Philosophy comes from combining two Greek Words Philein - Lover and Sophina - Wisdom.
Thus, a philosopher is someone who loves Wisdom.
False notion people carry about the word philosophy, which is to sit through long discourses from -professors, lectures, philosophical leaders, or politicians coughing up free bits of advice.
To overcome such prejudiced notions, one must pick and read a book from the list of Best books for philosophy given below.
Philosophy is about how one must live a good life here and now - philosophical books can help attain exactly that.
Let us discuss the 15 Best Books for Philosophy, which can teach new aspects of life, such as - powerful guiding principles, understand its origins, and scale them to transcend your life.
These books also help us understand the aspects of moral philosophies and fundamentals of principles governing our behaviour and moreover they make fine addition to our home library collection.
Here are the 15 Best Books for Philosophy:
The Bhagavad Gita is the number one philosophical and Spiritual Book in Hinduism, encapsulated with Wisdom about life's purpose and powerful advice on living virtuously but authentically without yielding to life's temptations and desires or other people's dreams.
Bhagavad Gita is neither a holy book nor a religious manuscript; it is a philosophical manuscript to illuminate humanity to realise -the true divinity, the ultimate spirituality. This book also helps unravel the philosophy of life to lead a peaceful life.
Popular Bhagavad Gita Quotes:
- You are what you believe in
- You are entitled to the action, never to its fruits
"The Story of Philosophy" by Will Durant published in 1926, profiles many prominent Western philosophers such as Socrates, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Plato.
In this book, Durant highlights the interconnection of individual ideas and how one philosopher's ideas informed the next. A revised edition of this book was released in 1933.
What does this book offer?
Philosophers' profiles are, in order:
Plato, with a section on Socrates
Francis Baruch Spinoza with a section Descartes
Voltaire with a section on Rousseau
Immanuel Kant, with a section on Hegel
The final two chapters are devoted to American and European Philosophers. Durant admits the criticism that the book received as to how the book does not include philosophers from the Asian Continent, most notably Confucius, Adi-Shankara, and Buddha.
Thus it is one of the best Philosophy Books for our Home Library.
Popular Will Durant Quotes:
We are what we repeatedly do. "Excellence as we is not an act but a habit." -Aristotle
The novel 'The Fountainhead -1943 by Russian-American author Ayn Rand.
Ayan Rand adapts her unique style of characterisation and explains her philosophy, such as How individualism is superior to collectivism.
She believes that non-conformity cannot win, Which is explained through life-like fictional depictions.
Popular Ayn Rand Quotes:
"Every form has its own meaning. While, Every man creates his meaning and form and Goal. Why is it so important?"
Atlas Shrugged (1957) novel by Ayn Rand. This book is her fourth and final published novel during her lifetime. Aya Rand considers Atlas Shrugged as her magnum opus in fiction writing.
Atlas Shrugged includes aspects of science fiction, romance, AND mystery. It contains Rand's most extensive statements of objectivism compared to her works of fiction.
Ayan Ran explains the theme of this book as "the role of the human mind in existence." More interestingly, she explores various philosophical themes aiding her to develop objectivism, including reasons for rights, property, individualism, capitalism, and libertarianism; Ayn Rand depicts what she identified as the failures of Governmental coercion.
Popular Quotes from Atlas Shrugged:
"If you don't realise, the thing to do; is not to get terrified, but to learn."
Meditation is a collection of 12 books written by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius; he persistently wrote these philosophical novels to remember his education in Stoic Philosophy, and his philosophical writings are known to teach readers logic, self-discipline, and faith.
This book is one of the best, offering "wisdom, daily comforts, and motivation." Though we don't have the exact data for estimating the book's age, carbon dating studies show that these books were written around 2,000 ago and will benefit readers in tough and delightful times. This book might inspire readers to start journaling.
Popular Quotes from Marcus Aurelius:
"You have the power over your mind -not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." - Marcus Aurelius
The Daily Stoic is a year-long compilation of short, daily mediations from ancient stoic philosophers, including Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius -teaching equanimity, perseverance, and resilience through the three stoic disciplines of perception, will, and actions. Readers of this book can gain a great overview of Stoic aspects of will, perceptions, and activities.
Benefits of reading this book:
- Widening your perception for purposing your thoughts, actions, and everything you do.
- Will drives our perseverance and gives hope when everything else fails.
Popular Ray Holiday's Quotes:
- If someone gave away your body to some passer-by, you'd be furious
- What we desire makes us vulnerable.
Viktor Frankl shares his dreadful experiences in Nazi Concentration camps alongside his psychological approach of Logotherapy, which helped him survive and share his experiences with his reader to find meaning in their lives.
Viktor Frankl Popular Quotes:
- Sometimes, the only way to survive is to surrender to Death.
- Use paradoxical intention to get rid of your fears.
The Republic by Plato is one of the most important books on works in the history of Philosophy and political systems. Plato wrote them.
Plato is the archetypal philosopher and one of Socrates' students. The book is written as a dialogue concerning justice and political systems.
What does the book offer?
This book can be a great resource for politicians or anyone aiming to become one. This book is also a good resource to show how philosophers are good leaders.
Popular Plato Quotes :
- The heaviest penalty for declining rules is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself
The Last Lecture, written by Randy Pausch, offers philosophy about meaningful advice, words of Wisdom, and a great deal of optimism and hope for humanity. The novel's protagonist, a professor, leaves his final message to the world before his traumatic Death of cancer at a relatively young age.
What does the Last Lecture offer?
This book is an inspirational philosophical hard-gained wisdom, connection to those memories which make you smile.
Popular Randy Pausch's Quotes:
- If I had three words of advice, they would be, "Tell the Truth." If I got three more words, I'd add, "All the time" - Randy Pausch
Discourses is a compilation of ancient philosopher Epictetus' lectures. Transcribes by one of his students, helping readers to fathom the world and teaching the world to accept the hardship and setbacks which make us strong to take the changes.
Unlike other philosophical books, Epictetus doesn't start from wealth, Because he was enslaved, but thanks to his philosophy and behavior, which helped him escape it and become free. His frugal lifestyle till the end of his day reasons why his lectures are loaded with common sense.
Popular Epictetus Quotes:
- What else is freedom but the power to live how we want?
- Without life's challenges, we wouldn't feel the need to evolve and grow
- Everything great in life takes time and effort to build
- If you cannot control it, don't stress over it.
Letters from a Stoic is a collection of motivating moral messages sent by Roman Stoic and philosopher Seneca to his friend Lucilius to help him become disciplined, less emotional, and find the good life.
Readers of this book can find people who commit to being pen pals and write letters to each other regularly.
Popular Seneca's Quotes:
- If you want to escape the things that harass you, what you need is not to be in a different place, but not to be a different Person
- " The Goal of attaining Wisdom is to live in harmony with nature.
- Your most valuable possession is your mind.
- A wise man doesn't need friends, but he chooses to make them anyway.
On the Shortness of Life is a 2,000-year-old masterpiece by Seneca, a Roman Stoic philosopher and teacher to the emperors, this philosophical book talks about time and how to make the best use of it to lead a long and fulfilling life.
"Life is Short" many celebrities, talks, and books remind us about it. But no one can ever say it better than Seneca. It is a short read, amasing, and productive-wise.
Popular Seneca Quotes:
- "Humans are frugal in guarding their personal belong, withal as soon as it comes to squandering time, these belongings are wasteful of the things in which it is fair to be miserly."
- Chasing leisure, legacy, and luxury makes a long life shorter
- You can be perpetually busy all your life without ever doing anything meaningful, so careful.
-Your ability to ponder and appreciate life will never disappear.
Meditations on First Philosophy is one of the premier works of Western Philosophy, written by René ' Descartes in 1641. He prompts us to abandon everything we can possibly doubt. Start reasoning our way forward based only on what we can know with absolute certainty.
If you are a person driven by reasoning and logic? Then this is an ideal philosophy book for you. Descartes' philosophical approach of starting with what's factual and 100% true, and it is fascinating from there. If you are curious about testing your reasoning skills and are fearless of someone challenging your assumptions, this book is a must-read.
Popular René Descartes Quotes:
- Doubt is the origin of Wisdom.
- Your senses don't always tell the truth.
- The fact that you think of truth in the world.
- There are three levels of truth in the world.
A Guide to the Good Life by william B. Irvine is a stratagem for Stoics. It also reveals why Stoics Philosophy is timeless and how it can be applied irrespective of generations, from ancient times to today. It also offers ways to inculcate the powerful principles of philosophy in your own life.
This book also covers many historical events which depict the rise and fall of Stoic Philosophy. Experts claim that William offers the best elements of Stoic Philosophy.
Popular William B. Irvine's Quote:
- The easiest way to gain happiness is to learn how to want the things we already have."
The novel How to Think Like a Roman Emperor is a compilation of the stories of the famous Stoic and Roman Emperor - Marcus Aurelius, with subjects from modern psychology to help you be emotionally resilient and develop the courage to face and overcome any situations, even the challenging ones.
If you like to read stories, then this is a great book. Robertson reveals perceptions of Stoicism, scaling it onto Marcus' life story; this book also includes insight into modern psychology. As a result, reading this book with great insight into reality is effortless and avoids non-fictitious feelings.
Popular Donald Robertson Quotes:
- What matters, in other words, isn't what we feel but how we respond to those feelings.
- We come from nature and return to it eventually, So it is logical to live in agreement with it.
- Life is about constant improvement, so we should all work on our virtues every day.
- Stoics know there's no point in worrying over what you can't control, so best just make your peace with it.
These carefully picked 15 Best philosophical books/novels intend to help you to get the best reading experience with unrivaled philosophical advice from world-renowned philosophers, writers, and authors. These philosophical books can also help you understand aspects of life, purpose, lifestyles, acceptance, etc., and ultimately live a life free from sorrows and suffering.
Some of these books are the best philosophical books for beginners.
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