Give an example of a historical figure who has used philosophy for a good cause.I need to present historical evidences or figures to Support of Philosophy. There are many historical figure that...

Give an example of a historical figure who has used philosophy for a good cause.

I need to present historical evidences or figures to Support of Philosophy. There are many historical figure that misused philosophy, but I'm looking for historical figure that used philosophy for good cause.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of course, you have to define for yourself what a "good" cause is.  To me, the first person that comes to mind using philosophy for a good cause is Thomas Jefferson (and many of the other founders of the United States).  Jefferson used the political philosophies of people like Locke and Montesquieu to create the Declaration of Independence and the other founders used these ideas to create the US constitution.  This, to me, is a use of philosophy for a good purpose.

Another possible example would be Mohandas Gandhi in India.  He used ideas from Thoreau and others to create his philosophy of nonviolent resistance.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Read Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail.  In it, he quotes very effectively from Reinhold Niebuhr, a German philosopher, and Martin Buber, not to mention St. Thomas Aquinas, all important and respected philosophers and researchers.  It demonstrated that his was not only a moral cause but a philosophical one as well.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

How about Mahatma Ghandi? His philosophy was used to great effect to protest against the Indian Raj, and his approach was also adopted by other civil rights campaigners such as Martin Luther King. His approach to how he protested is really interesting and highly effective, effectively accelerating the end of the British Raj in India.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Someone above mentioned Thoreau, a person who advocated living a simpler life and knowing one's self in order to find satisfaction. His fellow Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson advocated civil disobedience. These are philosophies which have been adopted and adapted by all kinds of people throughout history.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used philosophy for a good cause, if you consider the Civil Rights Movement as a war of ideas. By changing the perspective from status quo to the American Dream, he built a strong following. He also popularized the concept of using civil disobedience to make a point.
lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think another great example of someone who used his philosophy for good would be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His philosophy of non violence resistance was very positive for the civil rights movement in the United States.

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