The timeline of Western thought
While studying philosophy, I find it helpful to keep some sort of notes. At the same time, writing fully-fledged synopses is time-consuming, plus I don’t think I will ever re-read them. Instead, I wanted some sort of a chart, which I could look over with one glance, but that would systemize what I’ve learned. Thus, I decided to put all major philosophers on a timeline. On the one hand, it automatically provides a more-or-less ordered list that can be useful for remembering ideas based on names, and on the other hand, it creates an important feeling of relativity, puts the dates in context, reminding you that some philosophers from the “same” period were as far away from each other as the French Revolution is from us.
The list is mostly based on Reale and Antiseri’s “Il pensiero occidentale dalle origini ad oggi” in three volumes, with some additions from various sources. The list is divided into charts as follows:
- Ancient thought (71 names);
- Medieval thought (80 names);
- Renaissance thought (52 names);
- Early Modern thought (70 names);
- Late Modern thought (88 names);
- Contemporary thought (104 names).
Note: some dates are only approximate, and the categorization is mostly for my own convenience and the ease of learning, not always based on the shared school of thought. Moreover, while the majority of the presented people are "philosophers" in the default sense of the word, some are not, which is why Reale and Antiseri's book is called "Western thought", not "philosophy".