Without having studied philosophy but as a hobby philosopher I would argue that no modern philosph has written such basic texts as Socrates.Most philosophical themes have been thought through a hundred times over the last few millennia. If you take the word “modern” a little further (from 1500) there are definitely some great thinkers like Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Lessing, Schopenhauer,… which have really brought completely new thoughts into the world.If you want to hear the one modern philosopher, I would say immanuel Kant unequivocally.No one else has shaped modernity more than he has.
Nevertheless, here are some thinkers from recent times and the present who (at least for me) have basically brought new things into philosophy:
- Ludwig Wittgenstein – has made the language itself the subject of philosophy “All philosophy is ‘language criticism.” It is only when we understand our language that we can grasp the world.
- Bruno Latour – Founder of the actor network theory.
“Everything is an actor” Latour wants to dissolve the “separation” between the various theories and, above all, between the humanities and the natural sciences. The modern world separates reality into different areas of knowledge, although there is actually only one reality. For example, when describing a phenomenon such as climate change, you need the knowledge of a chemist, a physicist, a political scientist, a biologist, and an anthroposophist, all of whom can write their own theory on the subject. However, the theories are often not compatible or use the same words for different things or show everything only from a perspective. The ANT tries to create a theoretical building in which one can consider everything at the same time and thus describes a phenomenon “entirely”.
It is about the fact that the abysmal evil is not an extraordinary and often not a conscious decision, but when the circumstances are perceived by the perpetrators as quite normal and correct. Morality therefore requires not only “good” people, but above all the right social framework.
Basically, it can be said that modern philosophy is much less familiar with human senses and logic than classical philosophy.There is also a strong influence on the natural sciences, in addition to neurology and psychology. At the same time, philosophers today have a much more solid factual basis on which to build their theories. Actually, these are exciting times for philosphes, but unfortunately hardly anyone notices that…
As I said, it’s just a hobby, I’m sure others can answer the question better.