New to philosophy, book suggestions?

Discussion in 'The Bookshelf' started by xsmallheartx, May 26, 2010.

  1. #1 xsmallheartx, May 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2010

    I am quite new to philosophy, and very interested in it. I was wondering what books / people I should study first to get a somewhat general knowledge.

    Terence Mckenna mentions many such as Heraclitus and too many more.
  2. I like Epicurus and Bruce Lee.

    Not sure of any books except for The Tao of Jeet Kun Do... which has a lot of philosophical insight from Bruce Lee.
  3. I will post a few things, since you really didn't give a genre of what type of philosophy :D

    Well, first since you are new, understanding what Philosophy is would truly help lol

    Philosophy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Basic information, it will give you a grasp of the components of thought for philosophy.




    All have really shaped my mind, and I recommend them. I would read the Plato book first, and read some stuff on his symposium, because many of Aristotle's thoughts expand further from Plato.

    Just a starting point, since you are new to philosophy.
  4. "What does it all mean"- Nagel
    This book does a great job of introducing philosophy and its various subjects in only a few pages. In paperback this book is only around $10.

    Also try iTunes U and check out introductory philosophy courses, many are free and from top universities.

    Good Luck!
  5. the old stuff is cool, but you should read up on some contemporary stuff too.

    look up these philosophers: Wittgenstein, Russel, Frege, Husserel, Rorty, Heideggar, Beauvoir, Searle. The list goes on, just do some research at the library.
  6. well not that Jung didn't have a great insight about philosophy, just know he was a psychologist and there is a difference in psychology and philosophy. philosophy created psychology and even the notion of science.

    also understand that philosophy is not in a book. philosophy can be found in everything. even stupid Pop songs! reading Aristotle, Plato, and other early pioneers is fine, but unless you understand philosophy is a product of the thinker, nothing they or anyone else says matters.

    philosophy is simply a science of life. to think about, to analyse, to ponder, to wonder, to to philosophize.

    so needless to say there is no right or wrong philosophy.

    that being said, if you'd like some names to check out i noticed no one has listed Rene Descartes. and there is a very little known, yet very moderate and relevant book titled "Becoming God" by Ford that is easily Googled.
  7. I'm not kidding on this one. The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Put it in your bathroom.
  8. I have four books I'd suggest to you.

    A great book to get you into philosophy, and dealing with losing your faith is The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts.

    If you prefer simply reading philosophical doctrine, then The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus is a good read. This is relatively long one, and probably the most tedious of the selections I'd suggest.

    Candide by Voltaire is absolutely brilliant. It's a French (translated of course) satire during the enlightenment era about someone who is completely and utterly optimistic. There's a lot of philosophical undertones to the story.

    Finally, The Stranger by Albert Camus is probably one of my favorite books I've read. The narrator is completely apathetic and unfeeling to the world. The book opens,

    "Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure. The telegram from the Home says: Your mother passed away, Funeral tomorrow, Deep sympathy. Which leaves the matter doubtful; it could have been yesterday."
  9. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert Pirsig
  10. Anything by Robert Anton Wilson - man is a fucking genius. I'd read Prometheus Rising then Quantum Psychology by him.

    Before delving into the deep world of philosophy you should read two books by a man named Eckhart Tolle. A New Earth and then The Power of Now.

    The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
    Intelligence in Nature - Jermey Narby
  11. #11 psilosylum, May 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2010

    yes, i forgot about Wilson. Prometheus Rising is a must.

    oh yea, and for sure, no doubt about it, i mean it, this is no bullshit!! BRUCE LEE.

    that man was as intelligent and spiritual as anybody in history. he doesn't get the respect he should in the philosophical/intelligence area.
  12. #12 PMoney, May 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2010
    if you're into entheogens (psilocybin, mescaline, DMT) and can understand him, i would suggest something by terence mckenna, particularly food of the gods. it basically talks about the symbiotic relationship between plants and animals. really quite interesting.

    if, on the other hand, you're looking for something a little less, shall we say, articulate, then i would try and find some of timothy leary's material, but that's just me.
  13. I read that a couple months ago :)
  14. #14 mrgoodsmoke, May 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2010
    Saul Kripke - "naming and necessity"
    David Kellogg Lewis - "on the plurality of worlds" or "convention"
    Immanuel Kant - "grounding of the metaphysics of morals"
    Thomas Kuhn - "the structure of scientific revolutions"
    Alasdiar Macintyre - "after virtue"
    Oscar Mortgenstern - "theory of games and economic behavior"
    Don Ross - "everything must go: metaphysics naturalized"
    Bertrand Russel - "history of western philosophy"
    I'd mainly suggest however, that you provide us w/ a rough estimate of your interests, and you might be better off to read articles at first then move on to primary texts.

    Real philosophy can be extremely challenging, and I'd hate to see you fall into that cliche existential trap that effects so many newcomers.

    Never read Nietzsche, he was a ranter, not a philosopher. (unfortunately most of his fans never realize this).

    First and foremost however, the oxford dictionary of philosophy. Put it in your bathroom and you'll be making logical deductions and radical speculations about things unknowable in no time.
  15. THE ESSENTIAL DALAI LAMA. Good overview of all his books. It was the first book I read about the eastern way of thinking, and started me down a long path of good books.
  16. Does the center hold? an introduction to western philosophy.

    think it was by donal palmer or something.

    gives a pretty good overview of philosophy 101
  17. "To have or to be" by Erich Fromm. Some serious food for thought about life, society and stuff, if that's what you might like. Strongly recommended.
  18. The Self-Aware Universe (1993)
  19. Dude I actually have probably 2 gigs of .pdfs on philosophy.

    I can give you the complete works of aristotle, kant, plato. I've got several reference books, (textbook style), all the classics like communist manifesto, lots of nietzsche, einstein, huxley^, tao te ching. Literally tons of them.

    Shit man you give me a topic and I'll write a paper on it, references and all. I love the shit.

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