8 Philosophy Books You Need to Read



Love your breakdown! It’s a great list. One comment: ‘Critique of Pure Reason’ and ‘Being and Time’ are two of the most important and influential philosophy texts of all time; they’re also two of the most difficult (add in Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’ and you have the whole trifecta). I wouldn’t push beginning philosophy readers into that deep end just yet; they’ll catch their death of German. More concise introductions to those philosophers' thoughts are Kant’s ‘Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics’ and Heidegger’s essay “What is Metaphysics?". In addition, regarding the order of presentation, I’d read Descartes before Hume and Wittgenstein before Ayer (order of who influenced who). To this list I’d add Nietzsche’s ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’ (particularly if your tastes are more toward literature than straightforward philosophy). Solid runners-up include Spinoza’s ‘Ethics’, Kierkegaard’s ‘Concluding Unscientific Postscript’, and Bertrand Russell’s ‘The Problems of Philosophy’. Anyone interested in more contemporary, life-relevant philosophical thought could benefit from Robert Nozick’s ‘The Examined Life’.

7 Philosophy Books for Beginners


5 Philosophy Books For Beginners - Continental Edition



As a philosophy major, I recommend:

1 - Philosophy 101 by Paul Klienman

2 - Philosophy of the Mind: A Beginner’s Guide by Ian Ravenscroft

3 - First Meditations by Descartes

4 - Epistemology by Fumerton

5 - The Analects by Confucius

Online, use the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and Crash Course Philosophy. Both are great for ultra beginners.

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