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Arouet, François-Marie [known as Voltaire] (1694–1778), writer and philosopher, was born in Paris on 21 November 1694 according to the notice of baptism. He was the fifth of five surviving children born to François Arouet (1649–1722), lawyer and minor official, and his wife, ...

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Clapperton, Jane Hume (1832–1914), philosopher and social reformer, was born in the parish of St Cuthbert's in Edinburgh to Alexander Clapperton (d. 1849) and Anne Clapperton, née Hume (d. 1872), on 22 September 1832. She was the tenth of twelve children. Her father was a successful merchant, who owned businesses in ...

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Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad (1891–1953) by Howard Coster, 1940s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Joad, Cyril Edwin Mitchinson (1891–1953), philosopher, was born on 12 August 1891 in Durham, the only child of Edwin Joad, university lecturer, and his wife, Mary Smith. His father became a school inspector and moved the family to Southampton. Cyril attended the Dragon School, Oxford...

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Kneale, William Calvert (1906–1990), philosopher, was born on 22 June 1906 in Liverpool, the youngest of the three children of William Kneale (1860–1933), a superintendent in a large building firm, and his wife, Hannah Calvert (1869–1941). He was educated at the Liverpool Institute...

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Mill, John Stuart (1806–1873), philosopher, economist, and advocate of women's rights, was born on 20 May 1806 at 13 Rodney Street, Pentonville, London. He was the eldest of the nine children of the Scottish-born utilitarian philosopher and Benthamite reformer James Mill (1773–1836), and his wife, ...

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Maker: unknown photographer

John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Moore, George Edward (1873–1958), philosopher, was born on 4 November 1873 at Hastings Lodge, Upper Norwood, Surrey, the third son and fifth child of the eight children of Daniel Moore (1840–1904), physician, and his second wife, Henrietta Sturge (1839–1903). His paternal grandfather was ...

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Maker: unknown photographer

George Edward Moore (1873–1958) by unknown photographer, 1899 The Master and Fellows, Trinity College, Cambridge

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Constance Caroline Woodhill Naden (1858–1889) by George J. Stodart, pubd 1890 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Naden, Constance Caroline Woodhill (1858–1889), poet and philosopher, born on 24 January 1858 at 15 Francis Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, was the only child of Thomas Naden, afterwards president of the Birmingham Architectural Association, and his wife, Caroline Anne, daughter of J. C. Woodhill...

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Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) by unknown photographer, c. 1898 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Spencer, Herbert (1820–1903), philosopher, social theorist, and sociologist, was born at 12 Exeter Road, Derby, on 27 April 1820. He was the eldest son of (William) George Spencer (bap. 1790, d. 1866), the proprietor and headmaster of a small private school, and his wife, ...

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(William) Olaf Stapledon (1886–1950) by Howard Coster, 1938 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Stapledon, (William) Olaf (1886–1950), philosopher and science fiction writer, was born at 49 Falkland Road, Poolton cum Seacombe, Cheshire, on 10 May 1886, the only child of William Clibbett Stapledon (1860–1932) and his wife, Emmeline, née Miller (1852–1935). His father worked for fifty years in the ...

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Taine, Hippolyte Adolphe (1828–1893), philosopher, critic, and historian, was born on 12 April 1828 at Vouziers in the Ardennes, the only son and first of three children of Jean-Baptiste Taine (d. 1841), a lawyer, and his wife, Virginie, née Bezanson (1800–1880). He was educated in ...

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Walsh, William Henry (1913–1986), philosopher, was born on 10 December 1913 at 505 Harehills Lane, Leeds, the only son and the eldest of the three children of Fred Walsh (1895–1979), master baker and confectioner, and his wife, Mary, née Stephens (1897–1965). After attending ...

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Edvard Alexander Westermarck (1862–1939) by M. E., 1913 by courtesy of London School of Economics

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Westermarck, Edvard Alexander [Edward] (1862–1939), anthropologist, sociologist, and philosopher, was born in Helsinki, Finland, on 20 November 1862, the third son and fourth of five children of Constance Gustava Maria Blomqvist (1830–1909) and Nils Christian Westermarck (1826–1904), whose family can be traced to seventeenth-century farmers in ...

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Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) by Walter Stoneman, 1917 © National Portrait Gallery, London