Alexander Moiseyevich Piatigorsky was a Soviet dissident, Russian philosopher, scholar of South Asian philosophy and culture, historian, philologist, semiotician, writer. Well-versed in the study of language, he knew Sanskrit, Tamil, Pali, Tibetan, German, Russian, French, Italian and English. In an obituary appearing in the English-language newspaper The Guardian, he was cited as «a man who was widely considered to be one of the more significant thinkers of the age and Russia's greatest philosopher.» On Russian television stations he was mourned as «the greatest Russian philosopher».