For me, Schopenhauer, Bentham, Hume and Singer, hands down, all because of their clear consistent views on ethics, and their rational and / or empiricism.

 

There are of course others I like very much (Nitchsze stands out) , but the ones above are my favorites.

 

I really don't like Descartes.  He's clearly more intelligent than I am, this is obvious from his pensées, but I can't see how he could justify some of his claims at all (some of them which were very cruel IMO)

 

You?

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Bertrand Russel
Yeah, I have a fondness for him too. Told it the way he saw it, opposed nuclear weapons - a fine man IMO.
AYN RAND
Daniel Dennett, Douglas Hofstadter, and Alva Noe.
And Aaron Sloman.
One name..... Russell. Bertrand Russell puts the optimism back in philosophy.
Ayn Rand is not a real philosopher. My favorite philosophers are probably Kant and Hume.
Not to be pretentious, but:

the big dogs:
Willard Van Orman Quine (founder of Naturalist epistemology)
Peter Singer (atheist ethicist),
Daniel Dennett (Quine's student and great popularizer)

the wonderful lesser-knowns (outside of philosophy):
Nicholas Everitt (atheist philosopher of religion)
Paul Draper (made the best version of the argument from evil)
Peter Lipton (an amazing epistemologist that explored inductive reason and explanations)
Thomas Nagel (wrote my favorite article "the Absurd")

if any of you want any contemporary philosophy or some great intro books, just message me. I am preparing for grad school for philosophy.
Why would that be pretentious? Favorite philosophers is exactly the topic of this discussion.
because I listed 7. that seems a bit over the tops to me :P
I never took a philosophy class and can barely recite the names of famous philosophers, much less know what they philosophized about. All I can say is my favorite philosopher was my grandpa who said, there are only 2 thinks you can be sure of and that's that you were born and you're gonna die and don't shit where you eat.

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