Has anybody made such analysis? It would be interesting to know the position of the majority of philosophers regarding metaphysics/mythology/religion, maybe by region and/or period.

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    Most contemporary philosophers are atheists. Here's a summary of a recent study: commonsenseatheism.com/?p=13371 . It'd be much harder to say the same going back historically (both because percentages have probably changed and the task of cataloging everyone -- including people whose views don't fit with atheist / monotheist / polytheist divide).
    – virmaior
    Oct 20, 2017 at 5:44
  • We know religious ideas/theories of many philosophers... Why do you think that a statistics is relevant ? Oct 20, 2017 at 7:27
  • @virmaior It could be very hard, but what great work is not? And if some views don't fit this three categories (I agree that some won't), one can always add more categories to a categorical classification. About this recent study, see my comment on the answer below.
    – Rodrigo
    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:35
  • @MauroALLEGRANZA In biology, we have descriptions of every known species, still the number of species in each group is an important information. Considering that religion is the main social aggregator (above nationality, race and language), I wonder how such statistics would NOT be relevant?
    – Rodrigo
    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:40
  • Please refrain from adding deleted comments back. They were deleted for a reason. If anything is unclear, ask on meta.
    – user2953
    Oct 21, 2017 at 5:12

2 Answers 2


According to the philpapers survey, 78% of the participating philosophers said they accept or lean towards atheism. 14% accept or lean towards theism, and the rest went into 'Other' with 12.6%. You can find the survey here: https://philpapers.org/surveys/results.pl

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    Look at Nationality to see how biased is this research: 59% of respondents are from USA and UK. If you add Canada, Australia and Germany, this goes up to 75%. Even more, it's strange how most Western philosophers seem to "accept or lean toward" atheism, but questions and answers deprecating monotheism are usually not well accepted on this site.
    – Rodrigo
    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:10
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    @Rodrigo it's also not quite right to refer to this as "research", or, at least, it could be misleading. It was a survey (I believe I was among the respondents), but no real research methodology was applied to try to separate "signal" from "noise". Just a list of questions and stats concerning respondents' answers to them. It was more in the spirit of "what's your favorite ice cream" type polling than serious survey based statistical research. I'm sure it contains some interesting insights, but I wouldn't lean super heavily on it in drawing substantive conclusions.
    – Dennis
    Oct 25, 2017 at 3:55

While it is difficult to put a firm date on it, more and more philosophers became atheists with the dawn of the scientific revolution and the subsequent waning of the Catholic Church's influence over philosophical thought. Some may date this as early as the 1500s or later (1700s). Suffice it to say that as science grew so did an atheistic outlook from philosophers. Now, of course, there were (and are) exceptions as there were ancient Greek philosophers who were atheist (Empedocles) and modern philosophers who were not (Antony Flew). There have been several surveys conducted, the validity of which can be debated endlessly. After reading a few of these surveys, I would put the percentage of atheist philosophers between 62-72%. The rest are roughly divided evenly between theists and "other".

What percentage of philosophers believe in God?

Why 62% of Philosophers are Atheists (Part I)

The Largest-Ever Survey of Philosophers: What Do They Believe?

Why Are So Many Scientists And Philosophers Atheists?

Philosophers mentioned above (for further reading):


Antony Flew

Demographics related to atheism can be found on Wikipedia:

Atheism and Demographics

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    The last two are not surveys and the first four refer to the same Berget-Chalmers's poll linked in Lukas's answer, with 62% accepting, and 11% more leaning towards, atheism. The problem with this survey is well known, the bulk of participants are analytic philosophers from English speaking countries (where philosophy always leaned towards empiricism). So I am afraid your "estimate" comes from a single poll and at best applies to this special group. I wonder if continental and /or non-Anglophone philosophers display a different pattern.
    – Conifold
    Oct 22, 2017 at 23:20
  • The last two links were meant to support the claims made about the philosophers mentioned in the response. I realize there is overlap and I do mention that the findings are "debatable". And, 'yes', I too would be interested in different patterns that may come up across various ethnic/cultural groups. I'll have to look to see if I can find such a study. If I do, I'll add it to my response this question. To
    – tale852150
    Oct 22, 2017 at 23:25

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