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)
For me, Ludwig Wittgenstein is the greatest since Plato.
When I was young, a few decades ago, Aristotle was the rock upon which science was based. However, since then, what with all we've learned about the structure of reality (that physical reality, despite appearances, is mostly empty space; that 75%-90% of the mass in the universe is invisible black matter; that ultimately reality consists of vibrating strings; that there are probably 11 dimensions; that the Big Bang was probably the result of two "branes" colliding.
Now, Plato, for whom the reality of the senses was just a shadow of reality itself, appears to have been closer to the truth and foundation of contemporary physics in many ways.
My favorite contemporary philosopher is Peter Singer.
Hence I like Bentham and Miller, but not everything they said. That's true for every philosopher. I like Kant, but also not everything he said. I think the categorical imperative is a good idea.
If you count Buddhism as a philosophy, which I do, I would add Buddha as well.
Hands down, my favorite philospoher is Spock.
Renee Descarte walks in to a bar. The bartender asks, "Hey buddy, you want a drink?" he replies, "I think not" and *poof* he disappears.
Not to discredit its value but philosophers are just bullshit artists. I think philosophy is just a way to argue something without any facts. I think that it served its purpose when it stimulated thought and inspired the right questions that gave birth to science but philosophy is just an old grandpa with Alzheimer's trying to get his CNA to wash his junk a little more thoroughly. They had their time and in it they were forward thinkers but at the same time they had no clue what they were talking about. I will take a Hypothesis from a scientist over a philosophy from a philosopher any day.
Where do you think scientists got their original ideas from Danny? Philosophy is a form art using logic and reasoning to find a possible end to questions. Personally, I think that they are ingenius.
Did you not read my entire post?
" I think that it served its purpose when it stimulated thought and inspired the right questions that gave birth to science"
I just believe that we no more use for it now that we have a better understanding of science.
I think we need it now still.. Science still needs thought and logic to further inspire its understanding. We have not yet reached the epitome of our knowledge and every bit of understanding, from philosophy, to science, to epistomology and its debate over how we can know, all hold their unique values.
I just feel that philosophy is like being ok with just a hypothesis. It's enough to get my attention but I want more I want mathematical and or physical proof.
I get bored and tired of the word games.
What does science have to say about value theory (aesthetics, ethics)?
Now that is a good point to which I don't have much to defend myself with. Even I have to admit to using philosophy to argue ethics. Although in my circle of friends I can think of only one other who is stimulated enough by the arts to argue about it and he and I have very similar tastes so I have never had to use nor would I know how to use philosophy for aesthetics.
I might add that the kind of "science" being done by the cosmologists blurs the line between science and philosophy. When scientists are talking about branes, a multiverse, multiple (or even infinite) parallel dimensions...how is that NOT philosophy?
I call that imagination. In the same way philosophy gave birth to science, science fiction will give birth to future science. People can use their minds to come up with new ideas and stop wasting them on logic word games that only prove or disprove old ideas.