How To Read Philosophy Books

What are some good Philosophy books to read.

also, how do I become an avid book reader? I tried going to library once a week but after a while, i’d get discouraged and stop going. How do I exercise my mind of doing this. I want to get ready to start my sophomore year in college

Plato and a Platypus Go into a Bar, Cathcart and KleinA Philosophy of Universality, Omraam AivanhovPhilosophy for Dummies, Tom MorrisGenerally, reading for main ideas is more useful, important, in terms of what you’ll find helpful the day after the final exam. However, for the gpa’s sake, outlining, highlighting, and rote memorization are of course what’s normal.Other helpful books:Outliers, Malcolm GladwellSuperfreakonomics, Steven LevittThe Great Divorce, C. S. LewisUniversity of Destruction, David WheatonExpecting Adam, Martha BeckWest with the Night, Beryl MarkhamThe Intellectuals, Paul JohnsonA History of the American People, Paul JohnsonFrom Dawn to Decadence, Jacques BarzunAnd There Was Light, Jacques LusseyranAnimal Farm, George OrwellBeing George Washington, Glenn Beck

Philosophy books.

Does anybody know of any good books on the philosophy of life? Such as books on whats wrong with society today, how life was supposed to be lived, etc.Also does anybody know of any books similar to the philosophy that Chris McCandless had? (Into the Wild)basically just books on how to live a simple, detached…

Start with the fundamentals: Plato is an excellent start. Even more important than why we are here is to discover how we know what we know – or epistemology. It is not significant enough to ask what is the nature of the universe, but rather we should focus on how we know what we think we know. In “The Republic” Plato focuses on many of these kinds of issues. His allegory of the cave is the most crucial part of the book as it provides the greates metaphor to describe how we understand the world around us. Have you ever seen “The Matrix”? The philosophy of “The Matrix” is taken from this book.But since philosophy originated with the Greeks, that is the place to start. But you can’t place too much faith in Plato either, since an overdependence on his philosophies more or less led to the dark ages. Read some Aristotle as well – although his writing is compiled from the notes of his students and is a lot more dry and boring to read.If you like political philosophy, read John Locke. His First and Second Treatises of Government” provide the basis for the creation of the United States. The writings of John Locke were a tremendous influence on Thomas Jefferson, who altered Locke’s three inalienable human rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Locke had originally stated that the third inalienable human right is Land.From what I know of “Into the Wild” the basic premise talks about the nature of humanity outside of civilization. The philosopher who spins circles around the “dark side” of human nature is Thomas Hobbes. He describes the nature of man as being inherently very dark, selfish, and violent, whereas John Locke surmises that the nature of humans is more benevolent.You may enjoy more contemporary books, such as “Heart of Darkness” that follows the journey of a man named Winston into the depths of the congo. It gives a rather dark portrayal of human nature, however, and has received a lot of criticism from equal rights groups because of its portrayal of blacks in Africa. But – FYI – the move “Apocalyspe Now” was based on “Heart of Darkness.”But – always keep in mind when reading anything – who is trying to push their ideas on you. I suggest going back to ancient philosophers who talk about the ills of society in their day rather than to suggest contemporary authors who will simply tell you what to think. If you know the fundamentals – what philosophers thought in the beginning of civilization – then you can reach your own conclusions of what is wrong with society/life today.Also remember – it is the journey that gives enjoyment – not the end.

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Philosophy reading.

Please lead me to a good reading in philosophy. I like Plato’s Five Dialogues and Epictetus’ “The Enchiridion.” I want something new. Thank you for the recommendations…

How about a good general background of the 103 most analyzed subjects in philosophy? You pick the topic, and in 8 or ten pages you have read what the best minds over the millenia have said about it. This book does not offer its own views.Angel; Animal; Aristocracy; Art; Astronomy; Beauty; Being; Cause; Chance; Change; Citizen; Constitution; Courage; Custom and Convention; Definition; Democracy; Desire; Dialectic; Duty; Education; Element; Emotion; Eternity; Evolution; Experience; Family; Fate; Form; God; Good and Evil; Government; Habit; Happiness; History; Honor; Hypothesis; Idea; Immortality; Induction; Infinity; Judgment; Justice; Knowledge; Labor; Language; Law; Liberty; Life and Death; Logic; Love; Man; Mathematics; Matter; Mechanics; Medicine; Memory and Imagination; Metaphysics; Mind; Monarchy; Nature; Necessity and Contingency; Oligarchy; One and Many; Opinion; Opposition; Philosophy; Physics; Pleasure and Pain; Poetry; Principle; Progress; Prophecy; Prudence; Punishment; Quality; Quantity; Reasoning; Relation; Religion; Revolution; Rhetoric; Same and Other; Science; Sense; Sign and Symbol; Sin; Slavery; Soul; Space; State; Temperance; Theology; Time; Truth; Tyranny; Universal and Particular; Virtue and Vice; War and Peace; Wealth; Will; Wisdom; Worldhttp://www.thegreatideas.org/newbook.htmlThen, after you get this background, you can go find what you REALLY want to read, because you will know who said what about what.

How to read philosophy.

Specfically Nietzsche or Baudrillard.I can read Schopenhauer just fine though…Nietzsche is very poetic at times and it bothers me at some points.I seem to have more trouble with their works that don’t focus on a single topic throughout the whole thing. For example, I seem to have an easier time…

1. open book full of bullshit2. fill head full of bullshit3. try to make sense of the bullshit4. be the bullshit5. im bored sorry

How to read tough books.

I have trouble reading some hard books like scholarly literature, old literature, and so on.I want to become a better reaser and be able to understand what i am reading. I feel at times I am inderstanding the idea and argument but then I get completely lost. I begin to see words I have never seen, and…

Keep a dictionary with you, probably a dictionary for the field in which you are reading (that will explain technical terms) and also a general dictionary (so for instance http://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Sociolo… as well as http://www.amazon.com/Merriam-Websters-C… ). When you encounter a word you don’t know, or one that is being used in a way that is unfamiliar to you, look it up.It’s possible you would find it helpful to learn how to “diagram” sentences – to take it apart in a way that will shed light on how complicated ones work. I don’t have a specific book I can recommend, but there are a number out there.What worked for me when I was in your situation was to begin at the start of whatever I was reading and keep reading until I was completely lost, and then start over. Each time, a bit more would make sense, and gradually I’d end up able to understand the entire essay or chapter or whatever. Over time, I became able to understand progressively longer stretches of even new pieces. (I also got a recommended reading list from my professor, so that I was reading a lot of articles that dealt with the same important questions we were studying in class – that way each text I read helped me to understand the next a little better than I otherwise would have.)You may also be interested in taking a class in literature or in philosophy or in some other field which stressed close reading in certain classes. (I’ve known professors who work with their students to read things very closely, and who consequently can find themselves at the end of a semester before they have even finished more than 5 or 6 pages of the first book they had assigned. The expectation is that students will take the skills they’ve learned during the semester and finish the books themselves. I’m not suggesting you start with something that extreme, but you should certainly ask around to try to find someone who will stress close reading in a particular class, not just take a lit class and hope you get lucky.) Alternately, you might be able to get the department to help you find a grad student or an advanced undergraduate who could go through articles or even a whole book with you, showing you how they read for understanding.I hope there’s something useful for you in this answer and that you get a lot of really great ones. No matter what, though, keep struggling with it: learning to read difficult texts is an important part of becoming an educated person, and my experience has been that it really pays off. Good luck with it.

How to study philosophy books…

Hi guys. Lately I’ve been reading some philosophy books, and I plan to major in it in college because it intrigues so much. One thing that’s stumped me, though, is how to study it through the books I’m reading. When reading Nietzsche’s “Beyond Good And Evil” (I bought a used copy) I…

READ – From the start!The tradition is Western philosophy is a very linear dialogue. Everything is either a critique, response, reevaluation, or rebirth of a previous idea in philosophy going all the way back to the start – Thales. Nietzsche is no exception. Lots of people try to read him but totally miss the points. You CANNOT understand Nietzsche unless you understand the ideas that came before him because his entire philosophy is a critique of those previous ideas. In particular: Parmenides, Socrates, Plato, Christian Neoplatonists, Christian Medievals and Scholastics, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer. A familiarity with the Greek Tragedies, Machiavelli, Goethe, and Wagner is also required.Intro philosophy classes (which will be prerequisites to Nietzsche classes) always go in chronological order through the dialogue of western philosophy. Text books also. This textbook is a good one:http://www.amazon.com/Great-Conversation…If you want to get a head start on a Phil major, read the Platonic Dialogues. Start with the “Five Dialogues” and The Republic.

Advice on how to read philosophy books.

I am taking a grad school class that I thought was a history on the Medieval time period, but a philosophy teacher is teaching it. The first book we have to read is called The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius and I am completely lost by what I’m reading! I’ve tried to find Spark Notes or any kind of…

Surprisingly I’ve found something helpfulhttp://www.gradesaver.com/the-consolatio…

How hard is to read Hume as your first philosophy book.

In “An inquiry concerning human understanding”.

I do not think Hume, or his inquiry concerning human understanding is difficult to read at all. He is generally very clear. Like with most philosophy texts, you need to focus and read carefully.

How do I motivate myself to read philosophy books after reading Nietzsche.

Now that he has ruined all of philosophy for me

Nietzsche is peachy and Camus can do, but Satre is smartre.(not that I don’t love Nietzsche and Camus)Actually try some Voltaire. Candide is fascinating AND it’s hilarious. Laughing out loud while contemplating philosophical issues is a lot of fun and it’s OK to have fun with philosophy.If you want to be more serious, try some Wittgenstein.

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46 thoughts on “How To Read Philosophy Books

  1. In order to study any bookish subject, I would suggest:It appears to be some form of diet control for you, if what you say is true after reading the other.

  2. My Dad told me about this book 14 years ago and it wasn’t until 2 years ago I read it. I wish I would have read it all those years ago.

  3. you need to increase the vocabulary of language you are perusing.You should read other dialogues of Plato besides these five. They all make great reading, and as the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead put it, all of Western Philosophy is just a series of footnotes to Plato. Then you should read:Read the philosophers who he deeply influenced: Foucault, Deleuze, Heidegger, etc.

  4. Is it hardcore nihilism stopping you from seeing the point in reading more? I fail to see the point in not reading more.SKIM READ: theres so much out there you can’t afford to get bogged down in a single book.

  5. keep a dictionary and thesaurus nearby while you read. Lookup words that you don’t know – it will help to increase your vocabulary. The more that you read, the better you become at understanding the texts.

  6. First note that anybody who says philosophy is a “lifeless” discipline has for sure under no circumstances studied philosophy; and the declare that philosophers are “unhappy” human beings probable says more desirable about the responder than it does about philosophers. yet i ought to trust the respondent who said this guy might want to probable avert philosophy if well-knownshows the works dense and “dull.” yet when he’s in problem-free words study Nietzsche it really isn’t any longer a sturdy position to commence. He might want to a minimum of attempt the early dialogues of Plato (APOLOGY, CRITO, etc.), then perchance somewhat Descartes which maximum of my scholars locate attainable.

  7. If you have a serious interest in philosophy, one single philosopher shouldn’t ruin that for you. Nietzsche is just one thinker in a sea of many. Besides, his arguments aren’t airtight, and his analysis of history is quite feeble.

  8. People just underline those things that they see pivotal in the authors argument. Arguments are the essence of philosophy. Most philosophical books seek to prove something via an argument. An argument in its most basic form is simply a conclusion that is preceded by supporting premises. When studying philosophy do not just accept everything you read!!!!!! Put serious thought into everything you read, make sure it lines up well with what you think is right. I personally am a MacIntyreian when it comes to ethics. Alisdar MacIntyre FTW. Nietzche is less than convincing in my opinion.

  9. Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms — also a classic — short pieces, each one a thought-provoking gem.

  10. spread it out over time. This is much more effective with constant repetition to get through difficult subjects. A marathon study session just doesn’t work and your mind will wander.

  11. Be selective: only read the books/documents held to be most important to start with. To know which these are use the reading list in a mainstream recommended textbook.

  12. Read small paras and evaluate than move fwd or you may keep a led pencil to underline difficult words.I wasn’t born a natural critically thinking reader either. The best thing I did is read with a pen. I mark everything (I mean everything!) in the paragraphs. You know how back in high school or in one of your college English classes the teacher or professor would talk about connotations and denotations of words, parts of speech, tone, etc? Pay attention closely to those things. Read with a dictionary if you have trouble understanding the words – ain’t no shame in that. If you are having trouble understanding the argument just because it’s too heavy and convoluted (you have trouble understanding the argument itself because it is difficult or dry, not because you don’t understand the words explaining the argument), then start marking the topic sentences, and underlining the main points of evidence in the paragraph. But don’t just go around circling everything – that defeats the purpose. Mark what is important. Also, keep notes in the margins so you don’t get lost. Write a small summary of the main action that happened on each page before moving on to the next. Pick up one of those books that is titled “How to read literature” or “how to write like a professor” or something similar – it provides a lot of insight on what certain imagery, metaphors, or allusions mean.

  13. By then, you’ll be ready for Camus: “Even within nihilism it is possible to find the means to proceed beyond nihilism.” You don’t have to find your own inner sockpuppet Zarathustra to proceed in a new key after your own personal ruination/nihilism. Husserl, Whitehead, Popper, and even Wittgenstein did continue to do philosophy A.N., and you can continue to read them.

  14. Then, read “Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar” (laff riot).Have you tried a book by Kahlil Gibran? His writings are the best and I recommend you read “The Prophet”, it is a masterpiece. And also “The Prince”, written by Machiavelli. They’re a bit different from your usual read. And if you want to try something new, try these books. 🙂

  15. Realize Zarathustra is Nietzsche’s inner philosopher, dispensing tough love for those who are climbing the mountain. Understanding self, as to why philosophy is no longer important after Nietzsche, is key.

  16. It’s about 1200 pages (don’t let this scare you) and covers all aspects of philosophy.Just go to the biggest Bookstore nearest your town. There are so many great philosophers to read on. Hegel for one has many written books on philosophy but it is so costly. Philosophers like Aristotle, james, Nietzsche, Russel, Bergson, Spencer, Locke Plato, Croce, Bacon, Voltaire, Santayana, Spinoza, Kant, Dewey, Schopenhauer are only a few to mention.

  17. I have the same problem too. And I’m the kind of person who put those notes in such 2nd hand books!

  18. Descartes, Discourse on Method — probably the most important work in modern philosophy, but short and well-written.

  19. Or is it ’cause Nietzsche just too awesome?HA HA. i think of it fairly is large while somebody asks for suggestions to get ‘into’ philosophy and people respond with being and time, being and nothingness, why in comparison to comprise Hegel’s total device and kant’s 3 evaluations, too? yeah adult men, a beginner is fairly gonna get lots out of that. What i could recommend to the regulation-college female is to determine some biographies of philsophers that she’s heard of or renowned. those books will concentration greater on the indoors maximum life yet they’re going to very greater often than not supply sparkling summaries of the foremost works, so which you would be able to study some undemanding philosophy in an hassle-free way on an identical time as taking part in the e book you’re reading. there is not any evaluate overwhelming your self with impossible texts magnificent off the bat — till, for sure, the foremost ingredient is attempting to influence people. yet i think of in basic terms boys could be silly sufficient to determine philosophy to influence people.

  20. Bertrand Russell’s ‘The Problems Of Philosophy’ would be one, and in fact many of his collected essays. If you can read Latin, Descartes Meditationes is quite accessible. Alternatively, there are books like ‘La Nausee’ by Jean-Paul Sartre. In English, Hume is highly readable.

  21. Take out many books from the library, and read them al simultneously: so you don’t get bored or disheartened with just one.Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil — one of the most enjoyable pieces of philosophy ever written — also short pieces densely packed with ideas.

  22. It has been said many times over that if you have something to say and you understand what you are talking about you will have no difficulty stating your piece and all will understand. Don’t try to tell this to academics though, many of whom fit into the second category above, lest they lose their job or tenure.

  23. I would suggest you to read “Ethics” from Baruch de Espinoza. It’s a very difficult book but very good to understand life.

  24. Seneca, Dialogues and Essays — one of the classics of Stoicism — beautifully written, covers a whole range of philosophically interesting topics.

  25. For two reasons, I think. First the writer is poor at writing and expressing their thoughts. More likely, the writer has little to say and must, to not be recognized as an ignoramus, fill it with BS and incomprehensible verbiage that no one underastands because there is nothing to understand.Making notes is a personal thing. I use pencil and mini post its. Many use highlighters. Highlight what you find interesting, what demonstrates a salient point, and others opinions.

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