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In this post, we will be going through the top 10 philosophy books you must read if you are starting. Philosophy books can change your life. Even if you have already read a bunch of philosophy books, then don’t worry; you might find some books some exciting books that you have not read.
We will go from 10 to 1, and the last ones are my favorites. Stay tuned for the last ones. Let’s get started with the best philosophy books to start with:
Table of Contents
Top 10 Best Philosophy Books:
Socrates: A Man for Our Times by Paul Johnson
Written by Paul Johnson, The book is one of the best philosophy books out there. Socrates was one of the greatest thinkers of all time. Also, Socrates was one of the founders of western philosophy. This book portrays Socrates’ life story and his teachings. It’s not too long of a book, and the book is worth reading.
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Then we have The Art of War. This is really like a business classic. Even it was not written for business, but many people in business use these strategies because the book is really a good fit for that as well.
The book might be difficult to digest, but if you catch the principles, you will find the book interesting. Combined with tons of knowledge, the book is a must-read for everyone.
Letters From A Stoic By Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Anyone practicing stoicism must read it because it contains countless great experiences, lessons, and theories. Letters From a Stoic teaches us several ideas we can use in our everyday lives to get more things done, live with less stress.
Written by the philosopher Seneca, this book offers innumerable amazing experiences, teachings, and theories. My main lesson, though, is to concentrate on one task at a time.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius was the only Roman emperor who was also a philosopher. He had learned stoic philosophy and implemented it in his life. Aurelius strongly believes that everything originates from nature and it should be returned to nature in due time. Another significant subject is the need to hold attention and be free of distractions while sticking to strong ethical values such as “being a good human.”
So if you’re looking for something to read that’s not just another rehash of other books, you’ll want to get your hands on ‘Meditations.’ It is the only book of its type ever created, where the world’s most powerful man gives himself advice on how to do his job. This is one of the best modern philosophy books for beginners.
The Simpsons and Philosophy by William Irwin
The Simpsons is a unique and amusing introduction to the great Western philosophers’ concepts. Beyond humor, crudeness, and social critique, it is a deft display of sarcasm, social criticism, and philosophical reflection. The authors begin by examining the characters. Is it true that Homer exemplifies Aristotle’s character virtues? Bart exemplifies American pragmatism in what way? The book also looks at the show’s ethics and motifs, and it finishes with talks on how the series parallels the work of Aristotle, Marx, Camus, Sartre, and other intellectuals.
Discourses by Epictetus
Most ancient Stoic thinkers, such as Aristotle, Kant, and Socrates, originated from the upper classes; nevertheless, one of the most influential Stoics hailed from the lower classes.
Epictetus was born as a slave. Emperor Nero died in 68 CE, and Epictetus was granted his freedom. He dedicated his life to philosophy, lecturing to thousands of people in Rome and establishing a school in Greece. Epictetus students like Arrian studied his work thoroughly, and his writings on ancient philosophy have survived to this day.
The most important thing I took away from this book was to focus on what you can and cannot control. It’s similar to Meditations, but it goes into much greater depth regarding what you can and cannot manage. I discovered that merely ignoring circumstances over which you have no control eliminates practically all tension, worry, and problems from your life.
Beyond Good & Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
Nietzsche’s effort to summarize his philosophies. The book is divided into nine sections to provide the reader with a full understanding of Nietzsche’s philosophy and style.
Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes
René Descartes divides his book, Meditations on First Philosophy, into six meditations. This book was translated by Donald A. Cress.
On the first day, Jesus instructs the reader to abandon all belief in unguaranteed things. Following that, he attempts to determine what can be known for certain. This, like Meditations, is a classic and significant philosophical literature that you may read.
A New History Of Western Philosophy By Anthony Kenny
Anyone interested in Western philosophy should read this philosophy book. It can be compared to Bertrand Russell’s book A History of Western Philosophy, but much simpler to read. Kenny describes his thoughts intelligently and thoroughly. He also defends his points of view by explaining his reasons. This book is highly recommended.
On the Shortness of Life by Seneca
Life is short. Don’t be busy in foolish activities that do not make any sense. Some books have influenced the world throughout history. They have made us think. This book is one of these.
This will surely be one of the most insightful books you will read. The book is ideal for the ones who love philosophy and for anyone who wants to make the best of their lives. Life without philosophy is just not worth it.
Philosophy books are difficult to digest. They contain in-depth knowledge and also leave you with many unanswered questions. Many of these philosophical books need you to take your time with them, and you may need to read through them several times. And your intellect will continue to develop with each new book you read.
You should at least read a few of the books from the list. Those books will make you more intelligent, and you will surely get life lessons from those books.