The poll, recall, was limited to philosophers who did their most important work in the post-War period and, with respect to living philosophers, those sixty or older. With over 300 votes cast in the second iteration of the poll, here are the results:
|1. John Rawls (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)|
|2. Bernard Williams loses to John Rawls by 186–56|
|3. Derek Parfit loses to John Rawls by 189–49, loses to Bernard Williams by 135–96|
|4. G.E.M. Anscombe loses to John Rawls by 195–45, loses to Derek Parfit by 137–85|
|5. Thomas Nagel loses to John Rawls by 210–25, loses to G.E.M. Anscombe by 105–101|
|6. Philippa Foot loses to John Rawls by 210–28, loses to Thomas Nagel by 103–89|
|7. H.L.A. Hart loses to John Rawls by 209–18, loses to Philippa Foot by 100–85|
|8. Robert Nozick loses to John Rawls by 217–18, loses to H.L.A. Hart by 98–95|
|9. Peter Singer loses to John Rawls by 205–27, loses to Robert Nozick by 115–88|
|10. T.M. Scanlon loses to John Rawls by 220–9, loses to Peter Singer by 97–87|
|11. Ronald Dworkin loses to John Rawls by 221–11, loses to T.M. Scanlon by 102–76|
|12. G.A. Cohen loses to John Rawls by 219–13, loses to Ronald Dworkin by 96–76|
|13. Amartya Sen loses to John Rawls by 219–16, loses to G.A. Cohen by 98–87|
|14. Joseph Raz loses to John Rawls by 206–21, loses to Amartya Sen by 97–76|
|15. Judith Jarvis Thomson loses to John Rawls by 218–16, loses to Amartya Sen by 97–84|
|16. Martha Nussbaum loses to John Rawls by 210–19, loses to Judith Jarvis Thomson by 94–91|
|17. Isaiah Berlin loses to John Rawls by 214–18, loses to Martha Nussbaum by 91–83|
|18. Christine Korsgaard loses to John Rawls by 218–13, loses to Isaiah Berlin by 95–78|
|19. Alasdair MacIntyre loses to John Rawls by 212–25, loses to Christine Korsgaard by 93–86|
|20. R.M. Hare loses to John Rawls by 213–16, loses to Isaiah Berlin by 88–78|
Falling just outside the top twenty were Harry Frankfurt, Joel Feinberg, J.L. Mackie, Charles Taylor, and Allan Gibbard.
Among still living philosophers, the top ten were Derek Parfit, Thomas Nagel, Peter Singer, T.M. Scanlon, Amartya Sen, Joseph Raz, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Martha Nussbaum, Christine Korsgaard, and Alasdaiar MacIntyre.
The particular ordinal ranking aside, overall this doesn't seem that surprising, at least to me. Of course, it is more interesting as a sociological artifact than a philosophical one. Philosophically, it seems to me the most important work of the post-war period in ethics was Stevenson's Ethics and Language, but his conception of moral philosophy is now so far out of fashion that he didn't even make the top 40 in the first iteration of the poll.
Thoughts from readers on either the sociology or the philosophical merits?