

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List of notable or famous philosophers from the United States, with bios and photos, including the top philosophers born in the United States and even some popular philosophers who immigrated to the United States. If you're trying to find out the names of famous American 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 the United States is included when available.

List features Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein and more.

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

Use this list of renowned American 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. (621 items)

1
Albert Einstein is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Albert Einstein Died at 76 (1879-1955) Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist. Einstein's work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the ...more

2
Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Bruce Lee Died at 33 (1940-1973) Bruce Lee was a Hong Kong American martial artist, Hong Kong action film actor, martial arts instructor, philosopher, filmmaker, and the founder of Jeet Kune Do. Lee was the son of Cantonese ...more

3
Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Thomas Jefferson Died at 83 (1743-1826) Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third President of the United States. He was a spokesman for democracy, and ...more

4
Noam Chomsky is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Noam Chomsky age 89 Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator, social justice activist, and anarcho-syndicalist advocate. Sometimes described as ...more

5
Ayn Rand is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Ayn Rand Died at 77 (1905-1982) Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a ...more

6
Ralph Waldo Emerson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Ralph Waldo Emerson Died at 79 (1803-1882) Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient ...more

7
Sun Yat-sen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Sun Yat-sen Died at 59 (1866-1925) Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese revolutionary, first president and founding father of the Republic of China, and medical practitioner. As the foremost pioneer of the Republic of China, Sun is referred ...more

8
W.E.B. Du Bois is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
W.E.B. Du Bois Died at 95 (1868-1963) William Edward Burghardt "W. E. B." Du Bois was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author and editor. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, ...more

9
Ludwig Wittgenstein is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Ludwig Wittgenstein Died at 62 (1889-1951) Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian-British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. From ...more

10
Henry David Thoreau is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Henry David Thoreau Died at 45 (1817-1862) Henry David Thoreau was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, sage writer and philosopher. He is best known for his book Walden, a ...more

11
John Dewey is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
John Dewey Died at 93 (1859-1952) John Dewey, FAA was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey is one of the primary figures ...more

12
Will Rogers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Will Rogers Died at 56 (1879-1935) William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers was a Native American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, social commentator and motion picture actor. He was one of the world's most famous stars ...more

13
Cornel West is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Cornel West age 64 Cornel Ronald West is an American philosopher, academic, activist, author, public intellectual, and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America. The son of a Baptist minister, West ...more

14
John Cage is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
John Cage Died at 80 (1912-1992) John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage ...more

15
Sam Harris is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Sam Harris age 50 Samuel B. "Sam" Harris is an American author, philosopher, neuroscientist, and the co-founder and chief executive of Project Reason, a non-profit that promotes science and secularism. ...more

16
George Santayana is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
George Santayana Died at 89 (1863-1952) Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, known as George Santayana, was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. Santayana was raised and educated in the United ...more

17
Alain LeRoy Locke is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Alain LeRoy Locke Died at 68 (1886-1954) Alain Leroy Locke was an American writer, philosopher, educator, and patron of the arts. Distinguished as the first African American Rhodes Scholar in 1907, Locke was the philosophical architect ...more

18
Robert Anton Wilson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Robert Anton Wilson Died at 75 (1932-2007) Robert Anton Wilson was an American author, novelist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, psychologist, and self-described agnostic mystic. Recognized as an Episkopos, Pope, and saint ...more

19
Daniel Dennett is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Daniel Dennett age 76 Daniel Clement Dennett III is an American philosopher, writer, and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, ...more

20
Walt Whitman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Walt Whitman Died at 73 (1819-1892) Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his ...more

21
Angela Davis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Angela Davis age 74 Angela Yvonne Davis is an American political activist, scholar, and author. She emerged as a prominent counterculture activist and radical in the 1960s as a leader of the Communist Party USA, ...more

22
Kurt Gödel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Kurt Gödel Died at 72 (1906-1978) Kurt Friedrich Gödel was an Austrian, and later American, logician, mathematician, and philosopher. Considered with Aristotle and Gottlob Frege to be one of the most significant logicians ...more

23
John Rawls is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
John Rawls Died at 81 (1921-2002) John Bordley Rawls was an American moral and political philosopher. He held the James Bryant Conant University Professorship at Harvard University and the Fulbright Fellowship at Christ Church, ...more

24
Mary Daly is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Mary Daly Died at 82 (1928-2010) Mary Daly was an American radical feminist philosopher, academic, and theologian. Daly, who described herself as a "radical lesbian feminist", taught at Jesuit-run Boston College for ...more

25
Hannah Arendt is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Hannah Arendt Died at 69 (1906-1975) Johanna "Hannah" Arendt was a German-born political theorist. Though often described as a philosopher, she rejected that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with ...more

26
Gary L. Francione is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Gary L. Francione age 63 Gary Lawrence Francione is an American legal scholar. He is the Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy at Rutgers School of Law–Newark. ...more

27
William James is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
William James Died at 68 (1842-1910) William James was an American philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician. The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States, James was one of the leading ...more

28
Martin Duberman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Martin Duberman age 87 Martin Bauml Duberman is an American historian, biographer, playwright, and gay rights activist. He is Professor of History Emeritus at the Graduate School of the City University of New York and ...more

29
David Bohm is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
David Bohm Died at 75 (1917-1992) David Joseph Bohm FRS was an American scientist who has been described as one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century and who contributed innovative and unorthodox ...more

30
Allan Bloom is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Allan Bloom Died at 62 (1930-1992) Allan David Bloom was an American philosopher, classicist, and academician. He studied under David Grene, Leo Strauss, Richard McKeon and Alexandre Kojève. He subsequently taught at ...more

31
Arthur Danto is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Arthur Danto Died at 89 (1924-2013) Arthur Coleman Danto was an American art critic and philosopher. He is best known for having been influential, long-time art critic for The Nation and for his work in philosophical aesthetics ...more

32
Kwame Anthony Appiah is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Kwame Anthony Appiah age 63 Kwame Anthony Appiah is a British philosopher, cultural theorist, and novelist whose interests include political and moral theory, the philosophy of language and mind, and African intellectual ...more

33
John Searle is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
John Searle age 85 John Rogers Searle is an American philosopher and currently the Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. Widely noted for his contributions to the philosophy of ...more

34
Paul Tillich is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Paul Tillich Died at 79 (1886-1965) Paul Johannes Tillich was a German American Christian existentialist philosopher and theologian who is widely regarded as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century. Among ...more

35
Russell Kirk is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Russell Kirk Died at 76 (1918-1994) Russell Kirk was an American political theorist, moralist, historian, social critic, literary critic, and fiction author known for his influence on 20th century American conservatism. His 1953 ...more

36
Jonathan Edwards is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Jonathan Edwards Died at 55 (1703-1758) Jonathan Edwards was a Protestant preacher, philosopher, and theologian. Edwards "is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian," and one ...more

37
Hilary Putnam is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Hilary Putnam age 91 Hilary Whitehall Putnam is an American philosopher, mathematician, and computer scientist who has been a central figure in analytic philosophy since the 1960s, especially in philosophy of mind, ...more

38
Khalil Gibran is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Khalil Gibran Died at 48 (1883-1931) Khalil Gibran was a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer of the New York Pen League. Born in the town of Bsharri in the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, Ottoman Empire, as a young man he ...more

39
Thomas Samuel Kuhn is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Thomas Samuel Kuhn Died at 74 (1922-1996) Thomas Samuel Kuhn was an American physicist, historian, and philosopher of science whose controversial 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was influential in both academic and ...more

40
Leo Strauss is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Leo Strauss Died at 74 (1899-1973) Leo Strauss was a German-American political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. He was born in Germany to Jewish parents and later emigrated from ...more

41
Michael Walzer is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Michael Walzer age 83 Michael Walzer is a prominent American political philosopher and public intellectual. A professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, he is co-editor of ...more

42
Solomon Feferman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Solomon Feferman age 89 Solomon Feferman is an American philosopher and mathematician with works in mathematical logic. He was born in New York City, New York, and received his Ph.D. in 1957 from the University of ...more

43
Rudolf Carnap is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Rudolf Carnap Died at 79 (1891-1970) Rudolf Carnap was a German-born philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical

44
Steven Best is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Steven Best age 62 Steven Best is an American animal rights advocate, author, and associate professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso. A writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education described ...more

45
Arthur M. Young is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Arthur M. Young Died at 90 (1905-1995) Arthur Middleton Young was an American inventor, helicopter pioneer, cosmologist, philosopher, astrologer and author. Young was the designer of Bell Helicopter's first helicopter, the Model 30, ...more

46
Abraham Joshua Heschel is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Abraham Joshua Heschel Died at 65 (1907-1972) Abraham Joshua Heschel was a Polish-born American rabbi and one of the leading Jewish theologians and Jewish philosophers of the 20th century. Heschel, a professor of Jewish mysticism at the ...more

47
Ananda Coomaraswamy is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Ananda Coomaraswamy Died at 70 (1877-1947) Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy was a Ceylonese Tamil philosopher and metaphysician, as well as a pioneering historian and philosopher of Indian art, particularly art history and symbolism, and an ...more

48
Molefi Kete Asante is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Molefi Kete Asante age 75 Molefi Kete Asante is an African-American professor. He is a leading figure in the fields of African-American Studies, African Studies and Communication Studies. He is currently Professor in the ...more

49
Christopher Bobonich is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Christopher Bobonich age 58 Christopher Bobonich is an American philosopher and a leading scholar of ancient philosophy, especially known for his work on Plato's Laws. He is currently Clarence Irving Lewis Professor of ...more

50
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Died at 94 (1841-1935) Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932, and as Acting Chief Justice of the United States ...more