Once you learn philosophy, you may exhibit a better approach in life. Thinking philosophically can help you develop your mindset. One of the ways to accomplish it is to read some of the best philosophy books of all time.
You can find almost all the answers to the questions in your head about life in general by learning more about philosophy. In addition, you will also slowly discover the true meaning behind everything as well as its utmost essence.
Are you looking for the best philosophy books to read? Don’t worry, we got your back. Here is the list of the top ten best philosophy books of all time to add to your reading list!
1. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
This book is probably one of the most common books that people will simply recommend to you when you ask for the best philosophy books for beginners.
Sophie Amundsen came home from school with two notes in her mailbox with these questions written on them: “Who are you?” and “Where does the world come from?”.
Intrigued by the perplexing notes, she eventually began a journey of finding and answering following philosophical questions, that led her into other adventurous explorations of unraveling mysterious things.
This book is the perfect choice if you are just starting to get into philosophy, especially throughout Western history. It introduces the readers to the basics of philosophy in a simple yet compelling way. No wonder that this book is one of the best-selling philosophy books of all time.
2. Letters from a Stoic by Lucius Annaeus Seneca
If you happen to be a stoic or a stoic newbie and want to dig deeper into one of the greatest minds in Stoicism, Letters from a Stoic is a way to go.
This book contains the letters that Seneca the Younger wrote for his friends. The letters were filled with advice on dealing with failure, success, poverty, grief, and other basic human experience in life.
The contents of the letters are very powerful and have many contributions to the Stoic and Stoicism in general. If you seek a great philosophy book with a straightforward writing style and substantial approach, give this one a go.
3. The Stranger by Albert Camus
This infamous Albert Camus’ classic work will never cease to get on the top list of “Best Philosophy Books 21st Century”. He told the story through the lens of a man who was unwitting to murder an Algerian beach. Camus then explores how the man was when he faced that absurd reality.
From this book, we can see how the man was when he faced the issue of existentialism, the feeling of being judged, defending and not defending oneself, and asking for forgiveness, being in despair, and many more following his absurd past experiences.
Finally, all of the topics were wrapped up in a profound and complex way. That is why this book is for you who need deep thinking about the essence of human lives and human emotions.
4. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
This time, another classic reading material comes from Nietzsche which offers a discussion over ancient morality regarding the concept of “good and evil, truth and God”. He stated that the slave morality of which ancient times held was not necessary for this century’s concept of good and evil. In addition, the prejudices and laws thrown in ancient times were mostly lacking critical sense.
5. Five Dialogues by Plato
In this book, you will find those three interconnected topics being discussed by Plato. He wrote the real dialogues of Socrates and other characters who were involved in Socrates’ trial and execution which took place in Athens. This book is relatively easy to read for beginners in philosophy. It introduces the concept of Platonic philosophy and the root of Western philosophy in a simple way.
6. Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
Undoubtedly, Being and Nothingness is one of Sartre’s remarkable philosophy books. This book is Sartre’s essay on Phenomenological Ontology regarding the topic of existentialist philosophy. In this book, Sartre poured down his idea confronting the past philosophies. He wrote his theory of completion, being, consciousness, and a “being that causes itself”.
If you happen to look for a philosophical book enriched with the theory of existentialism in general, then this book is a good match.
7. A Guide to The Good Life by William Braxton Irvine
A Guide to the Good Life is another gem for you who long for a great book that talks about Stoicism. You will find a fresh approach to Stoicism along with its practical techniques to apply in everyday lives in this book.
Irvine emphasizes that in this life, you will rarely feel enough with what you get or have. This feeling of dissatisfaction will plague you and most likely haunt you if you let them take over you.
Therefore, Irvine offers a new way to overcome this chronic dissatisfaction culture. Furthermore, he also discusses the way to deal with emotions, the way to focus only on the things we can control, and avoiding the temptation of fortune and fame. This book is suitable for you to control your wellbeing and develop your way of living.
8. An Introduction to Indian Philosophy by Satischandra Chatterjee
This one is one of the most important and best Indian philosophy books of all time. You can learn various Indian philosophies all at once in this book. Satischandra Chatterjee has compiled nine major schools of Indian philosophy. She compared and contrasted those 9 schools which consist of 3 heterodox schools and 6 orthodox schools.
If you are just starting to learn Indian philosophy, this book is a great choice since it contains an overview as well as a discussion over the major nine schools of Indian philosophy.
Learning philosophy will be good and remarkable if you are reading great choices of books. Therefore, you have to read at least one of the best philosophy books of all time from the list above.