Philosophy…. I bet the first thing that comes to your mind is that statue of a man sitting down with his chin on his fist, contemplating life. By the way, it is called “The Thinker,” by French artist Auguste Rodin. Lesson number one! Philosophy is essentially the study of life’s biggest questions: What are we doing here? What is our purpose? What is good? What is evil? Have you always had the interest on this topic but did not know where to start?? Well, here are the top 10 best philosophy books for a beginner.
Number 10 is Philosophy for Beginners by Richard Osbrone, published in 1960.
Why does philosophy give some people a headache, others a real buzz, and yet others a feeling that it is subversive and dangerous? Why do a lot of people think philosophy is totally irrelevant? What is philosophy anyway? The ABCs of philosophy – easy to understand but never simplistic. Beginning with basic questions posed by the ancient Greeks – What is the world made of? What is a man? What is knowledge? What is good and evil? – Philosophy For Beginners traces the development of these questions as the key to understanding how Western philosophy developed over the last 2,500 years.
Number 9 is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Philosopher: Robert M. Pirsig, published in 1974.
According to Edward Abbey, the book is a fictionalized autobiography of a 17-day journey that Pirsig made on a motorcycle from Minnesota to Northern California along with his son Chris. The story of this journey is recounted in a first-person narrative, although the author is not identified.
Number 8 is Walden by Philosopher: Henry David Thoreau, published in 1854.
Walden is Thoreau’s classic autobiographical account of this experiment in solitary living, his refusal to play by the rules of hard work and the accumulation of wealth and above all the freedom it gave him to adapt his living to the natural world around him. This new edition of Walden traces the sources of Thoreau’s reading and thinking and considers the author in the context of his birthplace and his sense of its history – social, economic and natural.
Number 7 is Candide by Philosopher: Voltaire, published in 1759.
Candide will help the reader grapple with the question of what is good, and what is evil. The tale follows a young man who is pulled from his own bubble and thrown into the realities of the world around him. Voltaire uses humor and wit to ridicule the establishment of church and state, like a 18th-century version of the Simpsons or Family Guy.
Number 6 is The Prince by Philosopher: Machiavelli, published in 1532.
The Prince is an extended analysis of how to acquire and maintain political power. It includes 26 chapters and an opening dedication to Lorenzo de Medici. The dedication declares Machiavelli’s intention to discuss in plain language the conduct of great men and the principles of princely government.
Number 5 is The Guide for the Perplexed by Philosopher: Maimonides, published in 1190.
Maimonides tells us in a short Dedicatory Epistle that the Guide of the Perplexed is written in the form of a letter to an advanced student who is said to have a powerful longing for speculative matters but whose longing exceeds his grasp of the material.
Number 4 is Selected Writings of Aquinas by Philosopher: Thomas Aquinas, published in 1948.
Preoccupied with the relationship between faith and reason, he was influenced both by Aristotle’s rational world view and by the powerful belief that wisdom and truth can ultimately only be reached through divine revelation.
Coming 3rd in this list is The City of God by Philosopher: Augustine of Hippo, Originally published in 426 AD.
Augustine proposes that Christianity actually helped Rome survive. Augustine describes the existence of two groups or sub-cities, “The City of God” (believers, the elect) and “The City of Man” (non-believers, pagans), at odds with one another in Rome and society in general.
Coming 2nd in this list is The Art of War by Philosopher: Sun Tzu, published in the 5th century BC.
“Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” “The worst strategy of all is to besiege walled cities.” “There are five essentials for victory: He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
1st on the list is The Republic by Philosopher: Plato, published in 381 BC.
Plato tells the story of a trip where several men meet and argue to define what is just and justice. Plato uses the Platonic method to ask questions that debunk old ideas and replace them with new, less traditional ways of thinking.September 26, 2019