Philosophy is a discipline that has been around for centuries, with a rich history of influential thinkers and profound ideas. While some philosophers and their works are well-known and widely studied, there are many lesser-known gems that have been overlooked or forgotten over time. In this article, we will explore some of these forgotten philosophical gems and shed light on their importance and relevance in today’s world.

The Importance of Rediscovering Forgotten Philosophical Works

Rediscovering forgotten philosophical works is important for several reasons. Firstly, it allows us to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the history of philosophy and the development of ideas over time. By exploring the works of lesser-known philosophers, we can see how their ideas influenced and shaped the more well-known thinkers of their time.

Additionally, uncovering forgotten philosophical gems can provide fresh insights and perspectives on contemporary issues. Many of the ideas put forth by these overlooked thinkers are still relevant today, and studying their works can help us to think critically about our own beliefs and assumptions.

Examples of Forgotten Philosophical Gems

1. Hypatia of Alexandria

Hypatia of Alexandria was a renowned mathematician and philosopher who lived in the 4th century CE. She was one of the first female mathematicians and philosophers in history and made significant contributions to the fields of mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. Hypatia’s works were largely destroyed during the religious conflicts of her time, but some fragments of her writings have survived. Her ideas on logic, ethics, and the nature of the universe are still studied and debated by scholars today.

2. Ibn Rushd

Ibn Rushd, also known as Averroes, was a medieval Islamic philosopher who lived in Spain in the 12th century. He was a polymath who made important contributions to the fields of philosophy, theology, and medicine. Ibn Rushd’s works were influential in both the Islamic and Western worlds, but he fell out of favor in later centuries. His ideas on reason, faith, and the relationship between religion and philosophy are still relevant today and are being rediscovered by modern scholars.

3. Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft was an 18th-century British philosopher and feminist who is best known for her work “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.” Wollstonecraft argued for the equal rights and education of women, making her a pioneering figure in the feminist movement. While her ideas were controversial in her time, they laid the groundwork for the feminist philosophy that would follow. Wollstonecraft’s work is still studied and celebrated by feminists and philosophers today.


Q: Why are these philosophical gems considered forgotten?

A: Many of these lesser-known philosophers were overshadowed by more famous thinkers of their time or were marginalized due to their gender, race, or religious beliefs. Additionally, political and religious conflicts throughout history have led to the destruction or suppression of many philosophical works.

Q: How can we uncover forgotten philosophical gems?

A: Uncovering forgotten philosophical gems involves researching lesser-known philosophers and their works, studying historical documents and archives, and engaging in interdisciplinary scholarship. By shining a light on these overlooked thinkers, we can bring their ideas back into the philosophical conversation.

Q: Why is it important to study forgotten philosophical works?

A: Studying forgotten philosophical works allows us to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the history of philosophy and the development of ideas over time. It also provides fresh insights and perspectives on contemporary issues and helps us to think critically about our own beliefs and assumptions.