Some reflections on the concept of Philosophical Canon

The canon of Western philosophy was formulated in the histories written during the 19th. century, without much controversy since the historians built on a consensus long established. In this article it is argued that Aristotle and Kant are the central names in this canon whereas Plato, with his strong artistic tendencies, is seen as a source of canonical restlessness. In recent times, Martin Heidegger has confirmed and reinforced the canon that was conceived during the 19th. century. H. C. Ørsted and S. Kierkegaard, two Danish writers in the late romantic period, are discussed as a case study of how the wider culture contributes to philosophical canonization in the modern age.

Keywords: the philosophical canon, Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Murdoch, Heidegger, Ørsted, Kierkegaard