History Timeline


9 - Modern Philosophy and Modern Theology

Friedrich Nietzsche

1844 - 1900

German philologist, philosopher, cultural critic, poet and composer. He wrote several critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism.

Albert Schweitzer

1875 - 1965

German—and later French—theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary in Africa, also known for his interpretive life of Jesus.

  • The Quest for the Historical Jesus (1906)

Karl Jaspers

1883 - 1969

German existentialist. Had a great impact on the thought and the life forms which have followed the avenue of existential thought.

Paul Tillich

1886 - 1965

German-American Christian existentialist philosopher and theologian.

  • The Courage To Be (1952)
  • Dynamics of Faith (1957)

Martin Heidegger

1889 - 1976

German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being"

Aidous Huxley

1894 - 1963

English writer and a prominent member of the Huxley family.

  • Brave New World (1932)
  • The Doors of Perception (1956)
  • Heaven and Hell (1956)
  • Humanist Frame (1961)

Andre Malraux

1901 - 1976

French novelist, art theorist and Minister for Cultural Affairs.

  • The Voices of Silence (1953)
  • An Introduction to Metaphysics (1953)
  • Essays in Metaphysics (1953)

Salvador Dali

1904 - 1989

Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres, Spain. Focused on the theme of "surrealism".

Jean-Paul Sartre

1905 - 1980

French philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism.

Albert Camus

1913 - 1960

French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist, and philosopher. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism.

  • Wrote the Algerian Manifesto (1960)

10 - Modern Art, Music, Literature, and Films

Edward Gibbon

1737 - 1794

An English historian and Member of Parliament. His most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788

Auguste Comte

1798 - 1857

A French philosopher. He was a founder of the discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism.

Richard Wagner

1813 - 1883

a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is primarily known for his operas

Herbert Spencer

1820 - 1903

An English philosopher, biologist, anthropologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era

Camille Pissarro

1830 - 1903

A Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas. His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

Edgar Degas

1834 - 1917

A French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He is especially identified with the subject of dance

Paul Cezanne

1839 - 1906

A French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century

Claude Monet

1840 - 1926

A founder of French Impressionist painting

Pierre Auguste Renoir

1841 - 1903

A French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style

Paul Gauguin

1848 - 1903

A leading French Post-Impressionist artist who was not well appreciated until after his death

Vincent Van Gogh

1853 - 1890

A post-Impressionist painter of Dutch origin whose work, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty and bold color, had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art

Gustav Mahler

1860 - 1911

A late-Romantic Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation

Claude Debussy

1862 - 1918

A French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures associated with Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions

Wassily Kandinsky

1866 - 1944

An influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting the first purely abstract works. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa

Piet Mondrian

1872 - 1944

A Dutch painter. He was an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group

Arnold Schoenberg

1874 - 1951

An Austrian composer and painter, associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School

- Alban Berg (1885-1935)
- Anton Webern (1883-1945)
- John Cage (1912-)

Gertrude Stein

1875 - 1946

An American writer of novels, poetry and plays that eschewed the narrative, linear, and temporal conventions of 19th-century literature, and a fervent collector of Modernist art

Pablo Picasso

1881 - 1973

A Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France

  • Les Demoiselles d' Avignon (1907)

Hans Arp

1887 - 1966

A German-French, or Alsatian, sculptor, painter, poet and abstract artist in other media such as torn and pasted paper

Marcel Duchamp

1887 - 1969

A French-American painter, sculptor, chess player, and writer whose work is associated with Dadaism and conceptual art, although not directly associated with Dada groups

  • Nude Descending a Staircase (1912)

T. S. Eliot

1888 - 1965

An essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic and "one of the twentieth century's major poets."

Michael Polanyi

1891 - 1976

A Hungarian polymath, who made important theoretical contributions to physical chemistry, economics, and philosophy

Sir Archibald Russel

1905 - 1995

a British aerospace engineer who worked most of his career at the Bristol Aeroplane Company, before becoming managing director of the Filton Division when Bristol merged into British Aircraft Corporation in 1960

Edmund Leach

1910 - 1989

A British social anthropologist of whom it has been said:
"It is no exaggeration to say that in sheer versatility, originality, and range of writing he was and still is difficult to match among the anthropologists of the English speaking world"

Jackson Pollock

1912 - 1956

An influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. He was well known for his unique style of drip painting

Leonard Bernstein

1918 - 1990

An American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim

11 - Our Society

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

1841 - 1935

An American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932, and as Acting Chief Justice of the United States January–February 1930

Roscoe Pound

1870 - 1964

A distinguished American legal scholar and educator. He was Dean of Harvard Law School from 1916 to 1936. The Journal of Legal Studies has identified Pound as one of the most cited legal scholars of the 20th century

Frederick Moore Vinson

1890 - 1953

Served the United States in all three branches of government and was the most prominent member of the Vinson political family

Alfred Charles Kinsey

1894 - 1956

An American biologist, professor of entomology and zoology, and sexologist who in 1947 founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University

Max Horkheimer

1895 - 1973

A German philosopher and sociologist who was famous for his work in critical theory as a member of the 'Frankfurt School' of social research

Herbert Marcuse

1898 - 1979

A German American philosopher, sociologist, and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory.

Theodor Adorno

1903 - 1969

A German sociologist, philosopher and musicologist known for his critical theory of society

Alan Watts

1915 - 1973

A British-born philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

1918 - 2008

A Russian novelist, historian, and critic of Soviet totalitarianism. He helped to raise global awareness of the gulag and the Soviet Union's forced labour camp system

Daniel Bell

1919 - 2011

An American sociologist, writer, editor, and professor emeritus at Harvard University, best known for his contributions to the study of post-industrialism

Timothy Leary

1920 - 1996

An American psychologist and writer, known for his advocacy of psychedelic drugs.

Allen Ginsberg

1926 - 1997

An American poet and one of the leading figures of both the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the counterculture that soon would follow

Jürgen Habermas


A German sociologist and philosopher in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. He is perhaps best known for his theories on communicative rationality and the public sphere

Gary Snyder


An American man of letters. Perhaps best known as a poet, he is also an essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist. He has been described as the "poet laureate of Deep Ecology"

Jimi Hendrix

1942 - 1970

An American musician, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century