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Nameberry Picks: 20 Best Philosophical Baby Names

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When someone on our message boards suggested that we do a blog on philosophers’ names a while back, my first reaction was hmm, that sounds a bit heavy!  And maybe just a bit too esoteric?

But it’s names we’re after, and, digging around, I found that there are quite a few usable first name choices in that field, from across time and a wide variety of cultures.  And let’s not forget– Plato, Socrates and Aristotle (as in Onassis) are regularly used as everyday names in modern Greece.

Here are twenty worth considering, together with their philosophical isms—not that you have to plow through all their treatises to use one of their names:

Anselm, St. –Italian monk who founded Scholasticism,

Aristotle ancient Greek philosopher, scientist and logician (not to mention the name of a character in the video game Rygar and in several comics and movies); has the user-friendly nickname Ari, as used for Mr. Onassis

Augustine—St. Augustine of Hippo was one of the most influential Christian thinkers

Benedetto CroceItalian philosopher who made major contributions to the aesthetics of idealism.

Blaise PascalFrench philosopher, mathematician, scientist and theologian

Jiddu Krishnamurti –Indian spiritual philosopher

Josiah RoyceAmerican pragmatist philosopher

Jurgen HabermasModern German philosopher and sociologist

Luce IrigarayContemporary Belgian feminist philosopher

Lucretius –ancient Roman author of an epic philosophical poem on Epicureanism

Ludwig WittgensteinAustrian-born English philosopher concerned with logic and language

Niccolo Machiavelli—Italian Renaissance statesman and philosopher who argued that any act of a ruler to gain and hold power is permissible

Noam Chomsky—Contemporary American linguist, philosopher, and political activist

Philo of Alexandria— Ancient Greek Jew who synthesized Greek philosophy with messianic Hebrew thought

PlatoAthenian father of Western philosophy and student of Socrates (and a major character’s name/nickname in Rebel Without a Cause)

Quintin Meillassoux Contemporary French philosopher of the school of “speculative realism.”

SenecaRoman Stoic philosopher, statesman and dramatist

Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir—20th century French Existentialist philosopher and social theorist, best remembered for her feminist treatise The Second Sex

Søren KirkegaardDanish Existentialist philosopher and religious thinker

Zeno of Elea — pre-Socratic fifth century Greek philosopher known for his paradoxes; and Zeno of Citium , founder of the Stoic school of philosophy                                                                                                                                                                           

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