American Philosophy: A Timeline

You may notice that some of the thinkers listed below are not ordinarily considered to be philosophers. We think their inclusion here is justified, however, because of the intellectual impact they had on the development of social and political thought in America as well as on the American culture in general.

1600-1699 William Penn
Samuel Johnson
Harvard University founded in 1636Microscope inventedHobbes, Locke, Newton 
1700-1750 Jonathan Edwards
Benjamin Franklin
John Adams
Thomas Paine

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Rush


Yale University founded in 1701Princeton University founded in 1736Berkeley, Hume 
1751-1799 William Ellery Channing
John C. Calhoun
Amos Bronson Alcott
Invention of the steam engine and the cotton ginAmerican RevolutionFrench RevolutionKant


1800-1850 Ralph Waldo Emerson
Abraham Lincoln
Henry Ward Beecher
Henry David Thoreau

Walt Whitman

Robert Green Ingersoll

George Holmes Howison

William Torrey Harris

Henry George

Charles Sanders Peirce

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

William James

John Fiske

Ambrose Bierce

Borden Parker Bowne


War with Great BritainMonroe DoctrineMexican WarThe railroad and the telegraph make their impact on American society



1851-1900 Felix Adler
Paul Carus
Josiah Royce
Thorstein Veblen

John Dewey

George Santayana

George Herbert Mead

Mary Whiton Calkins

Hugo Munsterberg

Frederick James Eugene Woodbridge

William McDougall

Morris R. Cohen


Charles DarwinThe War Between the StatesThomas Edison