Since 2008, acts for the diffusion of the philosophical thoughts. But his thought does provide an excellent introduction to — and example of — a Scholastic way of proceeding in philosophy. Take time to read and read again each paragraph, however. He also weaves together elements and arguments from Platonic, Aristotelian, and Stoic philosophy within a broader Christian context without ever mentioning Christianity. Unless you’re planning on dying fairly soon, you will have plenty of time for reading all sorts of other, later authors — and for going back to ancient and medieval writers I didn’t include. In fact, Voltaire revolutionizes the thought of happiness in this little tale: instead of looking for it in the Hereafter (that promise all religions), happiness is to be found “here and now”. In this test, much more accessible than Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche blames everything in his lower man (the herd instinct, nationalism, European civilization, Christian morality, …) and prevents it from being free, that is what prevents it from becoming himself. There are an entire host of objections one might make to this list (and feel free to do so in the comments section provided to you here). In fact, even the fluffiest of philosophy-lite airport kiosk books that more name-drop philosophy than actually discuss it — even that — can become the equivalent of a gateway drug to the harder (and far better) stuff. 3) Learn the philosophical concepts first. It is at the same time a fascinating autobiography of debauchery and spiritual struggle, and a set of continued philosophical and theological reflections, and it culminates in classic metaphysical meditations on the very nature of time and what creation means. By contrast, a book that I myself consider quite fascinating — and which I do think one ought to study at some point — Jeremy Bentham’s Introduction to Principles of Morals and Legislation, is quite boring to read for many people. Reading it, you’ll not only be introduced to a number of important concepts and distinctions in ethics, but also to views on human nature, social and political organization, and even the range of relationships he calls friendships. Since we do have available some good volumes that include several works by the same author, I decided to include those under the rubric of “books” here. Packed with cultural references, the series created by Matt Groening has been the subject of numerous analyzes. It gives you some sense of what philosophy can and does look like. Most people who have watched Zack Snyder’s famous 2007 fantasy historical film “300”, might think they know the ancient Greek story of Leonidas and the battle of Thermopylae, but the historic facts are quite different to what was portrayed in the fantasy film. The same caution goes, by the way, for any neat division of thought into historical periods or movements. They often contain some extracts from texts, along with timelines, biographical blurbs, and a good bit of summarization by the author(s). Reading Epictetus, rather than just reading contemporary Stoic literature about the guy, will open up Stoicism to you like nothing else — just for one example. Immanuel Kant provides a prime example. Until you actually read Aristotle or Pascal for yourself — actually until you’ve become quite conversant with their thought, at least on some matters — you really don’t know for sure how much of the tale you’re being sold is fiction. 20 Classic Books Everyone Should Read (or Re-Read) in 2020 By Jahla Seppanen August 26, 2020 There’s no doubt about it 2020, winner of the worst year in our collective lifetime goes to 2020. Seneca’s Letters are also an attractive introductory text, but I think the Discourses just offer a more substantial engagement with Stoic thought. There’s one last thing to say before setting out the list. There are only three works on it written later than the High Middle Ages. All that is ok — in fact, it is normal. It is perfectly fine to read Aristotle before reading Plato. My only excuse is that — letting you in on an industry secret — that’s pretty much the best you’re going to get when it comes to advice about philosophy.​. All of this is really nonsense. With rare exceptions, most of the later philosophy worth reading is written by people who were fairly conversant with at least some of the thinkers who preceded them. Ancient Greek History The story of Leonidas and the legendary Battle of the 300 at Thermopylae. Science, on the methodological approach of Descartes, are particularly indebted. The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained. First you need to read Plato, and only after that study his student, Aristotle. I start all of my students off with primary texts. Alternately, a history of philosophy might provide a better introduction to the field, giving a sense of the “big picture”, tracing out the stories of ideas and schools through the ages. This is the ultimate meaning of the famous “We must cultivate our garden.”. Each of them is a kind of genre, and is restricted by the scope of that format. How to read philosophy books: 4 things to know. If you don’t follow this rule, you might well end up reading Hegel and being upset with him for not placing everything into the “thesis-antithesis-synthesis” schema some hack told you Hegelian philosophy was all about! Again, Kant is definitely someone worth studying, but perhaps not right at the start (at least not all on one’s own — if you’re struggling with Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, you might find this playlist useful). But he is a brilliant thinker, and his Nicomachean Ethics is probably one of the most immediately accessible of his works for a beginner. Bertrand Russel’s ‘A History of ... Top 3 Philosophy Books: Most Immediately Helpful and Applicable. The first three books on this list are aimed at the general reader as opposed to students or aspiring academic philosophers. Which primary texts are better for a beginner approaching philosophy with little background in the subject? Most other philosophers are heavily influenced by Kant, so you ll need a basic understanding of his metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. But hopefully, for those who do want to begin studying philosophy in a serious way, they can give you at least some useful starting points. Aristotle is a bit more difficult to approach, since what we have are philosophical treatises rather than dialogues. Mix in a slew of my own opinions, proclivities, sensibilities, and sometimes just plain speculative guesses, and this is what you get. Ten is a good number for these sorts of lists. The bad news is that it’s pretty much impossible for you to do that. Sartre defends his major thesis (man is condemned to be free) and place the consequences on the notions of conscience, compared to others, responsibility, bad faith. And quite honestly, the authors and works I’ve picked out for you are all well worth getting to know. Aristotle defines his moral thought in this essay on the good life … We are often asked which book to start with. Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle. It’s useful to start by considering common anxieties or preoccupations that many seem to have. Independent from any institution or philosophical thought, the site is maintained by a team of former students in human sciences, now professors or journalists. In fact, were the situation reversed — and I was the reader looking over a similar list you provided — I would likely raise some objections on my own part! The first of these can be summed up in the question: “Which book or books should I read first?” What is often lurking behind this question is a concern about “getting it right” when it comes to studying philosophy. And if all deserve our attention, some prove to be both necessary and accessible. Among them, this book by Irwin highlights all the themes developed by the Simpsons family: the place of the family (theme of fatherhood, of fraternal relationship, etc. Unless you’re the sort of person who takes some sort of indelible stain in your brain from what you read — in which case, I am sorry to say, you will not get much from philosophy — you’re not going to damage your mind by reading around the canon at the start, rather than buckling down with some sort of rigidly arranged list. Kundera tries to show how the concept of fate is wrong and, as a corollary, that the human human existence is precarious. . Or maybe one of the many books written for popular audiences would work better. You get a lot more to work with, and more systematically organized in Epictetus, than you do with Aurelius. She’s rightly viewed as a feminist, since she carried out some cultural analysis still largely relevant today, and made a strong case for equality between women and men. What are the genres we discover philosophy taking on? You can get that from other sources however, so you can avoid reading Kant directly. This belief system holds that the existence of God is verified through reason and rational explanation, as opposed to through scripture or religious experience. Etymologically, philosophy means love of wisdom. The good news is that you can study and learn in the field of philosophy just fine without that.

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