As a general reflection on the nature of philosophy, thought and information systems – it is quite possible that valourising the individuals through which these ideas pass or from whom they putatively derive is a misleading inversion of, and distraction from, verifiable facts and is more symptomatic of cultural and consensus psychological expectations of teleology or linguistic convention than it is of any implicit necessity.
While individuals may creatively refine and optimally recombine from that “menu” and cognitive vocabulary or distributed network of concepts available to them, (and in so doing extend by inflection the logical diversity and depth of that same menu) this is admirable, substantive and often insightful but not necessarily unique in kind or essence. Admire an artist’s works, by all means, but do not attribute to them an ownership of the concept of art or of creativity.
The other (related) and ontologically self-gravitating fact of this domain is that we are all participant observers and fluctuating, transient nodes in a cascading shockwave and energy field composed of the logical self-replication of logical self-replication *itself*; of encoded information patterns passing through a transmission medium of minds, behaviours, distributed cognitive grammars, technologies and material culture. There are powerful ideas, but they occur as autonomous artefacts of complex emergence without ultimate ownership or any necessary anchor in subjectivity. Psychological factors generally inhibit perception of this.
There are no “best” ideas or thinkers, there are only procedurally-iterating “better” ones; similarly – there is no one true path through the forest of facts and any approach to truth in non-trivially sophisticated circumstances is always an asymptote.