Famous Philosphy Students


Famous Philosophy Majors and Minors
+=graduate studies

Cinema and Stage

1. Wes Anderson (Filmmaker)
2. Ethan Coen (Filmmaker)
3. +Terence Malick (Filmmaker)
4. +Errol Morris (Filmmaker)
5. +Pascal Bonitzer (Filmaker)
6. Bill Condon (Filmmaker)
7. Duncan Jones (Filmmaker)
8. Jordan Roth (Broadway producer)
9. Ricky Gervais (actor/director/comedian/author)
10. Martha Mariana Castro (actress—in Mexican cinema)



1. Steve Reich (Composer)
2. Gavin Bryars (Composer)
3. Al Schnier (musician—Guitarist, MOE)
4. Leah Buckareff (artist, musician—bassist, Nadja)
5. Kim Thayil (Musician–Guitarist, Soundgarden)
6. Philip Glass (Composer)


Literature and Art

1. +John Koethe (Poet and Philosopher)
2. Jeremy Dyson (comedy writer and novelist)
3. Umberto Eco (Novelist and Literary Critic)
4. +Iris Murdoch (Novelist and Philosopher)
5. Elmore Leonard (Novelist)
6. +Jean-Paul Sartre (Philosopher, Novelist, and Activist)
7. +Simon De Beauvoir (Philosopher, Novelist, and Activist)
8. T.S. Eliot (Poet, dramatist, and literary critic)
9. +Chaim Potok (Philosopher, Novelist, Rabbi)
10. Li Ang (writer)
11. Nina Bawden (children’s writer)
12. Helen Bevington (poet, essayist, and English professor)
13. Mary Higgins Clark (novelist)
14. Ken Follett (novelist)
15. Michael Frayn (novelist and playwright)
16. +Rebecca Goldstein (writer of fiction and Philosopher)
17. Fred Sandback (Sculptor)
18. Robert Motherwell (Painter)
19. Freeman Patterson (Photographer)
20. David Foster Wallace (Novelist and Essayist)



1. Juan Williams (Journalist)
2. Martin Gardner (Science Writer—Scientific American)
3. Christy Haubegger (Founding Editor of Latina magazine)
4. Christopher Hitchens (investigative journalist and essayist)
5. +Miehael Lerner (Activist, Rabbi, and Founding Editor of Tikkun magazine)
6. Katha Pollitt (Essayist and Poet)
7. Susan Sontag (Essayist)
8. +Arthur Danto (Art Critic for The Nation, Philosopher)
9. +Cornel West (Activist, Essayist, Philosopher)
10. Stone Phillips (NBC News Anchor)
11. Gene Siskel (movie crtic)


Law and Politics

1. +Lawrence Lessig (law professor and open-source advocate)
2. Stephen Breyer (Supreme Court Justice)
3. *Robert McNamara (former Secretary of Defense)
4. *Rudolph Giuliani (Politician)
5. David Souter (Supreme Court Justice)
6. +William Bennett (former Secretary of Education and Drug Czar, Conservative Pundit)
7. +Angela Davis (Activist and Philosopher)
8. +Bob Moses (Civil Rights Activist and Philosopher)
9. Segundo Ruiz Belviz (19th-century Puerto Rican abolitionist, supporter of independence, and attorney)
10. William Alexander Blaikie (Cleric and Canadian politican)
11. Philippe Busquin (Belgian politician and former European Union Commissioner for Research)
12. Stokely Carmichael (civil rights activist)
13. +Beverley McLachlin (Chief Justice of Canada)
14. Subcomandante Marcos (leader of the Zapatistas)
15. Howard Hampton (Canadian politician)
16. Cal Cunningham (attorney and politician)
17. Richard Riordan (former Mayor of Los Angeles)
18. Aung San Suu Kyi (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Leader of Burmese Liberation Movement)


Business and Finance

1. Carl Icahn (Billionaire financier)
2. Frank Moran (late board chairperson of Platne and Moran, LLP, national accounting firm)
3. Dov Seidman (CEO of LRN and contributing writer at Business Week)
4. George Soros (financier and philanthropist)
5. +Matthew Stewart (former management consultant, essayist, philosopher)
6. Carleton (Carly) S. Fiorina (businesswoman and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard)
7. Tim Collins (financier and businessman—CEO of Ripplewood Holdings, LLC)


Academia (outside of Philosophy)

1. Andrew Michael Spence (Economist and Nobel Laureate in Economics)
2. +Bruno Bettelheim (psychologist and early specialist on autism)
3. Robert Heilbroner (economist)
4. Cayetano Coll y Toste (historian)
5. +Charles Dougherty (president of Duquesne University)



1. Karol Wojtyla, aka, Pope John Paul II (Bishop, Theologian, and Philosopher)
2. +Carolyn Tanner Irish (Bishop for Diocese of Utah, Episcopal Church, U.S.A.—one of only 12 female bishops in the Anglican Communion)



1. Alex Trebeck (host of Jeopardy)
2. +Myles Brand (President of the NCAA and Philosopher)
3. +John Bradshaw (motivational speaker)
4. Michael Cranford (game designer and game programmer)
5. William Crawley (BBC Ulster radio personality)
6. Phil Jackson (coach of the Los Angeles Lakers)


People Who Did Not Complete Their Degrees

1. Steve Martin (Actor and Comedian)
2. Harrison Ford (Actor)
3. Richard Gere (Actor)


Source: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2011/03/famous-philosophy-majors.html?cid=6a00d8341c2e6353ef0147e3276c3b970b#comment-6a00d8341c2e6353ef0147e3276c3b970b