The BBC is holding a vote to select a philosophical champeen: the greatest philosopher of all time, with sound clips from eminent contemporary philosophers defending their choices from among twenty finalists.
Now, first, it seems a bit weird to have Plato and Socrates as different entries, rather than one Plocrates entry: All we know of Socrates’ philosophy (well, pretty much) is through the filter of Plato, and Plato mostly presents himself as articulating the thoughts of Socrates; I don’t know how one disentangles them. Second, this probably could’ve been winnowed down to a list about half the size. I mean, Karl Popper is a very, very great thinker… but do even those who nominated them seriously think he’s in the running for greatest philosopher ever? I rather doubt he gets top honors from the 20th century, never mind in all history. The genuine contenders, I’d think, are probably Plocrates, Aristotle, Hume, and Kant… maybe you could throw in Mill and Nietzsche as dark horses. Descartes isn’t a crazy pick. But Epicurus? Russell? Heidegger? Even giants like Sartre and Wittgenstein seem like unlikely candidates… possibly just because the later in the game you come, the less opportunity there is to define a whole major area of thought.