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15 Philosophy Books for Beginners

15 Philosophy Books for Beginners

By Suggested Reads

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Friendspire curated this based on a list by Suggested Reads on 28 October 2020.

When some people think of philosophy, they think of that random Philosophy 101 class that they should have taken to get an easy A and obtained a higher GPA rather than taking Economics 101. Okay, maybe that was too specific. But the point is do people really know why philosophy is so important? First of all, philosophy involves logic and reason a
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About the book: How ought we to live? What really exists? How do we know? This book introduces important themes in ethics, knowledge, and the self, via readings from Plato, Hume, Descartes, Hegel, Darwin, and Buddhist writers. It emphasizes throughout the point of doing philosophy, explains how different areas of philosophy are related, and explores the contexts in which philosophy was and is done. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Philosophy Book

The Philosophy Book

2011 . DK

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About the book: Discover how our big social, political and ethical ideas are formed with The Philosophy Book. Part of the fascinating Big Ideas series, this book tackles tricky topics and themes in a simple and easy to follow format. Learn about Philosophy in this overview guide to the subject, great for beginners looking to learn and experts wishing to refresh their knowledge alike! The Philosophy Book brings a fresh and vibrant take on the topic through eye-catching graphics and diagrams to immerse yourself in.  This captivating book will broaden your understanding of Philosophy, with: - Key quotes from more than 100 of the great thinkers of philosophy - Packed with facts, charts, timelines and graphs to help explain core concepts - A visual approach to big subjects with striking illustrations and graphics throughout - Easy to follow text makes topics accessible for people at any level of understanding The Philosophy Book is the perfect introduction to philosophy, aimed at adults with an interest in the subject and students wanting to gain more of an overview. Here you’ll discover how key concepts in philosophy have shaped our world, with authoritative articles that explore big ideas. Learn about everyone who’s contributed to the flow of world philosophy, from antiquity to the modern age, through superb mind maps explaining the line of thought.  Your Philosophical Questions, Simply Explained If you thought it was difficult to learn philosophy and its many concepts, The Philosophy Book presents the key ideas in a clear layout. Find out what philosophers thought about the nature of reality, and the fundamental questions we ask ourselves; What is the meaning of life? What is the Universe made of? And work your way through the different branches of philosophy such as metaphysics and ethics, from ancient and modern thinkers.  The Big Ideas Series With millions of copies sold worldwide, The Philosophy Book is part of the award-winning Big Ideas series from DK. The series uses striking graphics along with engaging writing, making big topics easy to understand.

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About the book: Discover how our big social, political and ethical ideas are formed with The Philosophy Book. Part of the fascinating Big Ideas series, this book tackles tricky topics and themes in a simple and easy to follow format. Learn about Philosophy in this overview guide to the subject, great for beginners looking to learn and experts wishing to refresh their knowledge alike! The Philosophy Book brings a fresh and vibrant take on the topic through eye-catching graphics and diagrams to immerse yourself in.  This captivating book will broaden your understanding of Philosophy, with: - Key quotes from more than 100 of the great thinkers of philosophy - Packed with facts, charts, timelines and graphs to help explain core concepts - A visual approach to big subjects with striking illustrations and graphics throughout - Easy to follow text makes topics accessible for people at any level of understanding The Philosophy Book is the perfect introduction to philosophy, aimed at adults with an interest in the subject and students wanting to gain more of an overview. Here you’ll discover how key concepts in philosophy have shaped our world, with authoritative articles that explore big ideas. Learn about everyone who’s contributed to the flow of world philosophy, from antiquity to the modern age, through superb mind maps explaining the line of thought.  Your Philosophical Questions, Simply Explained If you thought it was difficult to learn philosophy and its many concepts, The Philosophy Book presents the key ideas in a clear layout. Find out what philosophers thought about the nature of reality, and the fundamental questions we ask ourselves; What is the meaning of life? What is the Universe made of? And work your way through the different branches of philosophy such as metaphysics and ethics, from ancient and modern thinkers.  The Big Ideas Series With millions of copies sold worldwide, The Philosophy Book is part of the award-winning Big Ideas series from DK. The series uses striking graphics along with engaging writing, making big topics easy to understand.

About the book: Plato. Aristotle. Augustine. Hume. Kant. Hegel. These names and the philosophies associated with them ring through the minds of every student and scholar of philosophy. And in their search for knowledge, every student of philosophy needs to know the history of the philosophical discourse such giants have bequeathed us. Noted philosopher C. Stephen Evans brings his expertise to this daunting task as he surveys the history of Western philosophy, from the Pre-Socratics to Nietzsche and postmodernism—and every major figure and movement in between.

About the book: Discover the world's greatest thinkers and their groundbreaking notions! Too often, textbooks turn the noteworthy theories, principles, and figures of philosophy into tedious discourse that even Plato would reject. Philosophy 101 cuts out the boring details and exhausting philosophical methodology, and instead, gives you a lesson in philosophy that keeps you engaged as you explore the fascinating history of human thought and inquisition. From Aristotle and Heidegger to free will and metaphysics, Philosophy 101 is packed with hundreds of entertaining philosophical tidbits, illustrations, and thought puzzles that you won't be able to find anywhere else. So whether you're looking to unravel the mysteries of existentialism, or just want to find out what made Voltaire tick, Philosophy 101 has all the answers--even the ones you didn't know you were looking for.

About the book: What is the meaning of life? Are we truly free? How can we make ethical choices? Discover the answers to life's greatest questions. Demystifying the key ideas of the world's greatest philosophers, and exploring all of the most important branches of philosophical thought in a uniquely visual way, this book is the perfect introduction to the history of philosophy. How Philosophy Works combines bold infographics and jargon-free text to demystify fundamental concepts about the nature of reality. Covering everything from ethics to epistemology and phenomenology, the book presents the ideas and theories of key philosophical traditions and philosophers - from Plato and Socrates to Nietzsche and Wittgenstein via Kant - in a novel, easy-to-understand way. Its infographics will help you to understand the elements of philosophy on a conceptual level and, by tackling life's "big questions", it will help you to look at the world in an entirely new way. With its unique graphic approach and clear, authoritative text, How Philosophy Works is the perfect introduction to philosophy, and the ideal companion to DK's The Philosophy Book in the "Big Ideas" series.

About the book: Philosophy begins with questions about the nature of reality and how we should live. These were the concerns of Socrates, who spent his days in the ancient Athenian marketplace asking awkward questions, disconcerting the people he met by showing them how little they genuinely understood. This engaging book introduces the great thinkers in Western philosophy and explores their most compelling ideas about the world and how best to live in it. In forty brief chapters, Nigel Warburton guides us on a chronological tour of the major ideas in the history of philosophy. He provides interesting and often quirky stories of the lives and deaths of thought-provoking philosophers from Socrates, who chose to die by hemlock poisoning rather than live on without the freedom to think for himself, to Peter Singer, who asks the disquieting philosophical and ethical questions that haunt our own times. Warburton not only makes philosophy accessible, he offers inspiration to think, argue, reason, and ask in the tradition of Socrates. A Little History of Philosophy presents the grand sweep of humanity's search for philosophical understanding and invites all to join in the discussion.

About the book: In this cogent and accessible introduction to philosophy, the distinguished author of Mortal Questions and The View From Nowhere sets forth the central problems of philosophical inquiry for the beginning student. Arguing that the best way to learn about philosophy is to think about its questions directly, Thomas Nagel considers possible solutions to nine problems--knowledge of the world beyond our minds, knowledge of other minds, the mind-body problem, free will, the basis of morality, right and wrong, the nature of death, the meaning of life, and the meaning of words. Although he states his own opinions clearly, Nagel leaves these fundamental questions open, allowing students to entertain other solutions and encouraging them to think for themselves.

About the book: In his exemplary clear style, Warburton introduces and assesses twenty-seven philosophical classics from Plato's Republic to Rawls' A Theory of Justice. For the third edition there is new text design and revised further reading make this the ideal book for all students, while three new chapters on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, Russell's The Problems of Philosophy and Sartre's Existentialism and Humanism mean that all the A Level set texts are covered. This brisk and invigorating tour through the great books of western philosophy explores the works of Plato, Aristotle, Boethius, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Schopenhauer, Mill, Kierkegaard, Marx and Engels, Nietzsche, Russell, Ayer, Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Rawls. Offering twenty-seven guidebooks for the price of one, this is the most comprehensive introduction to philosophers and their texts currently available.

About the book: From time to time we all face life's big questions . . . - What is real? - How do we know what we know? - What is right? - Who or what am I? - How should we view science and its claims? And as we wrestle with these issues, we may even find ourselves thinking, Perhaps what I need is a good dose of philosophy. It's a shame philosophy is so difficult. Garrett DeWeese and J. P. Moreland understand this frustration and in this book offer help to make philosophy at least slightly less difficult. In straightforward language with everyday examples, they explain the basics needed to understand philosophical concepts and thus bring clarity to discussions of life's big questions. Students, pastors, campus workers and ordinary Christians will all benefit from this user-friendly guide.

About the book: A compact, portable introduction to the history, concepts, and thinking behind psychology laid out in DK's signature visual style--the ultimate guide to understanding psychology on the go. Take Freud to your fiesta This compact guide enables you to explore more than 100 groundbreaking ideas in the field of psychology on the go, using highly visual graphics and clear text. Looking at the biggest names in psychology, including William James, Sigmund Freud, and Ivan Pavlov, this book unpacks each psychologist's contribution to our understanding of how the mind works. From its philosophical roots through behaviorism, psychotherapy, and developmental psychology, The Little Book of Psychology incorporates the latest thinking of today's psychologists alongside the theories of ancient philosophers, as well as the key experiments and ideas of the scientists and practitioners of the 19th and 20th centuries. Breaking down the most mysterious science of all, The Little Book of Psychology is an essential, accessible, and comprehensive guide to psychology that's perfect for expanding your mind as you head out on vacation.

A New History of Western Philosophy

A New History of Western Phi...

2010 . Anthony Kenny

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About the book: This book is no less than a guide to the whole of Western philosophy -- the ideas that have undergirded our civilization for two-and-a-half thousand years. Anthony Kenny tells the story of philosophy from ancient Greece through the Middle Ages and the Enlightenment into the modern world. He introduces us to the great thinkers and their ideas, starting with Plato, Aristotle, and the other founders of Western thought. In the second part of the book he takes us through a thousand years of medieval philosophy, and shows us the rich intellectual legacy of Christian thinkers like Augustine, Aquinas, and Ockham. Moving into the early modern period, we explore the great works of Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Leibniz, Spinoza, Hume, and Kant, which remain essential reading today. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Hegel, Mill, Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein again transformed the way we see the world. Running though the book are certain themes which have been constant concerns of philosophy since its early beginnings: the fundamental questions of what exists and how we can know about it; the nature of humanity, the mind, truth, and meaning; the place of God in the universe; how we should live and how society should be ordered. Anthony Kenny traces the development of these themes through the centuries: we see how the questions asked and answers offered by the great philosophers of the past remain vividly alive today. Anyone interested in ideas and their history will find this a fascinating and stimulating read

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About the book: This book is no less than a guide to the whole of Western philosophy -- the ideas that have undergirded our civilization for two-and-a-half thousand years. Anthony Kenny tells the story of philosophy from ancient Greece through the Middle Ages and the Enlightenment into the modern world. He introduces us to the great thinkers and their ideas, starting with Plato, Aristotle, and the other founders of Western thought. In the second part of the book he takes us through a thousand years of medieval philosophy, and shows us the rich intellectual legacy of Christian thinkers like Augustine, Aquinas, and Ockham. Moving into the early modern period, we explore the great works of Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Leibniz, Spinoza, Hume, and Kant, which remain essential reading today. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Hegel, Mill, Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein again transformed the way we see the world. Running though the book are certain themes which have been constant concerns of philosophy since its early beginnings: the fundamental questions of what exists and how we can know about it; the nature of humanity, the mind, truth, and meaning; the place of God in the universe; how we should live and how society should be ordered. Anthony Kenny traces the development of these themes through the centuries: we see how the questions asked and answers offered by the great philosophers of the past remain vividly alive today. Anyone interested in ideas and their history will find this a fascinating and stimulating read

About the book: Now updated and with a fresh new look, the highly successful "The Story of Philosophy" traces more than 2,500 years of Western philosophy, from Plato and Aristotle in ancient Greece to Saint Augustine and medieval philosophy, the golden century of German philosophy, Bertrand Russell and Albert Camus of the modern era, and much more. World-renowned philosopher and professor Bryan Magee expertly guides your exploration through the major philosophical issues, the important questions, and the key contributions of the great philosophers in this illustrated, accessible guide. Discover the great thinkers in their historical contexts and learn the influences that shaped their lives and work. Each philosophical movement includes profiles of key philosophers and their important works, historical contexts and influences, important quotes, and other related people and ideas. Full-color photographs, artworks, and illustrations illuminate every page. "The Story of Philosophy" gives you the information you need to think about life's greatest questions, opening up the world of philosophical ideas in a way that can be easily understood by students and by anyone fascinated by the ways we form our social, political, and ethical ideas.

About the book: Socrates admonition that 'the unexamined life is not worth living' still resonates with many people, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Philosophy, Third Edition, is a great introduction to that mental exercise. The author skilfully covers the subject both historically and topically and brings the reader all the way up to the present, with insights into 21st-century philosophical thought. In this third edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Philosophy, readers will find- - Essential philosophers and philosophies, from ancient times right up to today. - Eastern as well as Western philosophy. - More content, including the relationship of systems theory to philosophy today. - Explanations of the latest thinking in 20th- and 21st-century philosophical thought.

About the book: The Second Edition of this path-breaking collection gives students all the tools they need to understand and engage with major philosophical issues. Students are presented with clear yet thorough topic introductions, historical context, reading guides for challenging selections, and exclusive commissioned essays written by leading contemporary philosophers specifically for undergraduates. The Second Edition features a NEW co-author, a NEW focus on diversity within the field, and NEW readings and topics relevant to students' lives.