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Famous Philosophers from the United States

Updated September 11, 2019 5.2k views621 items

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. {#nodes}
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  • 1
    Albert Einstein is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Albert Einstein

    Dec. at 76 (1879-1955)

    BirthplaceUlm, Germany

    Albert Einstein ( EYEN-styne; German: [ˈalbɛɐ̯t ˈʔaɪnʃtaɪn] (listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Bruce Lee

    Dec. at 33 (1940-1973)

    BirthplaceUSA, California, Chinatown, San Francisco

    Lee Jun-fan (Chinese: 李振藩; November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973), known professionally as Bruce... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Thomas Jefferson

    Dec. at 83 (1743-1826)

    BirthplaceShadwell, Virginia, United States of America

    Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Noam Chomsky is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    BirthplaceEast Oak Lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Ayn Rand is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Ayn Rand

    Dec. at 77 (1905-1982)

    BirthplaceSaint Petersburg, Russia

    Ayn Rand (; born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum; February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Ralph Waldo Emerson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Dec. at 79 (1803-1882)

    BirthplaceBoston, Massachusetts

    Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Sun Yat-sen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Sun Yat-sen

    Dec. at 59 (1866-1925)

    BirthplaceZhongshan

    Sun Yat-sen (; 12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) was a Chinese politician, physician and... more on Wikipedia
  • 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

    Dec. at 95 (1868-1963)

    BirthplaceGreat Barrington, Massachusetts

    William Edward Burghardt Du Bois ( doo-BOYSS; February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was an... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Ludwig Wittgenstein is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Ludwig Wittgenstein

    Dec. at 62 (1889-1951)

    BirthplaceVienna, Austria

    Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (; German: [ˈluːtvɪç ˈvɪtgənˌʃtaɪn]; 26 April 1889 – 29 April... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Henry David Thoreau is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Henry David Thoreau

    Dec. at 45 (1817-1862)

    BirthplaceConcord, Massachusetts

    Henry David Thoreau (see name pronunciation; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    John Dewey is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    John Dewey

    Dec. at 93 (1859-1952)

    BirthplaceBurlington, Vermont

    John Dewey (; October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Will Rogers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Will Rogers

    Dec. at 56 (1879-1935)

    BirthplaceOologah, Oklahoma, United States of America

    William Penn Adair Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was an American stage and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Cornel West is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    BirthplaceTulsa, Oklahoma, United States of America

    Cornel Ronald West (born June 2, 1953) is an American philosopher, political activist, social... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    John Cage is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    John Cage

    Dec. at 80 (1912-1992)

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer, music... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Sam Harris is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Sam Harris

    Age: 53

    BirthplaceUnited States of America

    Samuel Benjamin Harris (born April 9, 1967) is an American author, public intellectual,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    George Santayana is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    George Santayana

    Dec. at 89 (1863-1952)

    BirthplaceEurope, Madrid, Madrid, Southern Europe, Madrid metropolitan area

    Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, known in English as George Santayana (;... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    Alain LeRoy Locke is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Alain LeRoy Locke

    Dec. at 68 (1886-1954)

    BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

    Alain Leroy Locke (September 13, 1885 – June 9, 1954) was an American writer, philosopher,... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Robert Anton Wilson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Robert Anton Wilson

    Dec. at 75 (1932-2007)

    BirthplaceNew York City, USA, New York

    Robert Anton Wilson (born Robert Edward Wilson; January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007) was an... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Daniel Dennett is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    BirthplaceBoston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    Daniel Clement Dennett III (born March 28, 1942) is an American philosopher, writer, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Walt Whitman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Walt Whitman

    Dec. at 73 (1819-1892)

    BirthplaceWest Hills, New York

    Walt Whitman (; May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist, and journalist.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Angela Davis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    BirthplaceBirmingham, Alabama, United States of America

    Angela Yvonne Davis (born January 26, 1944) is an American political activist, academic, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Kurt Gödel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Kurt Gödel

    Dec. at 72 (1906-1978)

    BirthplaceBrno, Jihovýchod, Czech Republic

    Kurt Friedrich Gödel (; German: [ˈkʊɐ̯t ˈɡøːdl̩] (listen); April 28, 1906 – January 14, 1978)... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    John Rawls is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    John Rawls

    Dec. at 81 (1921-2002)

    BirthplaceBaltimore, Maryland

    John Bordley Rawls (; February 21, 1921 – November 24, 2002) was an American moral and... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Mary Daly is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Mary Daly

    Dec. at 82 (1928-2010)

    BirthplaceSchenectady, New York

    Mary Daly (October 16, 1928 – January 3, 2010) was an American radical feminist philosopher,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Hannah Arendt is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Philosophers from the United States

    Hannah Arendt

    Dec. at 69 (1906-1975)

    BirthplaceHanover, Germany

    Johanna "Hannah" Cohn Arendt (, also US: , German: [ˈaːʁənt]; 14 October 1906 – 4 December... more on Wikipedia
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