Philosophy books?

I find the whole topic of philosophy interesting. I enjoy reading small articles about random schools of thought and what not. Anybody read any good books regarding philosophy? I'm not interested in anything really specific, just something intriguing.

Start with Plato. It's an easy read and the philosophy comes wrapped in a story about his early days as Socrates' student. I really enjoyed it. After that, it helps to pick a branch of philosophy to study, be it metaphysics or ethics or whathaveyou. I'm fond of ethics and epistemology (the study of knowledge, how we know what we think we know).

I like Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenence and Shop Class as Soulcraft..

I dug both those books. Not really philosophy, but read them anyway.

Billy, are you on ChopCult? I heard about Shop Class As Soulcraft there, when Caleb Owens blogged about it.

I really like all the books by Daniel Dennett that I've read so far.

I was in the same position as you, not long ago. Just being curious about philosophy lead me to his books. I really enjoyed Freedom Evolves, I had a serious revelation moment while reading that. Life changing.

No I haven't been on there.. checking it out now. Looks like an awesome site

Coming in a little late here, as I can't resist commenting about Philosophy.  I began reading Philosophy in High School, later picking it as one of my majors in college.  I stand with @AustinMark in that Plato is always a good starting point, particularly "The Republic" and the "The Symposium."  But they can be a little hefty depending on your background, you may want to try  these:  Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo.

 Decartes' "Meditations" are an excellent read for most people, formative for a huge amount of Western thinking.  If you like you can jump into more contemporary Philosophy as well, but it may be difficult without the past understanding.

NYTimes has a philosphy opinion section of sorts:

There's also tons of history of Philosophy books that introduce you to the ideas in brief, usually up until ~1950, from there you could read whomever you found interesting.  I haven't read these, except the last, but they appear decent:

If anyone ever wants to chat Philosophy, then lemme know.

Carl Jung, Whitehead, Hermes Trismugistus (epic!), yeah Plato, Terence McKenna's work i would highly recommend. Kant.

Might sound wierd but - James Joyce "Ulysses", Salmon Rushdie "The Satanic Verses".

I think Plato's Republic is one of those "required" readings. Everything else is purely taste. Personally, my undergraduate degree is philosophy was a focus on math and logic so I was interested in Cantor, Tarski, Gödel, Russell, Kripke, Frege, Turing, etc. If continental philosophy is more your speed then Phenomenology has never been hotter. Specifically, authors like Heidegger and Husserl. I haven't suggested any specific books because if you aren't interested in the field of thought then you simply won't read the books lol. Reading Philosophy is slow going because it's dense so you've got to be interested in what you're reading. For me, Sartre was like trudging through an endless desert.. so masturbatory and boring. So, I'd ask you to think of something specific that interests you or else you're likely to buy a book and put it down quickly.

Kant is nice, Kierkagaard can be cool as well. I dig 1950s french literature that some people say has a philospohical angle, but I do not get it. I jsut dig Celine.


Get some philosphy textbook-type stuff fgrom the library and look for what interests you.

"If anyone ever wants to chat Philosophy, then lemme know."

I sure would like to.

Ive never been big on philosophy, but I read Sophies World... I dont know how good it is for a philosophy book, but I enjoyed it.

I can't believe nobody has talked about Nietzsche especially if you like vitalist philosophy. Any of his books are good,Thus Spake Zarathustra is an aweseome read. Currently reading Beyond Good and Evil. 

If you'd like something accessible to being with, Alain de Botton's "Consolations of Philosophy" was an enjoyable read. His focus on philosophy for happiness is also something I think is important - as interesting as epistemological thought is, it is largely tautologous in nature.

I would recommend to read some books by Alan Watts. Who is a renown observer of eastern religions.

Also maybe it would be helpful to listen to some of his recordings from the 60s; really anything by him seems to be interesting.


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I personally found A. C. Grayling's books rather interesting. Some of his work includes 'The Meaning of Things' and 'The Heart of Things' - Both fascinating philosophical books. 

Also for a bit of a more 'light read' id suggest the somewhat popular book, Sophie's World. You didn't mention much about your previous knowledge of Philosophy so this would give you a pretty good intriguing history into it.

Happy Book Hunting :D

If you like free, and are looking at anarchy/self ownership there is I like them.

Is this thread still of topical interest? Because I have a dump of books that I think you all will enjoy.