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literaturerocks
07-13-2006, 06:17 PM
hello everyone. as you may have read my other thread asking you to recommend stuff for me to read you know what im doing. im asking you again.
in this thread please post any number of titles in philosophy (ten if you can) or even just post authors and other suggestions. i love reading and philosophy intrests me so please, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thank you :D

grace86
07-13-2006, 07:03 PM
Well, from the philosophy I am familiar with, I would recommend:

The Prince - by Machiavelli
Utopia - Thomas More

I would also recommend (authors): Plato, Montaigne, and Descartes

I love Montaigne's essay called "Of Cannibals" it basically discusses civilization and its definition...cannibalism in the moral idea...thought provoking.

I hope this helps, it is all I am recalling at the moment.

Charles Darnay
07-13-2006, 07:14 PM
mine has some similarities with the above:

1. The Republic - Plato
2. The Trial and Death of Socrates - Plato
3. Utopia - Thomas Moore
4. Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx and Fred Engles
5. Candide - Voltaire (yes this is a philosophical text)
6. Social Contract - Jean Jacques Rousseau
7. The Poetics - Aristotle (Haven't read it myself, heard it was tough to get through but very interesting)
8. Beyond Good and Evil - Nietche (I'm spelling that horribly wrong)

My final reccomondation would be "Sophie's World" - a narrative which serves as an overview of Western Philosophy - very informative

literaturerocks
07-13-2006, 11:36 PM
The Prince - by Machiavelli would this author be the founder of Maciavellianism? The emotionally distant pragmatic end justifying means life degree or the autocratic government? which one was created by machiavelli? in the this or that forum Mono posted fascism vs. Maciavellianism and it is interesting to find that this form of government or way of life was created by a philosophical author. very interesting grace thank you. and thank you charles as well. please if anyone has more suggestions they will be very greatly appreciated.:)

grace86
07-14-2006, 12:26 AM
Well, they keyed the term "Machiavellianism" in the 1970's. They actually use it to define the personality of a person. I am guessing that the statements that Machiavelli makes about the traits of a ruler / prince and what he defines in the morals of a prince play out in people...so they actually developed a test. I think it is like twenty questions to define your personality based on your responses to certain questions. I had actually never heard of "Machiavellianism" until now. But here is what wikipedia says.

You are very welcome.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machiavellianism

literaturerocks
07-14-2006, 12:06 PM
i was given a different definition on googles dictionary but the wiki is much more helpful. i totally understand it now.

thank you grace.

bhekti
07-14-2006, 02:01 PM
Just information: There are great downloadable philosophy texts in marxists.org. Some of them are full texts, some excerpts (but right on great points).

My top ten list so far:

Ecclesiastes from the Old Testament of the Bible
Confessions by Augustine
Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche
Purity of the Heart Is to Will One Thing by Kierkegaard
Song of Solomon from The Old Testament of the Bible
Modern Man In Search of a Soul by Carl Gustav Jung
The Dialogic Imagination by Mikhail Bakhtin
Of Grammatology by Jacques Derrida (yeah I take it as a philosophy book)
Being and Time by Heidegger
Truth and Method by Gadamer

arrrvee
07-14-2006, 02:37 PM
either/or - soren kierkegaard
complete essays - michel de montagine
meditations - marcus aurelius
on the suffering of the world - arhtur schopenhauer
the myth of sysphus and other essays - albert camus

i've only come up with five but these are my favourites. i would definitely recommend kierkegaard if your into literature. he has a very distinct literary style. or just go with the book titles, it says pretty much what treasures you'll discover for yourself..

byquist
07-14-2006, 03:30 PM
Oration on the Dignity of Man - Mirandola
In Praise of Folly - Erasmus
Elizabethan World Picture - Tillyard
Love Your Enemies - Mary Eddy
Tolstoy must have something big-time that's pleasant to read as well.

thevintagepiper
07-14-2006, 03:59 PM
7. The Poetics - Aristotle (Haven't read it myself, heard it was tough to get through but very interesting)

I would not agree...personally (but this may be just me) I found The Poetics to be a collection of Aristotles presumptions, written in a rather conceited manner. The first part is very interesting, as he talks about the form of plays and theatre, but much of the rest is otherwise.

literaturerocks
07-14-2006, 04:05 PM
i forgot to mention initially that if you wish you may post more than ten books. but if you cannot that is fine too.im just getting some ideas for works in philosophy as i wish to read them because i am interested. :D :nod: :cool:

Charles Darnay
07-14-2006, 06:14 PM
You should check out this site: http://classics.mit.edu/Browse/index.html

It's full of ancient Greek/Roman texts and some others as well.... very good stuff (nothing compared to this site!)

genoveva
07-15-2006, 01:35 AM
Don't forget Dostoevsky! And Sarte. And Marx.

Union Jack
07-17-2006, 08:22 PM
No order...

1) The Analects- Kun Fu Tsu
2) The Plague- Camus
3) Critique of Pure Reason- Kant
4) Beyond Good and Evil- Nietzsche
5) The Book of the Tao- Lao Se Dun
6) Critique of Religion and Philosophy- Kaufmann
7) The Republic- Plato
8) If Aristotle Ran General Motors- Morris
9) The Upanishads- Authorless Hindu Philosophy
10) Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre- Kauffman
11) Thus Spake Zarathustra- Nietzsche
12) Utopia- More
13) Candide- Voltaire
14) Bushido- Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Famous rendition "The Hagakure"
15) Philosophy is for Everyman- Jaspers
16) Existenzphilosophe- Jaspers
17) Genesis- The Old Testament
18) Being and Nothingness- Sartre

Plenty more, but these are the ones which I repeatedly remove from my bookshelves for a re-read.

Keep in mind that the criteria of the selection of these works is important, top ten based upon which factors?

Soundness of logical aurgument?
Readability?
Originality?

The list I presented includes a book or two from each of those categories, it is up to you to discern the divisions.

Philosophy is above all a love of knowledge, and sound rational knowledge. A great phillosophic work must...

1) present an original take on questions hailing from antedilluvium
2) present sound logical, or rational reasoning
3) present its material in a manner which ensures lasting appeal and relevance
4) present alternative viewpoints, and attempt to vanquish them through sound aurgument

And, above all else, the "greatness" of a work is subective. Each work speaks different truths to every person who reads them.

A work as simple as a child's book (The Hobbit being my all-time favourite novel) can change someone's entire outlook on life, and have a lasting effect on their personal philosophy.

Whereas other works, "of intellectual merit" while presenting their aurguments in a scalable fashion, may fail to leave an imprint on one's psyche, eg "The Communist Mannifesto" in my opinion an overrated, rhetoric filled lot of nonsense, save the time of reading it, and just read a definition of communism.

A work must be understood, it does no good to merely read a text, one must deconstruct and examine not only what the author means, but why the author is taking the time to attempt to express it to you, what did the author "see."

mono
07-17-2006, 10:39 PM
Very difficult to narrow down, but I will try (finally), in no specific order, of course . . .

1. Critique Of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant,
2. Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle,
3. The Republic by Plato,
4. The Joyful Wisdom by Friedrich Nietzsche,
5. Being And Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre,
6. The World As Will And Representation by Arthur Schopenhauer,
7. Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill,
8. Collected essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson,
9. Collected essays of Michel de Montaigne,
10. A Treatise Of Human Nature by David Hume.

Others worth mentioning . . .
11. The Nature Of The Gods by Cicero,
12. Treatise Concerning The Principles Of Human Knowledge by George Berkeley,
13. Dialogues Concering Natural Religion by David Hume,
14. Groundwork For The Metaphysic Of Morals by Immanuel Kant,
15. Phaedrus by Plato,
16. Metaphysics by Aristotle,
17. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke,
18. De Rerum Natura by Lucretius,
19. Anything by Pythagoras.

jon1jt
07-18-2006, 03:23 AM
Mono: I'm shocked you left out Martin Heidegger's Being and Time, which destroys Kant and his notion of "the thing itself."

I highly recommend Sri Aurobindo's Life Divine and Emerson's Select Essays, "Nature," "Experience," "Circles" and "Divinity Address". I might as well plug my favorite philosophy professor, Dr. Robert Corrington, any of his many books on naturalism.

mono
07-18-2006, 01:18 PM
Mono: I'm shocked you left out Martin Heidegger's Being and Time, which destroys Kant and his notion of "the thing itself."
Someone once recommended me this book, and I admit some bias, having a strong affinity for anything by Kant, which may inevitably lead to some immediate skepticsm while reading Heidegger. Regardless, someday, I will likely get around to reading the book; unfortunately, it seems I have nearly buried myself in countless other books that greatly interest me.

Union Jack
07-18-2006, 02:27 PM
unfortunately, it seems I have nearly buried myself in countless other books that greatly interest me.

Alas the curse of knowledge. Once a small portion is acquired, the desire for more becomes an unsatiable driving force behind your every thought and action.

I think that all the greatest ideas, concepts, knowledge, and wisdom of humanity from all peoples, times, and cultures should be collected into one 300 page or less, easy to read guidebook to life.

I'll get writing :)

mono
07-19-2006, 03:44 PM
unfortunately, it seems I have nearly buried myself in countless other books that greatly interest me.Alas the curse of knowledge. Once a small portion is acquired, the desire for more becomes an unsatiable driving force behind your every thought and action.

I think that all the greatest ideas, concepts, knowledge, and wisdom of humanity from all peoples, times, and cultures should be collected into one 300 page or less, easy to read guidebook to life.

I'll get writing :)
Indeed, just as Freud thought of the Oedipus complex and Jung (with Freud) thought of the Electra complex, I would like to think that Goethe and Marlowe thought of the Faustian complex (perhaps a common psychological disposition among many other forum members, no doubt). :D

anne1987
07-23-2006, 10:24 AM
'the prophet' by kahlil gibran is a good read. it philosophises about almost everything in life worth thinking about.
''in love, one advances while retreating.''

Jean-Baptiste
08-04-2006, 04:05 PM
And please read Fear and Trembling by Kierkegaard.
I'd also say that Kant's Prolegomena is a very good introductory piece--being, of course, a prolegomena.
And find a copy of Pico's 900 Theses--that's an interesting bit of thought.
But my favorite, for implications, not so much for writing, is Vico's Scienza Nuova.
One more, which I beg and plead for all of my friends to read, and they none of them ever will, is Euclid's Elements. Now I know it's not necessarily considered philosophy, but with a little imagination it will be seen to be the exact core of all philosophy. I get so much enjoyment out of reading (I use "reading" in a very loose sense) Euclid.
Some months ago, I may have strongly recommended Descartes' Rules for the Direction of the Mind, but I've recently come to the conclussion that he was just silly.

Now I'm busy soaking up the other fine suggestions on this thread.

Anonymous Angel
08-05-2006, 04:47 AM
Out of curiosity, I'm wondering if this question is limited to pure philosophy. There are many books written by wonderful authors that explore philosophical ideas, and I, personally, would consider them wonderful forays into philosophy. For example:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance-Robert M. Pirsig

The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty-Soetsu Yanagi

Atlas Shrugged-Ayn Rand

These are three that I can think of at the moment, although I am sure there are more floating around out there in the world. Nice question, though. I hope you find the suggestions you are looking for, literaturerocks!

Shifting Leaves
08-05-2006, 05:36 PM
Hmmm... really every work of literature of any real merit has as its driving force, its heart, a general philosophy at work. So... here are ten works that I think will be useful in generating good thinking and living habits in an individual:

1.) Atlas Shrugged - as long as you don't take Ms. Rand too seriously, and remember the environment she came from. She was way too logical, and life isn't. However, learning to be logical does have its uses, even if it doesn't lead to happiness.
2.) The Stranger - A fascinating account of man's struggle to find meaning within and without himself, told with an anti-hero that some of us may be tempted to think much too highly of.
3.) Myth of Sysiphus - Simply the best thing I've read by Camus.
4.) Anthem - This is the most useful thing that I read by Rand, although all I did read by her were a few essays, Atlas Shrugged, and this.
5.) Candide - I can't remember much about this story, as I read it in high school and I was intoxicated - by what it revealed to me about human nature, and probably pot, too.
6.) Hunting of the Snark - Took me a couple of reads, but this 'epic poem' by Lewis Carrol left me in tears with its amazing cleverness, and it's also is fun to make up symbolism that was unintended (by Carrol) to go with the story.
7.) Bartholomew and the Oobleck - Dr. Suess in his prime. No, I'm not kidding. Just read it and find out what I mean. But beware, some people have been known to go completely insane from the amount of truth hidden in this nugget.
8.) Nausea - Sartre makes a lot of good observations about how much it sucks to be stricken with what I call the 'thinking disease', filled with angst and existential quandaries. Resonates with the young philosopher well.
9.) No Exit - Sartre makes the assertion that hell is other people, and we belive him!
10.) Animal Farm - super tragic fun, although Lord of the Flies is just as good and says the same things... I don't know which one came first but who cares! Fun at other people's expense is always better than fun at your own expense. Damn amusement parks and their entry fees!

Well, I hope you've learned something, or nothing, or about somewhere in be-tween.
Hahaha get it? When you 'tween' an animation it draws the steps from a to b for you, and I said 'be' tween like the general focus of philosophy so I'm making a life-joke! darn I'm so clever it takes my breath away.

Word.

spendle
08-05-2006, 06:30 PM
Any of the writing by Friedrich Hegel will be inlightening to you; although his writing is not for the casual reader. But, most philosophy since him is merely a reaction to his work. He is not fashionable, but, on target.

amanda_isabel
08-06-2006, 05:19 AM
literaturerocks,

you might want to try sophie's world, by jostein gaarder. i've yet to crack it open but my friend says it is a good read.

1984_yo
08-22-2006, 09:35 PM
In Praise of Folly - Erasmus

i have to do an assignment on a shortened version of the Praise of folly but i dont understand any of it..could anyone please help?
1. what does he critisize about the church and its officials?
2. how does the clery fare when he call them apsotles, monk, and prince?


i need help on the prince as well:
1. do any modern leaders follow machiavelli's advice?
2. how does he view the role of military? has its purpose changed since 1500?
3. is he amoral or greatest moral imperative of a political leader?

Cafe Rob
06-21-2007, 03:38 AM
I've just finshed the "Ethics of Ambiguity" by Simon de Beauvoir which I considered very well written. Certainly the chapters regarding living passionately were very enlightening. I think that we can become cynical, maybe too well read sometimes. A positive and considerate mental attitude is so very necessary in daily life because although philosophy is; 'A love of wisdom,' it is also considered an activity (L. Wittgenstein) and for any activity to be successful it must be conducted in a feeling of optimistic, high spirits.(F. Nietzsche)

Nossa
06-21-2007, 05:45 AM
Personally I would say Utopia by Thomas Moore and A History Of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell

Gorilla King
06-21-2007, 10:13 PM
The Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas deserves a spot on there.

Ia Nabu
07-05-2007, 07:08 AM
Just to follow up Charles, www.perseus.tufts.edu has a collection of ancient texts in the original and translation(s) which might be useful.

I'm glad that you, Nossa, mentioned Russell's little book (which I happened to be abosutely randomly consulting about a quarter of an hour ago). I think most of the books I'd have mentioned have been suggested. If he weren't a ***** to read I'd say Wittgenstein, but he's one of those people best understood initially through secondaty literature (not that I can actually think of any suggestions at the moment ...). Got some clever ideas, that lad.

MaryLupin
07-06-2007, 12:24 AM
Actually, I am only going to suggest one book. It is by Alasdair Macintyre and called Dependent Rational Animals: Why Human Beings Need the Virtues. It is a fantastic book because it removes the impulse for ethical behaviour from the realm of mythology and firmly seats it in our somatic experience. Personally I prefer philosophy that starts from what exists rather than from what doesn't.

Here is what Jonathan Wolff, University College, London has to say about the book.

With characteristic originality and insight, Alasdair MacIntyre explores the nature of practical rationality in the light of our human vulnerability and mutual dependence. Two themes, arising from our animal nature, frame the discussion: the continuities between human beings and other species, and the pervasiveness of human disability. The argument of Dependent Rational Animals relies upon and helpfully illuminates some familiar motifs from MacIntyre: the continuing fertility of a broadly Aristotelian notion of the virtues and the limitations of both the modern nation-state and the family. This fascinating work is wonderfully accessible from beginning to end. It is a model of how profound and complex philosophical argument can be rendered available to a wider public.

http://www.amazon.ca/Dependent-Rational-Animals-Beings-Virtues/dp/081269452X

bibliophile190
07-06-2007, 01:16 AM
I have to second the books of Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs.

atiguhya padma
07-09-2007, 08:09 AM
1. Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit - a difficult intensely closely argued position with regard to the philosophy of personal identity. If you can manage to stay with it and understand it, I am sure you will begin to question your notion of the self, its existence and its relationship to morality.

2. Straw Dogs by John Gray - not the Venus and Mars quack, but the lecturer in European thought at the LSE. Straw Dogs is Reasons and Persons for those who don't have much time on their hands.

3. Godless Morality by Richard Holloway - Holloway was the Bishop of Edinburgh. His book seeks to show how morality needs to be separated from religion.

4. The Concept of Mind by Gilbert Ryle - a classic of materialist philosophy. Extremely well written and argued.

5. The View from Nowhere by Thomas Nagel - an argument in defence of objectivity in morality.

6. After Virtue by Alisdair MacIntyre - a passionate defence of the Aristotelean doctrine of virtue.

7. Atheism: The Case Against God by George H Smith - Dated, but still easily read book explaining what atheism really is and what it is not. Justifiably, imo, sidelines agnosticism as a branch of atheism, atheism for those with too many theist friends.

8. Ethics by Spinoza - Don't agree with Spinoza's pantheism, but still a great work, well argued and full of original ideas.

9. Almost anything by David Hume, but especially the Treatise of Human Nature and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Still far too underrated. A very brave man who spoke his thoughts on God, the mind, morality and human nature, despite being hounded and persecuted by the christians.

10. Principles of Human Knowledge and the Dialogues by George Berkeley - an excellent analysis of the nature of reality, despite his silly answer to the problems that Descartes posed.

10.

Ander_Wiggins
06-28-2009, 02:03 PM
All of you wonderful people for all the suggestions on books to read. I plan to be quite the busy bee.

Buh4Bee
06-28-2009, 08:48 PM
One last suggestion, read Thoreau. He's pretty accessible and thought provoking.

I'll definitely be back to look at some of these suggestions.

Pryderi Agni
06-29-2009, 12:22 AM
Well, well, this is nice...Let's see... I'll divide my list into categories, so that it's more helpful.

Introductions:
1. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy

2. Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy

3. Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World

Philosophers:

4. Martineau, Spinoza

5. Plato, Apology

6. Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson

Philosophies:

7. William James, Varieties of Religious Experience

8. Voltaire, Candide

9. Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

10. Rousseau, Confessions

Barbarous
07-16-2009, 12:11 PM
The Critique of Pure Reason by Kant
The Phenomenology of Spirit by Hegel
The World as Will and Representation by Schopenhauer
Twilight of Idols by Nietzsche
Of Grammatology by Derrida
The Symposium by Plato
New Science by Vico
Summa Theologica by Aquinas
Essays by Montaigne
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Wittgenstein

mayneverhave
07-16-2009, 05:51 PM
Plato - The Republic

Hume - A Treatise of Human Nature

Kant - Critique of Pure Reason

Spinoza - Ethics

Aquinas - Summa contra Gentiles

Wittgenstein - Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Augustine - The City of God

Aristotle - Politics

Locke - An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

haraf_ish
07-20-2009, 09:49 PM
Nietzsche's Ecce Homo & Thus Spake Zarathustra
Marx's The Communist Manifesto
Marcuse's On Eros and Civilization
Freud's Civilization and it's Discontent

libernaut
07-21-2009, 02:47 AM
sun tzu - art of war
lao tzu - tao teh ching
plato- the republic
nietzsche - beyond good and evil
keirkegaard - fear and trembling
thereau - walden
idries shah - the sufis
joeseph campelll - the power of myth
existentialism - walter kaufmann
aldous huxley - the perennial philosophy

JuniperWoolf
07-23-2009, 03:42 AM
A lot of people have suggested Nietzsche. Thus Spake Zarathustra was my favorite. I don't think anyone has mentioned:
1. Lucretius - Sensation and Sex
2. Seneca - On the Shortness of Life (I liked it a lot)

zxlow
08-01-2009, 04:30 AM
hi everyone, im new here.

those who like arthur schopenhaur and nietzsche may try Emile Cioran's History of Decay and Heights of Despair

Looks like there are a lot of books here to last me a few weekends.

tsone
08-02-2009, 06:26 AM
mine has some similarities with the above:

1. The Republic - Plato
2. The Trial and Death of Socrates - Plato
3. Utopia - Thomas Moore
4. Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx and Fred Engles
5. Candide - Voltaire (yes this is a philosophical text)
6. Social Contract - Jean Jacques Rousseau
7. The Poetics - Aristotle (Haven't read it myself, heard it was tough to get through but very interesting)
8. Beyond Good and Evil - Nietche (I'm spelling that horribly wrong)

My final reccomondation would be "Sophie's World" - a narrative which serves as an overview of Western Philosophy - very informative

I totally agree.

A. Bandini
08-06-2009, 05:05 PM
I think there should be an order here.. It`s hard to grasp the essence of this if you just read randomly.. But I`m no trained in reading philosophy, so I need an easy start.. Guess some of the recomendations are pretty hard to understand?

Maria2009
08-06-2009, 10:34 PM
Well, from the philosophy I am familiar with, I would recommend:

The Prince - by Machiavelli
Utopia - Thomas More

I would also recommend (authors): Plato, Montaigne, and Descartes

I love Montaigne's essay called "Of Cannibals" it basically discusses civilization and its definition...cannibalism in the moral idea...thought provoking.

I hope this helps, it is all I am recalling at the moment.

I think this is enough .....
I do agree with you. Those are the most effective way

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Red-Headed
08-07-2009, 08:10 AM
I highly recommend Kant by S. (Stephan) Körner. It is a minor classic, I am not sure if it is still in print & there have been many versions of it. There are quite a few second-hand copies around. I found a Pelican copy of it a few years ago which was older than I am. I paid 99p (UK currency) for it but according to the cover when it was printed it was 3/6! (17 & a half pence in decimal).

It is probably the best introduction to Kant's often puzzling concepts I have ever read. I have read it several times.

blazeofglory
08-07-2009, 10:04 PM
Here, I of course, I suggest J Krishnamurti, a spiritualist. He is unbeatable. While the rest of philosophers, thinkers tangle our mind with so many dogmas, superstitions and the like he kind of disengages our minds with all kinds of gibberish philosophical notions.

He tries to arrive at truth through a different mechanism, of course by questioning. And he famously said- answer lies in the question.

Of course he was greatly honest, and never ever he kind of stuffed our minds with rubbish ideas.

He was always honest to all.

I suggest read Krishnamurti. His ideas transform us finally.

Red-Headed
08-08-2009, 07:37 PM
I suggest read Krishnamurti. His ideas transform us finally.

Maybe.

Maybe the Theosophists have a lot to answer for. I have nothing against spirituality & admire Indian works like the Bhagavad Gita, but I think a distinction has to be made between philosophy & mysticism. Otherwise you will be forever bogged down by the quagmire of pseudo-religion.

'In any event faith & knowledge are totally different things which for their mutual benefit have to be kept strictly separate, so that each goes its own way without paying the slightest bit of attention to the other.'

~ Arthur Schopenhauer APHORISMS: 'On Religion'

Schopenhauer's 'Essays & Aphorisms' are highly recommended as well.

MrDzyan
03-14-2010, 01:16 AM
In regards to Theosophists I would have to say

Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.
However, thats a dangerous road to go down because apparently its been said that some of her predecessors have distorted her teachings (Intentionally or Unintentionally is a controversial issue) in their interpretations
So I bought the unedited versions written by her in 1890's but her style is a bit difficult to understand without all the complex things that accompany philosophy. I've yet to finish Isis Unveiled and won't start The Secret Doctrine until I finish.All in all, in my opinion Theosophy readings should start here and in a nutshell it's concepts are unlike any other philosophical concepts introduced anywhere else.

korky8097
05-14-2010, 01:48 AM
Thank you all for the book ideas, my list of books-I'm-too-busy-to-read-currently is definitely growing exponentially. I recently took a philosophy course in college, which really made me question my philosophic beliefs that I held on to for some time. The professor was a fantastic motivator, as no matter what belief got proposed by the students in class, he had an unbelievable knack for stripping down the theory to it's essential, bare-bones argument and subsequently questioning the reasoning behind any belief (even if he believed strongly in what was being proposed). I had already read and been interested in the existentialist writers such as Sartre, and other great thinkers of history years before ever taking this class, but now I can understand some of the more difficult concepts due, in large part, to the way in which the class was taught.

But enough about that, I signed up to these forums to recommend the book, "The Grasshopper" by Bernard Suits to someone looking for a great book that is not only humorous in many respects, but is well written for those who are not familiar with modern philosophy terminology. However, it is not so watered down that it doesn't contain valuable ideas; and truly caused me to reshape my beliefs in game-theory. The Grasshopper deals with the philosophy of games, and does so in a fun sort of way. Even the more well read among us here would surely enjoy the unique and engaging nature of The Grasshopper. In the Intro to Philosophy course that I took at Fort Hays, we read The Republic, The Grasshopper, and Dialogues About God by Charles Taliaferro (another great starter book that involves well thought out ideas regarding the idea of God, quite a good read overall, it is about three characters, a theist, an atheist, and an agnostic sort of person). So if you are looking for thought-provoking books to start you on the path of ultimate knowledge, perhaps these are the books for you. And if you find yourself in western Kansas with affordable college in mind, Professor Drabkin teaches a mean philosophy class.

Sebas. Melmoth
05-14-2010, 08:51 AM
Well, to the making of books there is no end, and there are many suggestions here; however, some of them are of lesser importance. Withal, the 10 sine qua non:

1) Plato: Symposium, Phaedrus, Phaedo.
2) Kant: Critique of Pure Reason.
3) Hegel: Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics.
4) Schopenhauer: On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, The World as Will and Representation.
5) Nietzsche: Genealogy of Morality, Beyond Good and Evil.
6) Marx: Capital.
7) de Saussure: Course in General Linguistics.
8) Bergson: Time and Free Will.
9) Debord: Society of the Spectacle.
10) Baudrillard: The System of Objects, Symbolic Exchange and Death.

mal4mac
05-14-2010, 10:17 AM
I think there should be an order here.. It`s hard to grasp the essence of this if you just read randomly.. But I`m no trained in reading philosophy, so I need an easy start.. Guess some of the recomendations are pretty hard to understand?

Most are difficult to understand. I recommend starting with "Confessions of a Philosopher" by Bryan Magee. He talks about most of the "hard to understand" philosophers mentioned in this thread and makes suggestions on how to tackle them.

RaoulDuke
05-14-2010, 06:34 PM
"The safest general characterisation of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." - Alfred North Whitehead.

That's about as helpful and constructive as I can be in this debate, as the only two pure philosophy books I have read are Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Ethics. For what it's worth, they would definitely be in my top two!

Nietzsche
05-16-2010, 09:33 PM
1. Thus Spoke Zarathustra - Nietzsche
2. On the Geneaology of Morals - Nietzsche
3. Human, All Too Human - Nietzsche
4. Leviathan - Thomas Hobbes
5. World and Will as Representation ( Idea in my translation ) - Arthur Schopenhauer
6. Essays and Aphorisms ( An abridged version of Parerga and Paralipomena ) - Schopenhauer
7. Selected Essays - David Hume ( Oxford Press, this is a compilation work by him but all I have read and enjoyed it )
8. Darwin's Dangerous Idea - Daniel Dennet
9. The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
10. I don't really have one I say for 10th place, but the Very Short Introdoction/Past masters book on Hobbes is a great read.

Cunninglinguist
05-16-2010, 10:10 PM
In my experience if you want a good autodidactic philosophical education, you ought to start with secondary resources first. Although they are by no means as good as the primary ones (secondary resources are generally tainted with some reader's opinions and sometimes bad interpretations) they are a much easier and more efficient means to understand the general philosophical topics. In my experience understanding the topic before you read the book enables you to critically think and understand (its shortcomings and its strengths) the work for all it's worth. I might suggest starting at Plato.Stanford.edu or even Wikipedia and from there discover what topics interest you and decide what to read from there. If you ask people for a list of the "best" you're going to most likely end up with a list of their personal favorites (see Nietzsche's post). Of course in general there are some philosophers that are considered better than others. FYI Kant, Plato, and Aristotle are considered the greatest philosophers by academics. Also for any philosopher the Republic by Plato is a must-read. I've seen a few people mention Plato's work Phaedrus, but I dont see how Phaedrus is even worth studying unless you're looking for some bad argumentation to decipher.

Nietzsche
05-16-2010, 10:30 PM
In my experience if you want a good autodidactic philosophical education, you ought to start with secondary resources first. Although they are by no means as good as the primary ones (secondary resources are generally tainted with some reader's opinions and sometimes bad interpretations) they are a much easier and more efficient means to understand the general philosophical topics. In my experience understanding the topic before you read the book enables you to critically think and understand (its shortcomings and its strengths) the work for all it's worth. I might suggest starting at Plato.Stanford.edu or even Wikipedia and from there discover what topics interest you and decide what to read from there. If you ask people for a list of the "best" you're going to most likely end up with a list of their personal favorites (see Nietzsche's post). Of course in general there are some philosophers that are considered better than others. FYI Kant, Plato, and Aristotle are considered the greatest philosophers by academics. Also for any philosopher the Republic by Plato is a must-read. I've seen a few people mention Plato's work Phaedrus, but I dont see how Phaedrus is even worth studying unless you're looking for some bad argumentation to decipher.

I agree. yes, those are my personal favorites.

I think the best way to start with philosophy really is to read ABOUT the people first. THe Very Short Introduction series ( previously titled past masters ) from Oxford press series are great. Also, the pop culture & philosophy series is a good way to acquaint yourself with philosophy. While these books sometimes may distort arguments or not be the best way to read philosophy, they are pretty enjoyable when reading about your interests and some of the books in my opinion are pretty cool reads. I have them for south park, the matrix, house MD, and star wars.

That's a good way to get a taste of philosophical thinking, then if a thinker's idea appeals to you in one of those books, go find an introductory text. As I said, the VSI series is great but there are many texts such as those. Then, find a book by the author being discussed and read it. This way, you will be reading someone you have interest in in the first place, then you will know a bit about the person and their overall philosophical framework to place the book by them you are reading in context.

This is a slight alternative to Cunninglinguist's post, with which again, I agree.

Sebas. Melmoth
05-17-2010, 09:04 AM
While the atheists' anti-messiah Richard Dawkins is utterly irrelevant, here's a thing: someone mentioned a schemata for their philosophical reading, i.e., a goal of comprehensive understanding.

With that in mind, we have to begin with the ancient Greeks--the first great Western civilization, hence Plato. Someone could argue the Republic, but certainly it has to include the Symposium and Phaedo.

Now, there are many philosophers in the Renaissance and Enlightment, but all pale before Kant: his Critique of Pure Reason is essential.

After Kant, the three majors are Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. One should know some Hegel especially for his influence on Marx; however, Hegel is notoriously unreadable: therefore I suggest his Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics wherein he employs his dialectical methodology with brevity.

Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche are amongst the most readable of the great philosophers, so take your pick; nevertheless, the World as Will and Representation (his magnum opus) was founded on his Four-Fold Root in response to Kant.

Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morality opens the door to postmodernism: and here is the gist of the goal: to apprehend a critique of the modern and postmodern world of hypercapitalism via an understanding of the critique of capital and the society of the spectacle.
For this we follow Nietzsche to Marx (skirting structuralism via Saussure) to Derrida, Lachan, Deleuze, and Baudrillard, and one could make a side-trip via Adorno, Benjamin, Habermas, while remembering McLuhan, Chomsky, and Zizek.

Violà! We arrive at an understanding of post-postmodern hypercapitalism and Orwellian deception of the spectacle of reproduced simulacra: this is where we are now with the global political-economic and ecological catastrophe.

rabid reader
05-31-2010, 02:34 PM
A book that I have found absolutely captivating is "On Social Contract" Jean-Jacques Rousseau. I have re-read a half a trillion times. Then one that I also have found quite interesting "Wealth of Nations" Adam Smith, then of course Marx "Capitalism" and the "Communist Manifesto" Marx and Engels.

But I am specializing in Contract/Game Theory so most of these books are foundational.

mal4mac
06-05-2010, 12:02 PM
I'm reading Seneca's dialogues at the moment, great reading and highly influential. I read Montaigne recently - really good stuff - top literature as well as top philosophy.

BasDirks
06-08-2010, 05:22 AM
hello everyone. as you may have read my other thread asking you to recommend stuff for me to read you know what im doing. im asking you again.
in this thread please post any number of titles in philosophy (ten if you can) or even just post authors and other suggestions. i love reading and philosophy intrests me so please, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thank you :D

If you ask for a top ten, you don't yet know how to select your philosophical readings. I know, because when I was young, I made threads such as this. Go to iTunes U, and listen to a couple of lectures that seem interesting to you, but don't be too selective, you don't yet know enough to know what you like. Look for topics that interest you based on the kind of discourse of a given way of thinking, and select some readings from the syllabus that comes with the course.

From my own collection of books, I would recommend Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations very much, because his philosophical approach will get you out of the mud when you get stuck on another philosopher's nonsense, which is very important. A great deal of philosophical prowess comes from being able to move around freely, unobstructed, playfully and free of worry among all the big ideas.

Tarvaa
06-26-2010, 05:44 AM
I think Michel Foucault is worth a look. I am no expert in philosophy, but his books seem to be "how it ended up like this" kind of history books. Really quite eye-opening. Pretty difficult at times though.

I want to read Derrida, but honestly, I have no idea where to start with him.

Dodo25
06-26-2010, 06:00 AM
Here my favorites, ordered by date of appearance (if I remember correctly). My criteria are effect at time of publication and later, as well as quality of content (relative to the knowledge around at the time of publication).


The Republic - Plato

De Rerum Natura - Lucretius (credit goes to Democritus and Epicurus)

Critique of Pure Reason - Kant

Utilitarianism - Mill

The Origin of Species - Darwin

Genealogy of Morals - Nietzsche

The Selfish Gene - Dawkins

Practical Ethics - Singer

Unweaving the Rainbow - Dawkins

Darwin's Dangerous Idea - Dennett


'The Origin of Species' and 'The Selfish Gene' are philosophy books too, altough maybe not primarily. They are of utmost importance because they actually answer questions minds before have been asking and contemplating for millennia. And I'm surprised 'Practical Ethics' not been mentioned before. Maybe I should have included some Hume too, but I'm not familiar with him, only very superficially..

SueFew
07-01-2010, 05:18 PM
All the recommendations here are if works from past philosophers so is more about the history of philosophy than current philosophies. Many of the criticisms of philosophy lie in the fact that all philosophers focus on arguments of those long gone. While it is interesting reading from a certain perspective, I am concerned that none of the recommendations are of current works that consider the questions from today's thinkers and in the light of new scientific knowledge. I have read books about the history of philosophy but wonder if there are any books written by today's philosophers as i'm ready to start analysing the arguments the affect our world today? Can anyone recommend any? I have read peter cave and am a fan of the podcast philosophy bites. I also recommend "sophie's world" a very easy and informative introduction to the subject.

Dodo25
07-01-2010, 05:30 PM
All the recommendations here are if works from past philosophers so is more about the history of philosophy than current philosophies. (...) I have read books about the history of philosophy but wonder if there are any books written by today's philosophers as i'm ready to start analysing the arguments the affect our world today? Can anyone recommend any?

Actually, the books I posted (with the exception of 'de rerum natura', i chose that for different reasons) are still relevant today (altough in some cases they need to be 'modernized'), otherwise I wouldn't consider them important.

Additionally, Dawkins, Dennett and Singer are still alive as far as I know. So there you go, their books are very interesting and tackle important issues.

Lionheart
07-05-2010, 03:34 PM
2.) The Stranger - A fascinating account of man's struggle to find meaning within and without himself, told with an anti-hero that some of us may be tempted to think much too highly of.

While others mentioned Camus, none mentioned this masterwork. I totally agree and what I found so striking about it was how simply written it is. The visuals, the descriptions are so rich and alive, so much so that it draws a person in like a cool breath. Indeed it doesn't daunt the reader with too much heaviness, which would make the book less than enjoyable. Camus knew his character, knew his story and captured a perfect little book of a man not knowing the people around him, his role or himself.

One event altered the rest of his remaining life, and by far one of the best books I read in 2008.

andrewparkin
07-09-2010, 05:13 AM
In my point of view those are my choices


Plato: the Republic
Plato: the Symposium
Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics
Marcus Aurelius: Meditations
Augustine: the Confessions
Descartes: Meditations
Hobbes: Leviathon
Hume: an Inquiry concerning Human Understanding
Kant: Critique of Pure Reason
Hegel: Phenomenology of Spirit
Wittgenstein: philosophical Investigations
Rawls: a Theory of Justice

mal4mac
07-12-2010, 07:40 AM
Actually, the books I posted (with the exception of 'de rerum natura', i chose that for different reasons) are still relevant today ...

De Rerum Natura is a major work of Epicurean philosophy, besides being a great poem. It is central to the work of many modern philosophers, like Martha Nussbaum and Pierre Hadot. The latter writer, following *after* Foucault, suggests that Epicurean exercises are entirely appropriate to the modern condition (with modifications.) So 'de rerum natura' is certainly relevant (at least in part... a pretty major part...)

Darcy88
08-07-2010, 04:09 AM
Genealogy of Morals - Nietzsche
Beyond Good and Evil - Nietzsche
The Gay Science - Nietzsche
The Anti Christ - Nietzsche
Twilight of The Idols - Nietzsche
The Birth of Tragedy - Nietzsche
Ecce Homo - Nietzsche
Human, All Too Human - Nietzsche
Untimely Meditations - Nietzsche
Thus Spake Zarathustra - Nietzsche

johann cruyff
08-07-2010, 01:45 PM
My top ten books would probably be, in no particular order (in historical order, perhaps), these ten:

Organon - Aristotle

Meditations - Descartes

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding - Hume

Critique of Pure Reason - Kant

Begriffsschrift - Frege

Being and Time - Heidegger

Philosophical Investigations - Wittgenstein

How to do Things With Words - Austin

Truth and Method - Gadamer

Traditional and analytical philosophy. Lectures on the philosophy of language - Tugendhat

This is, of course, a list of those books which are traditionally regarded as philosophy, I omitted psychoanalysis and semiotics from the list.

bpearson
08-08-2010, 09:54 PM
The Brothers Karamazov, by Dostoevsky
Notes From Underground, by Dostoevsky
Critique of Pure Reason, by Kant
Meditations on First Philosophy, by Descartes
Discourse on the Method, by Descartes
Utopia, by More
The Social Contract, by Rousseau
The Book of the Courtier, by Castiglione
The Nichomachean Ethics, by Aristotle
Beyond Good and Evil, by Nietzsche
and anything by Karl Marx.

.Kafka
08-10-2010, 05:38 PM
In my opinion the most significant and substantial work on the philosophy of literature and existence in this past century, and perhaps in time immemorial, must be Jacque Derrida's Of Grammatology. After a few brief pages, drawn into Derrida's meticulously littered and complex world, life, existence, language, and philosophy; subjects, objects, words, and ideas began eroding under the intensity of his gaze. I put down the book and looked at my hand. Was it still a hand? And what is a hand? If I have a hand I must be capable of feeling, but what is feeling, and do I feel?

.Kafka
08-10-2010, 05:40 PM
To understand philosophy read poetry.

.Kafka
08-10-2010, 05:45 PM
I think Michel Foucault is worth a look. I am no expert in philosophy, but his books seem to be "how it ended up like this" kind of history books. Really quite eye-opening. Pretty difficult at times though.

I want to read Derrida, but honestly, I have no idea where to start with him.

I agree, inasmuch Foucault is a pioneer in the theory of the genealogy of history and the mechanisms of power. To begin Derrida, begin with Saussure.

.Kafka
08-10-2010, 05:48 PM
Genealogy of Morals - Nietzsche
Beyond Good and Evil - Nietzsche
The Gay Science - Nietzsche
The Anti Christ - Nietzsche
Twilight of The Idols - Nietzsche
The Birth of Tragedy - Nietzsche
Ecce Homo - Nietzsche
Human, All Too Human - Nietzsche
Untimely Meditations - Nietzsche
Thus Spake Zarathustra - Nietzsche

I like your attitude. Yes, Nietzsche is a god in his own right.

Darcy88
08-12-2010, 05:01 AM
I like your attitude. Yes, Nietzsche is a god in his own right.

Thanks, I like yours too.

Of course Plato must be read too, but only in the beginning and only to set the stage for Nietzsche. And I imagine in 5-10 or maybe more years I'll have assimilated Nietzsche to the point where I'll then be able to dispense with his books as well.

fetish
08-14-2010, 03:14 PM
*Ahem.*

What about Irigaray, Cixous, de Bouvoir, Kristeva, Butler, Spivak, Said, Chomsky, Bhabha etc. (just to touch the surface)?

(Yes, Kant is important, but really now ... lets try be a bit more diverse ... ;) )

.Kafka
08-14-2010, 06:32 PM
*Ahem.*

What about Irigaray, Cixous, de Bouvoir, Kristeva, Butler, Spivak, Said, Chomsky, Bhabha etc. (just to touch the surface)?

(Yes, Kant is important, but really now ... lets try be a bit more diverse ... ;) )

Why do I have the feeling you are a literature student studying contemporary critical and post-modern theory?

Sebas. Melmoth
08-14-2010, 10:32 PM
I didn't write this, but it's so spot-on I wanted to share (and I didn't know where else to post it): one reader writes:

'Puhleeze! Enough of these anti-corporate rants! Remember, the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations, including multi-nationals headquartered in foreign countries, are people deserving of Constitutional rights equal to those guaranteed to individual U.S. citizens!

From the National Law Journal:

"In a dramatic upheaval that sharply divided the Supreme Court, a 5-4 majority ruled Thursday that under the First Amendment Congress may not bar corporations and unions from using their own money to make independent expenditures to support or oppose candidates for office.

"The court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruled that the ban on direct corporate expenditures before elections, with criminal penalties, is a powerful chill on legitimate political speech. 'Its purpose and effect are to silence entities whose voices the government deems to be suspect,' wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority. 'If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.'"

And let's not forget that money is speech!

So enough of your socialist & communist diatribes!

Cheers! - patriotic supporter of our proud corpocratic oligarchy's neo-feudalism'

fetish
08-27-2010, 01:08 PM
Why do I have the feeling you are a literature student studying contemporary critical and post-modern theory?
Literature? HELL. NO.

Philosophy student right here :smilewinkgrin: Besides, it takes a lot of philosophy to know what philosophy is not.

arrytus
12-18-2010, 12:39 AM
I realize this thread has been abeyant for some time.

25 overlooked books by this thread in no particular order [eliding sociology, anthropology, and science- so no thorne/dawkins, nor levi-strauss, no gramsci/weber]:

Badiou- Being and Event
Sextus Empiricus- Outlines of Pyrrhonism
Agamben- homo Sacer
Blanchot- The space of Literature
Levinas- Totality and Infinity
Gellner- Word and Object [destroys wittgenstein and austin]
Kierkegard- Concluding Unscientific Postscript
Rorty- Mirror of Nature
H.P. Grice- studies in the ways of words
Yuri Lotman- universe of the mind
Francis Bacon- Novum Organon [can't believe no one said this- though this goes for most of these anyway]
Ponty- Phenomenology of Perception
Giordano Bruno- Cause, principle and Unity [not because it's his best work but because it's like the only good edition available in english]
Husserl- Logical Investigations 1+2
Husserl- Ideas 1-3
Husserl- Cartesian Meditations
Plato- Theaetetus
Plato- The Sophist
Foucault- The order of things
Quine- Word and Thing
Ricoeur- Hermeneutics and human sciences
G.E. moore- principia ethica
Hegel- Logic
Bataille- Sense and Experience
Stirner- the ego and one's own


[I realize taste is always varied, and moreover your favorites are necessarily correlated to not only what you've read but your influence and perspective at the time of the choice.]


I assume people are coming here to find new books to read so here is a list of authors i didn't see mentioned who one would do well to read [by category-- not exact however and you'll forgive some additions for simplicity's sake]:


[Language/Analytics/Logicians::]
Godel
Alonzo Church
Tarski
Frege
Quine
Jakobson
Dummett
Sapir
William von Humboldt
H.P. Grice
Micheal Polanyi
Putnam
Max Black
austin
searle
Peano
Boole
Carnap

[Post Modern/Continental:]
Ponty
Scheler
Deleuze
Agamben
Levinas
Luc- Nancy
Roland Barthes
Husserl
Dilthey
Baudrillard
Rorty
Habermas
Gadamer
Adorno
Walter Benjamin
Bataille
Cassirer
Franz Brentano
Bachelard
Jaspers
Camus
Gabriel Marcel

I was pleased to see people include Bakhtin, Saussure, Bergson, and even Gadamer.

someone asked where to begin with Derrida. That's hard to answer because most of his books are collected essays, or short ones. Of Grammatology is a good book, and it is also pretty much his only complete book qua book, perhaps other than Dissemination. So that being said A derrida Reader/Psyche Investigations 1+2/Writing and Difference are good places to go for collected essays

I love Derrida [my favorite philosopher] but you have to love the way he writes or else you'll find him a bear and a bore. I like the ideas of Hegel and Heidegger but they just wear me down reading them so I try to only read them once a year or so.


if I had to just choose the oeuvre of certain writers it would be Plato Derrida, Husserl, Nietzsche and Maurice Blanchot



Books I've yet to read:

Gareth Evans- Varieties of Experience
Brad Steigler- Technics and Time 1-3
Jean Luc Nancy- Being singular Plural
Heidegger- contributions to Philosophy
Derrida- Margins of Philosophy
Levinas- alterity and transcendence/otherwise than essnce
Habermas- On the Pragmatics of Communication/Reason and the Rationalization of Society 1-3
gadamer- truth and method
Ricoeur- conflicts of interpretation
Russell- analysis of matter
Bataille-The Unfinished System Of Nonknowledge
Proudhon- Philosophy of Misery/what is property
Adorno- Negative dialectics
Grice- Aspects of Reason/conception of value
Dummett- Frege
Deleuze- Difference and Repetition/ Anti-Oedipus

And a recapitulation of books one should read- or to put it another way, if you only had these books you could satisfy your scholarly pursuits [and yes i left out Descartes, Hume, Locke, Berkeley, ]:

Plato- Republic
Sartre- Being and Nothingness
Heidegger- Being and Time
Spinoza- Ethics
Wittgenstein- Philosophical Investigations
Kant- Critique of Pure Reason
Hegel- Phenomenology of Spirit
Kierkegaard- Either/Or 1+2
Nietzsche- Beyond good and Evil
Marcus Aurelius- Meditations


btw I have a ton of philosophy books I'm willing to trade!

JuniperWoolf
12-18-2010, 04:39 AM
Mary Wollstonecraft - A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

Thanks for getting the ball rolling, mary. We can go to university to study science and medicine now, and we can vote!

Virginia Woolf - A Room of One's Own

Thanks for catching that ball, and further expanding feminist theory in the household and in education.

Dodo25
12-18-2010, 09:38 AM
@arrytus, interesting list. I agree with mentioning Quine, Karnap, Frege and Göddel (and maybe Adorno). Some I haven't heard of, so maybe they're great too.

Yet most of your list, especially the top 10, seem a bit old and wishy-washy to me. Certainly interesting, but you won't find many answers in these books. I'd include some utilitarianism and some good philosophy of mind based on evolution, these actually get you somewhere:)

arrytus
12-19-2010, 10:28 PM
answers[/B] in these books. I'd include some utilitarianism and some good philosophy of mind based on evolution, these actually get you somewhere:)


i don't know which 10 you are referring to as old and outdated but as for philosophy of the 'mind' [a conception which in my opinion is outdated itself and unreal] I think has been more than surpassed philosophically and lies in neuroscience and psychobiology. and as i wasn't considering science in this list i left them out but there are great and necessary reads on the eliminative materialism and physical determinism, as well as small world network theory, game theory, and neural darwinism out there in which for beginners i would suggest Changeux or Edelman

Cunninglinguist
12-19-2010, 10:49 PM
And a recapitulation of books one should read- or to put it another way, if you only had these books you could satisfy your scholarly pursuits [and yes i left out Descartes, Hume, Locke, Berkeley, ]:

Plato- Republic
Sartre- Being and Nothingness
Heidegger- Being and Time
Spinoza- Ethics
Wittgenstein- Philosophical Investigations
Kant- Critique of Pure Reason
Hegel- Phenomenology of Spirit
Kierkegaard- Either/Or 1+2
Nietzsche- Beyond good and Evil
Marcus Aurelius- Meditations


btw I have a ton of philosophy books I'm willing to trade!

I don't know why you're leaving out Descartes, Hume, Locke and Berkeley (and others) seeing as their ideas are so important in philosophy and the history of philosophy. You include Kant's critique, which is undoubtedly one of the most important texts ever written, but Kant is harder to understand without Hume (in fact they are almost inseparable), Hume without Berkeley and Berkeley without Descartes. Also you forget Aristotle (definitely one of the top two most important philosophers and probably the most important in the history of philosophy) who influenced all of the above. Your alternatives are curious choices. It seems like you're just throwing a lot of names out there to look smart, but any unpretentious philosophy student would see this as utter bosh. These philosophers you neglect to mention are central to the ones you do mention. They are so central, in fact, it would be very insensible to approach the ones you've mentioned without approaching the ones you haven't mentioned first.

arrytus
12-19-2010, 11:49 PM
I don't know why you're leaving out Descartes, Hume, Locke and Berkeley (and others) seeing as their ideas are so important in philosophy and the history of philosophy. You include Kant's critique, which is undoubtedly one of the most important texts ever written, but Kant is harder to understand without Hume (in fact they are almost inseparable), Hume without Berkeley and Berkeley without Descartes. Also you forget Aristotle (definitely one of the top two most important philosophers and probably the most important in the history of philosophy) who influenced all of the above. Your alternatives are curious choices. It seems like you're just throwing a lot of names out there to look smart, but any unpretentious philosophy student would see this as utter bosh. These philosophers you neglect to mention are central to the ones you do mention. They are so central, in fact, it would be very insensible to approach the ones you've mentioned without approaching the ones you haven't mentioned first.

I left them out simply for my personal 10 ten list of the best books of a representative view of philosophy. And yes number 11 on this list was Aristotle's Metaphysics [was on the fence with that and Sartre since Le Etre et Le Neant is a better written version of Sein und Zeit]; Also I wavered on the Logic over the Phenomenolgie, and this choice is harder to justify; but I would not add hume nor locke nor Descartes above any of those 10/11 books I listed at the end [has any one been more thoroughly embarrassed than Descartes?].

But i think a 'real' philosophy student would probably neglect an ad hominem argument of a person he'd never met.

Dodo25
12-19-2010, 11:53 PM
i don't know which 10 you are referring to as old and outdated but as for philosophy of the 'mind' [a conception which in my opinion is outdated itself and unreal] I think has been more than surpassed philosophically and lies in neuroscience and psychobiology. and as i wasn't considering science in this list i left them out but there are great and necessary reads on the eliminative materialism and physical determinism, as well as small world network theory, game theory, and neural darwinism out there in which for beginners i would suggest Changeux or Edelman

Yes indeed! Philosophy of the mind is science. And utilitarianism is pretty scientific too (see Sam Harris' book 'the Moral Landscape). Fair enough then, you didn't include science.

I guess my problem then is with philosophy in general. It's interesting but rather useless without clear results. Especially Heidegger, can't read it at all, not even in the original language.

As Cunninglinguist seems to suggest, philosophy has become a historical study. In Aristotle's days, philosophy was science. Now, it has lost it's connection to reality.

But there's another thread for this, an ironically long one.

arrytus
12-20-2010, 12:25 AM
Yes indeed! Philosophy of the mind is science. And utilitarianism is pretty scientific too (see Sam Harris' book 'the Moral Landscape). Fair enough then, you didn't include science.

I guess my problem then is with philosophy in general. It's interesting but rather useless without clear results. Especially Heidegger, can't read it at all, not even in the original language.

As Cunninglinguist seems to suggest, philosophy has become a historical study. In Aristotle's days, philosophy was science. Now, it has lost it's connection to reality.

But there's another thread for this, an ironically long one.

I love science, especially physics and neural science- both of which I majored in, for a while at least. But I still find plenty of intellectual stimulation from philosophy. and I agree with you on Heidegger but he is very much worthwhile to read, but like with Hegel one can get so bogged down in his language. Much better/easier in German, as you allude to slightly [the 'translation' of Heidegger's 'Mindfulness' is perhaps the worst 'translation' I've ever come across]. But with such opaque language we often lose out on the meaning and Heidegger was, in my opinion, the most important philosopher of the 20th century, although I believe purist's would say Wittgenstein, but though I enjoy reading the latter I am not enamoured with his ideas.


I see Utilitarianism as mainly a moral philosophy [and pragmatic, scilicet, non-theologically based] which is proved dubious with the failures of natural altruism in darwinian selection and game theoretic models in evolutionary settings; although- if my conception shares any of the enthymemic nuances of your's respectively- I will say as a practical philosophy it 'has it's heart in the right place'.

Dodo25
12-20-2010, 12:57 AM
So it's dubious because it's unrealistic that people will follow it? Maybe, but in theory it's definitely best.

Deontolical ethics probably work better for most people, yet when it comes to major, complicated decisions (i.e. research policies on stem cells, or medical experiments), these kind of ethics fail big time..

Cunninglinguist
01-14-2011, 05:13 PM
I left them out simply for my personal 10 ten list of the best books of a representative view of philosophy.

That's not how you qualified them in your original post. You qualify them as books one should read. Any philosophy prof will put you through a curriculum that encompasses Hume, Berkeley, Descartes, etc. prior to about half of the ones you've mentioned.


And yes number 11 on this list was Aristotle's Metaphysics [was on the fence with that and Sartre since Le Etre et Le Neant is a better written version of Sein und Zeit]; Also I wavered on the Logic over the Phenomenolgie, and this choice is harder to justify; but I would not add hume nor locke nor Descartes above any of those 10/11 books I listed at the end [has any one been more thoroughly embarrassed than Descartes?].

Once again, I don't see the rationale for leaving these pivotal figures out. They are central to the philosophers you do mention.


But i think a 'real' philosophy student would probably neglect an ad hominem argument of a person he'd never met.

My supposition may be "neglected" as a legitimate reason to not follow your advice. But any "real" student of philosophy would still see what you said as pedantic nonsense. Perhaps some would have kept their mouth shut; but on the behalf of the readers I find it requisite to point out that what you're giving is just bad guidance.


As Cunninglinguist seems to suggest, philosophy has become a historical study. In Aristotle's days, philosophy was science. Now, it has lost it's connection to reality.

I think philosophy has its utility. But one ought to start with the earlier philosophers so as to have a context with which one can understand the later philosophers. This facilitates comprehension and understanding. Aside from these philosophers being influential, most of them were right, or made important contributions to philosophy that we still regard today. Philosophy can still be treated scientifically and can still bear to us useful fruits, yet this seems to recently have been subject to great doubt. I attribute this to the wavering nature of its language, namely words, which have highly variable meanings. Ambiguity of terms is the enemy to any calculus; when one imposes a certain definition onto a term contrary to what was intended by the author, parts of the calculus become compromised. Therefore, philosophy is utterly useless to the man who does not have an open mind.

Dialectic
06-22-2011, 02:04 PM
Simply wonderful thread.

1.Genealogy of Morals: Friedrich Nietzsche
2. Discipline and Punish: Michel Foucault
3. The Antichrist: Friedrich Nietzsche
4. German Ideology: Karl Marx
5. Dialectic of Enlightenment: Theodore Adorno & Max Horkheimer
6. One Dimensional Man: Herbert Marcuse
7. On Revolution: Hannah Arrendt
8. The Inclusion of the Other: Jurgen Habermas
9. Communist Manifesto: Karl Marx
10. A Theory of Justice: John Rawls

Honorable Mentions:
Trial and Death of Socrates: Plato
On the Social Contract: Rousseau
The Politics: Aristotle
Just and Unjust Wars: Michael Walzer
Thinking Politically: Michael Walzer
Democracy in America: Tocqueville
Cultivating Humanity: Martha Nussbaum
Perpetual Peace: Kant
Theory and Practice: Kant
Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals: Kant

Dialectic
06-22-2011, 02:10 PM
I wish I could add more Kant, as well as Hegel and Heidegger to my list, but I am floored everytime I try and read their more complex works.

lawpark
07-27-2011, 07:57 PM
My list:

Plato's Republic
Aristotle's Metaphysics
Laws of Manu (Well, philosophy in the broad sense including religio-socio-political-economic thinking)
Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika
Wang Bi's Commentaries to Laozi and Commentaries to Zhouyi
St. Augustine's The Trinity
Zhiyi's Commentaries on Vimalakirti Sutra
Cheng Xuanying's Sub-commentary to Zhuangzi
Shankara's Brahmasutrabhasya
Ibn Sina's al-Shifa
al-Ghazali's Revival of Religious Sciences
Zhu Xi's Commentaries on the Four Books
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
Marx's Das Kapital

Reasons of this selection:
http://lawpark.jimdo.com

Darcy88
08-04-2011, 11:21 PM
Camus' The Rebel. Blew me away. I'll need to read it at least another 2 times to really grasp it. Wow is all I can say.

kita
06-19-2012, 11:49 AM
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein
i have not yet climbed the ladder.

Theunderground
06-20-2012, 08:18 AM
Throw the ladder away. In the begining was the deed,not the concept.

aardappeleter
10-18-2012, 04:09 AM
ethics- Baruch.

diary of a seducer- kierkegaard

thus spake zarathustra- nietzsche

Mehdi Abbassi
10-24-2012, 03:41 AM
#1. Plato's Works. (Republic, Phaedrus, Laws, Parmenides, etc.)
#2. Metaphysics by Aristotle.
#3. Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle.
#4. Principles of Philosophy and Meditations by Descartes.
#5. Critique of Pure Reason by Kant.
#6. Critique of Practical Reason by Kant.
#7. Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone by Kant.
#8. Phenomenology of Spirit by Hegel.
#9. Elements of the Philosophy of Right by Hegel.
#10. Being and Time by Heidegger.

Irishcrusader95
10-27-2012, 09:44 PM
i really want to read Hume's 'An Enquiry concerning Human understanding' (1748)
i have read Sophie's world and the part on Hume's philosophies really interested me for the huge open mindedness it preaches, we should never shut out the possibility of the white crow.

currently on a second reading of Mill's 'On Liberty' which is proving to be very profound.

aardappeleter
10-28-2012, 11:10 PM
mediatations by MARCUS AURELIUS is also a strong competent. highly recommended,

mal4mac
10-31-2012, 08:31 AM
I second Meditations by Marcus Aurelius - Pierre Hadot is a good modern commentator on his stuff.

Irishcrusader95
11-02-2012, 09:51 PM
ya i'm also reading that. i had been afraid it would be an almost unintelligible read being nearly 2000 years old but the wording is like it was written yesterday and there some incredibly profound parts in it that should be taken as true life lessons.

mal4mac
11-03-2012, 07:20 AM
ya i'm also reading that. i had been afraid it would be an almost unintelligible read being nearly 2000 years old but the wording is like it was written yesterday and there some incredibly profound parts in it that should be taken as true life lessons.

I also like Epictetus, the stoic slave, and found the latest Penguin translation very good. He's just as readable, and profound, as is the other famous Roman stoic, Seneca.

mal4mac
11-03-2012, 07:24 AM
...currently on a second reading of Mill's 'On Liberty' which is proving to be very profound.

Yeah - Mill is good. Try his Autobiography, he had a really wacky childhood, well worth reading about. He knew, indeed was brought up by (!), the other major Utilitarians, so his comments on Bentham, his dad, etc. are very interesting... as is his "cure by Wordsworth"...

cafolini
11-03-2012, 11:22 AM
Questions, by Federico Garcia Lorca


In concert the cicada balms the field.
What do you say, Marcus Aurelius,
about these old philosophers of the plains?
How poor is your thought!

Soft and tame runs the river.
O’ Socrates! What do you see
in the water, sliding to bitter death?
How poor is your faith!

The petals of the roses fall to mud.
O’ sweet Johnny of God!
What do you see in these glorious leaves?
How small is your heart!

Irishcrusader95
11-03-2012, 02:08 PM
I also like Epictetus, the stoic slave, and found the latest Penguin translation very good. He's just as readable, and profound, as is the other famous Roman stoic, Seneca.
stoic philosophy is really something i must look more into

Yeah - Mill is good. Try his Autobiography, he had a really wacky childhood, well worth reading about. He knew, indeed was brought up by (!), the other major Utilitarians, so his comments on Bentham, his dad, etc. are very interesting... as is his "cure by Wordsworth"...

reading Ulitarianisem currently, a bit harder to grasp then On Liberty yet still very interesting. i have read that he was influenced in a lot of his views by Hume's empiricism. his biography would make for a much clearer understanding of his views so i will have to see about getting that at some time.

mal4mac
11-04-2012, 12:13 PM
... his biography would make for a much clearer understanding of his views so i will have to see about getting that at some time.

It's short, easy, and there's a penguin. It's definitely on my reread list, so if you fancy getting it and launching a discussion I'll join in. Should interest literary types as he was getting so weighed down by all that hard philosophy that he had to find something to lighten his soul - Wordsworth and the other romantics brought him back from the edge.

The stoics are very interesting, but you musn't skip Socrates, Epicurus, the Cynics and the skeptics! Pierre Hadot's "What is Ancient Philosophy?" is a great intro. to all this gang, not a difficult read either (amazingly, for a French philosopher :)

Irishcrusader95
11-05-2012, 02:18 PM
It's short, easy, and there's a penguin. It's definitely on my reread list, so if you fancy getting it and launching a discussion I'll join in. Should interest literary types as he was getting so weighed down by all that hard philosophy that he had to find something to lighten his soul - Wordsworth and the other romantics brought him back from the edge.

The stoics are very interesting, but you musn't skip Socrates, Epicurus, the Cynics and the skeptics! Pierre Hadot's "What is Ancient Philosophy?" is a great intro. to all this gang, not a difficult read either (amazingly, for a French philosopher :)
thanks for the suggestions, just so i'm clear should i get his autobiography or the one written by Richard Reeves (2008)?

mal4mac
11-06-2012, 08:56 AM
thanks for the suggestions, just so i'm clear should i get his autobiography or the one written by Richard Reeves (2008)?

I was referring to his autobiography. That said, Reeves, does look interesting. I'd start with the autobiography, and if (as is likely) you want to read more, why not try Reeves? Thanks for pointing it out, I might read it myself...