Obviously, the property you should be interested in here is fame. Below a ranking of the philosophers included in Leiter's list, sorted by fame (measured in dBHa, the international logarithmic unit of fame, see Schulman 2009).


The top 8 are [Russell is number one] B-list celebrities, 9-31 are C-list, by Schulman's standard.

Leaving aside how mind boggling it is that there is a quantitative measure of "fame" or indeed why anyone would want to be a philosopher if the best they could ever genuinely hope for is a panel game show host (I'm looking at you Elizabeth Anscombe), I wondered: is there a quantitative measure for a philosopher's skill?

  • 2
    I cannot imagine how to define it... :-( Commented Nov 28, 2021 at 16:49
  • 1
    For meaningful comparison of "skill" the field would have to be much more narrow than "20th century philosophers". Comparing "skills" of Wittgenstein and Heidegger, for example, is beyond apples and oranges. The same applies even if "philosophers" are replaced by "mathematicians", for whom "skill" is arguably more salient. But here is "25 Most Influential Philosophers of All Time" that uses influence score methodology different from Schulman's.
    – Conifold
    Commented Nov 29, 2021 at 6:56
  • I agree it's difficult to compare philosophers, but there is such a thing as "skill" here in the same way that Henry viii was important and a poet @Conifold
    – user56815
    Commented Nov 29, 2021 at 16:24
  • stop voting down for spurious reason FFS this is just popularity
    – user56815
    Commented Nov 29, 2021 at 17:44
  • I know I'm unpopular, I know you don't like me or my questions, but look to yourself for a moment, for one time please...
    – user56815
    Commented Nov 29, 2021 at 17:47


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