Log in

View Full Version : Books on philosophy

May 6th, 2009, 11:15 PM
Can anyone reccomend some books on philosophy?
So far I've only read Introducing Philosophy: Fifth Edition by Robert C. Solomon, and haven't taken any college courses on the subject.

Tsar Phalanxia
May 6th, 2009, 11:19 PM
I read Philosophy for Dummies. He's a Christian philosopher, so I didn't agree with some of his arguments, but it was good practice for putting the against an imaginary debator, and he has some funny anecdotes as well.

May 7th, 2009, 12:30 AM
Have you read Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder?

Good introduction and an easy read - good story too :D

May 7th, 2009, 01:00 AM
plato anyone? just putting it out there...

May 7th, 2009, 01:09 AM
plato anyone? just putting it out there...

Sure, but Sophie's World is written as an easy intro. Plato isn't quite that easy and Aristophanes lived in cloud cuckoo land. Probably the reason why barbecues were invented :D

May 7th, 2009, 01:11 AM
plato anyone? just putting it out there...
Yea I was debating on reading the Republic or not, if anyone could recommend a translation, that would be great :P

May 7th, 2009, 01:16 AM
I own the Jowett translation. (actually, its still due at the library... from 3 years ago....)

Al Farabi
May 8th, 2009, 08:15 AM
Here's a survey of what I think are some of the most important philosophical texts. Obviously I recommend everyone read them all, but realistically you should try to get a few from each time period and consider how they all fit together.

Start with the one's you've heard of and move from there, and I recommend you read Husserl before Heidegger (He helps make it less confusing). Other than that, have fun!

In roughly Chronological Order:

Classical Texts

The Pyramid Texts
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Bible
The Odyssey
The Presocratics Reader (penguin)
The Oresteia by Aeschylus
The Republic of Plato
The Nature of the Universe (Lucretius)
Aristotle's Metaphysics
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
The Aeneid (Virgil)
The Secret Dialogue of Hermes Trismegistus

Middle Ages Texts

Ennead by Plotinus
Augustine's Confessions
Al Farabi's The Perfect State
Moses Maimonedes' Guide to the Perplex
Dante's Divine Comedy
Aquinas' Summa Theologicae
Nicholas of Cusa's On The Peaceful Unity of Faith

Rennaissance and Reformation

Pico della Mirandola's On the Dignity of Man
Machiavelli's The Prince
Erasmus' The Praise of Folly
More's Utopia
Martin Luther's Disputation against Scholastic Theology
Marlowe's Doctor Faustus
Calvin's The INstitutes of the Christian Religion
Luther's On The War Against the Turk
Copernicus' On The Revolutions
Las Casas' History of the Indies
Confucius's The Analects (Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy)
Boethius (Anything he's amazing)
Rabelais' Gargantua
Gallileo Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems
Shakespeare (as much as you can get your hands on)
Montaigne's Essays

The Age of Reason

Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy
Madame de Lafayette's The Princess ode Cleves
Spinoza's The Ethics
Locke's The Second Treatise of Government
Newton's The Principia: Mathematical principles of natural philosophy
Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
La Mettrie's Man a Machine
Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, On The Social Contract
Kant's Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals
Jacobi's Concerning the Doctorine of Spinoza in Letters to Moses Mendelssohn

The Era of Revolutions

Robespierre's Virtue and Terror
Schiller's On the Aesthetic Education of Man
Shelly's Frankenstein
Hegel's The Philosophy of History
Karl Marx's The Communist Manifesto
Soren Kierkegaard's The Present Age
Beaudilaire's The Painter of Modern Life
Mill's The Subjection of Women
Darwin's On The Origin of Species
Bizet's Carmen
Nietche's The Twilight of the Idols
Einstein's Principles of Research, and Autobiographical Notes, and The Rise of The Mechanical View (and anything else, but those especially)
DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk
Mann's A Death In Venice

Contemporary Texts

Kafka's Before The Law
A General Selection from the Works of Sigmund Freud
Eliot's The Wasteland
Husserl's The Crisis of European Sciences
Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
Heidegger's What is Metaphysics? and The Question COncerning Technology
Foster's Who's Afraid of the Avant Garde
Guttenplan's The Holocaust on Trial
Sartre's Dirty Hands
Simone de Beauvoire's The Second Sex

Tsar Phalanxia
May 8th, 2009, 09:42 AM
Wow. That's quite a list.

May 8th, 2009, 10:36 AM
I'd start with introductory books first. Philosophy for dummies would be a good one, like Tsar Phalanxia said.

Leave the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers until later, if you're not mind numblingly bored by philosophy when you've read a couple of introductory books.

Al Farabi
May 9th, 2009, 08:24 AM
Hehe yeah got a bit carried away there...

May 11th, 2009, 12:30 PM
Great list Al, I'll def try to pick some of those up

May 13th, 2009, 10:13 AM
You could try an anthology of critical theory.

I have a big one and it's pretty insightful. Otherwise, you could go to a college bookstore and ask to see the section on philosophy where the students buy their texts for school. Then, you could write down the names of the ones you find interesting and search for comparable titles on amazon and half.com

Buy used, or public library. Then, resell online.
Friends of the Library has nice sales, or a good large used bookstore section on a topic. Applies to any topic.


sam the moderately wize
May 13th, 2009, 12:02 PM
Have you read Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder?

Good introduction and an easy read - good story too :D

Kudos to Loki!

I have a penchant for fiction/philosophy combinations; Camus is brilliant here. L'Étranger (The Outsider) is a good place to start, and has the advantage of being both short and awesome.