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When people think of philosophers, the ancient wise scholars of Plato and Aristotle may come to mind. It’s very unusual for someone to think about a modern-day person studying this field, much less being a major influencer. However, there are still people out there who enjoy studying the fundamental nature of reality, knowledge, and existence at an academic level. Just like there are more inventions to be invented, there are always going to be fresh viewpoints and ideas waiting to be shared. 

Thomas Nagel was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, but he currently teaches philosophy and law at New York University. He wrote an essay entitled What is it like to be a bat? which opened new ways for philosophers to view the human mind. He attacked reductionism, which is the idea that mental states are simply physical states. 

Saul Kripke has been listed as one of the most influential philosophers of the past 200 years. He is an American philosopher who currently teaches at Princeton University, and he is passionate about language, logic, epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mathematics. His book, Naming and Necessity argues that certain true statements need empirical discovery. 

David John Chalmers is a philosopher and cognitive scientist who was born in Australia. His main areas of interest are the philosophy of mind and language. He is a neural science and philosophy teacher at New York University, as well as a Director of the “Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness” at NYU. Many people regard his book The Conscious Mind as one of the best books of his generation because of his revival of naturalistic dualism – arguing that the properties of the mind are different than the properties of the rest of the physical world.

It’s always refreshing to see a female emerge in an industry that is mostly dominated by men. Martha Nussbaum, originally a New Yorker, is a professor at the University of Chicago. People know her as a passionate and intense advocate for women’s rights. Her opinions on feminism are described as controversial because she doesn’t shy away from how she feels. Her infamous disagreement with another feminist, Judith Butler, is known in industry circles. Her passion extends to other causes such as animal rights, gay rights, and political science.