I'm inclined to think these types of questions contain no real philosophical merit and are simply semantic debates. To that end, they will generate no single "real" answer unless the OP specifically defines "philosopher" in the body of his question, but upon defining it he/she should then be immediately aware as to whether X person fit their definition.

We also have the question: Is everyone considered a "philosopher"? which seems to cover all of X people (the question is borderline philosophical as well). But based on our current practices and policies I am tempted to close these types of questions and refer people to the question above (or make a new Community-Wiki reference question), however I wanted to get input from the community first.

What do you guys think?

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  • Jon Ericson had some interesting feedback on one of these, the Albert Einstein one I think, very early on -- it's definitely something we've set a precedent for anyway, for better or worse – Joseph Weissman Jul 27 '14 at 0:32

In general, I think these questions are poor.

Maybe we should accept them if someone does the following:

(a) gives a definition of philosopher


(b) gives an explanation of how they think the person in question fits under that definition.

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  • 2
    Exactly. Then the question falls under logic and is perfectly fine. Without the definition, no one can reasonable answer the question except insofar as to say whether "society in general" deems X person as a philosopher, but that in itself can be difficult to answer depending on X. – stoicfury Jul 30 '14 at 4:11

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