10 of the Best Books About Philosophy To Make You Think

Here we look at some of the best books about philosophy. Not everyone’s a fan of philosophy books, and understandably so. Most are badly written, not very well worded and not that interesting to read, however among all that there are a few gems, which is what we will be looking at here.

Essentially, all philosophy really is, is about thinking deeply, and I’m sure we can all implement some of that into our lives. Without further ado, I present to you, the top 10 books about philosophy that will make you think.

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Best books about philosophy

1. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

The Book of Joy - Dalai Lama
This book by Dalai Lama is a New York Times bestseller. It shows us the different ways we can bring happiness, fulfillment, and joy into our lives. The author then goes on to explain how there is a relationship between our emotions and ourselves. Particularly the significant relationship between deep happiness and painful emotions. One aspect you will find particularly enjoyable about this book is that it shows you how to find joy in even the most difficult times, definitely an inspiring book that is worth a read.

2. Beyond good and evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

Beyond Good and Evil - Friedrich Nietzsche
This book, beyond good and evil, is written by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In this book, the author looks at how past philosophers lack critical sense by blindly accepting dogmatic premises whilst considering the subject of morality. He then explains the principles philosophers should uphold. He believes philosophers should move into the area ‘good and evil’ hence the name of this book. This book is recommended to anyone who has an interest in modern philosophy. You certainly don’t have to agree with everything in this book, however, some ideas will certainly be thought-provoking and insightful

3. The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

The Philosophy Book
This book is one of the best books about philosophy. The authors of this book give us an introduction to concepts and history behind the thinking of philosophy. It unpacks the ideas of hundreds of the biggest thinkers in history and explores if their ideas are still relevant today. The book goes into many different subject matters such as rationalism, existentialism, feminism and idealism. The book is laid out in a very easy to read format, with engaging writing and innovative graphics that explain complicated ideas in a simple as possible way. This book is a great introduction to the interesting and fascinating world of philosophy.

4. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Art of War - Sun Tzu
Another one of the best books about philosophy, the art of war. War is brutal, expensive, ugly and wasteful. Let’s not pretend otherwise as that is the reality. Having said that, this classic piece of Chinese philosophy strips away the un-controllable aspects of war and looks at the essence of a battle and how one must win. This book provides a great insight and encourages us to think differently. The lessons that are learnt in this book are certainly as valid today as they were a long time ago. Essentially the 3 main ideas that are looked at in this book are the following: know the enemy, know yourself, and only engage in conflict if you know you can win. Do this and you will have the upper hand at anything that involves conflict.

5. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
The author of this book, Bill Bryson does an excellent job in explaining the principles of science in a way that is relevant to the average person – something that most science textbooks fail to do. The book is written in a compelling way that is also very informative. A reader who is new to science and history will especially appreciate this book as it will contain one remarkable discovery after another. It is very hard not to love this book and certainly recommended for anyone who wishes to expand their knowledge of the universe.

6. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
This book is essentially a guide to looking inside of yourself. It is a truly amazing book, the main message that is put across is how to reduce stress and lead a more productive life. The author of this book, Don Miguel Ruiz explains to us how much we have been ‘domesticated’, and how we shouldn’t take things personally. These are just two of the many subjects that are touched on in this book. Even if you are not a fan of self-help wisdom books, this one is still worth a read as I think everyone can get something out of this book.

7. The Dream of Reason: A History of Western Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance

The Dream of Reason - Anthony Gottlieb
This book, which started as a classic has now been re-written in this new edition which expands the content to cover more of the middle ages. The author of this book, Anthony Gottlieb, takes a fresh look at the thinking and writings of philosophers and conventional wisdom. ‘The Dream of Reason: A History of Western Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance’ is very informative, entertaining and accessible. There is a lot you can absorb from this book and is a must-read for anyone who has the slightest interest in philosophy.

8. Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy by Simon Blackburn

Think - Simon Blackburn
The author Simon Blackburn has essentially given us a book that looks at life’s biggest questions such as justice, consciousness, god, fate, goodness, and knowledge. He also studies the views of many well-known philosophers such as Hume, Wittgenstein, Russel, Leibnitz and more. If you are someone who acknowledges that these big questions exist but you don’t know how to approach them then this book will help you. The book talks about what these questions actually mean and why they are important. The book is well written and easy to follow, something which a few philosophical books fail to do. Some of the chapters in this book will really make you stop and think.

9. Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity by Carlo Rovelli

Reality is Not What it Seems - Carlo Rovelli
This book is truly remarkable, it is certainly one of the best books about philosophy. It manages to explain the most complex ideas in a fairly understandable format. The scientist and author of this book, Carlo Rovelli, look at the following questions: what is ‘reality’ made of? Can we really understand its texture? Do space and time really exist? He has spent his life exploring these questions, and he aims to push the boundaries of what we know. In this book, we are taken on a journey of evolution and physics that’s spans over 2500 years, definitely a very insightful book on physics and philosophy.

10. The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton

The Consolations of Philosophy - Alain De Botton

The best-selling author, Alan de Botton brings us another great book that manages to make philosophical matters both relevant and enjoyable. Alan de Botton manages to bring together the collective wisdom of many different philosophers spanning from the ancients all the way up to the 19th century.

Throughout this book, issues such as a broken heart, pain, and money are reflected on.

De Botton manages to make the book engaging and interesting, the only criticism would be that the author has over-simplified certain topics in this book.

I hope you have found the above information useful and will help you on your journey to a better life. If you have any feedback or want more information, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

“Yesterday was the last day of your past. Today is the first day of your future.”

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1 Response

  1. teaspoons says:

    Excellent post.

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