Top 10 Best Books to Read in Existentialist Philosophy - August 2021

Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Existentialist Philosophy. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. The Myth of Sisyphus (Vintage International)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Existentialist Philosophy - August 2021

One of the most influential works of this century, The Myth of Sisyphus —featured here in a stand-alone edition—is a crucial exposition of existentialist thought. Influenced by works such as Don Juan and the novels of Kafka, these essays begin with a meditation on suicide—the question of living or not living in a universe devoid of order or meaning. With lyric eloquence, Albert Camus brilliantly posits a way out of despair, reaffirming the value of personal existence, and the possibility of life lived with dignity and authenticity.

  • Author: Albert Camus
  • Publisher: Vintage; Translation edition (November 6, 2018)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Philosophy
  • ISBN: 978-0525564454
  • Dimensions: 5.19 x 0.4 x 8 inches


2. The Second Sex

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Existentialist Philosophy - August 2021

Simone de Beauvoir’s essential masterwork is a powerful analysis of the Western notion of “woman,” and a revolutionary exploration of inequality and otherness. Unabridged in English for the first time, this long-awaited edition reinstates significant portions of the original French text that were cut in the first English translation. Vital and groundbreaking, Beauvoir’s pioneering and impressive text remains as pertinent today as when it was first published, and will continue to provoke and inspire generations of men and women to come.

  • Author: Simone De Beauvoir
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Philosophy
  • ISBN: 978-0307277787
  • Dimensions: 5.16 x 1.38 x 7.96 inches


3. Phenomenology of Spirit

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Existentialist Philosophy - August 2021

This brilliant study of the stages in the mind's necessary progress from immediate sense-consciousness to the position of a scientific philosophy includes an introductory essay and a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of the text to help the reader understand this most difficult and most influential of Hegel's works.

  • Author: G. W. F. Hegel
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Revised ed. edition (January 1, 1977)
  • Genre: New, Used & Rental Textbooks, Humanities
  • ISBN: 978-0198245971
  • Dimensions: 8.12 x 5.26 x 1.23 inches


4. People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Existentialist Philosophy - August 2021

In this absorbing and equally inspiring companion volume to his classic trilogy— The Road Less Traveled, Further Along the Road Less Traveled , and The Road Less Traveled and Beyond —Dr. M. Scott Peck brilliantly probes into the essence of human evil. People who are evil attack others instead of facing their own failures. Peck demonstrates the havoc these people of the lie work in the lives of those around them. He presents, from vivid incidents encountered in his psychiatric practice, examples of evil in everyday life. This book is by turns disturbing, fascinating, and altogether impossible to put down as it offers a strikingly original approach to the age-old problem of human evil.

  • Author: M. Scott Peck
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 2nd edition (January 2, 1998)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Philosophy
  • ISBN: 978-0684848594
  • Dimensions: 5.31 x 0.7 x 8.25 inches


5. Existentialism Is a Humanism

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Existentialist Philosophy - August 2021

A fresh translation of two seminal works of existentialism "To understand Jean-Paul Sartre is to understand something important about the present time."—Iris Murdoch "Sartre matters because so many fundamental points of his analysis of the human reality are right and true, and because their accuracy and veracity entail real consequences for our lives as individuals and in social groups."—Benedict O'Donohoe, Philosophy Now It was to correct common misconceptions about his thought that Jean-Paul Sartre, the most dominent European intellectual of the post-World War II decades, accepted an invitation to speak on October 29, 1945, at the Club Maintenant in Paris. The unstated objective of his lecture (“Existentialism Is a Humanism”) was to expound his philosophy as a form of “existentialism,” a term much bandied about at the time. Sartre asserted that existentialism was essentially a doctrine for philosophers, though, ironically, he was about to make it accessible to a general audience. The published text of his lecture quickly became one of the bibles of existentialism and made Sartre an international celebrity. The idea of freedom occupies the center of Sartre’s doctrine. Man, born into an empty, godless universe, is nothing to begin with. He creates his essence—his self, his being—through the choices he freely makes (“existence precedes essence”). Were it not for the contingency of his death, he would never end. Choosing to be this or that is to affirm the value of what we choose. In choosing, therefore, we commit not only ourselves but all of mankind. This book presents a new English translation of Sartre’s 1945 lecture and his analysis of Camus’s The Stranger , along with a discussion of these works by acclaimed Sartre biographer Annie Cohen-Solal. This edition is a translation of the 1996 French edition, which includes Arlette Elkaïm-Sartre’s introduction and a Q&A with Sartre about his lecture.

  • Author: Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Annotated edition (July 24, 2007)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, History & Criticism
  • ISBN: 978-0300115468
  • Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches


6. Nausea (New Directions Paperbook)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Existentialist Philosophy - August 2021

Sartre's greatest novel ― and existentialism's key text ― now introduced by James Wood. Nausea is the story of Antoine Roquentin, a French writer who is horrified at his own existence. In impressionistic, diary form he ruthlessly catalogs his every feeling and sensation. His thoughts culminate in a pervasive, overpowering feeling of nausea which “spreads at the bottom of the viscous puddle, at the bottom of our time ― the time of purple suspenders and broken chair seats; it is made of wide, soft instants, spreading at the edge, like an oil stain.” Winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature (though he declined to accept it), Jean-Paul Sartre ― philosopher, critic, novelist, and dramatist ― holds a position of singular eminence in the world of French letters. La Nausée , his first and best novel, is a landmark in Existential fiction and a key work of the twentieth century.

  • Author: Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Publisher: New Directions; Reprint edition (March 25, 2013)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, World Literature
  • ISBN: 978-0811220309
  • Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8.1 inches


7. THE POWER OF THE MIND CONSCIOUSNESS AND JOURNEY THROUGH THE INNER LANDSCAPE: How To Control And Master Your Mind? How Much Can One Stretch It? What Happens When The Mind Transcends its Limits?

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Existentialist Philosophy - August 2021

The Mind is the Creator and the Maker of Everything. Learn how to Stretch your Mind. Do you feel that you make very small use of your consciousness – the Mind? Do you feel the fog, which is overshadowing your mind and your mechanical habits, is the conditioning that makes you the prisoner of the past.? How the Cosmos, self, time, and space are inscrutable entities and so are the human spirit, soul, and consciousness? Do you feel connected with your inner self, and the cosmic world , through your consciousness called the ‘Mind’? How to internalize, and crystalize things , it changes your internal dynamics, normative order, soon there is a ‘ mental paradigm shift’, and then you can set a thought pattern in your desired direction.? How Consciousness is broadened and linked with other dimensions? Learn how your consciousness, which is a part of the cosmic cognitive faculty expands in all directions in the vastness of this creation, you become a goldmine of knowledge and wisdom and the Universal love personified. Why it is important to construct the new and deconstruct the old poor picture of the mental image of yourself. How should one engineer it with the new mental paradigm, energy, frequency, and vibrations? The mind takes you where you want to stretch it, either in an ocean of despair and despondency or an ocean of happiness and ecstasy. When life knocks you down, how do you respond and react? John Milton writes in paradise lost, “A man cannot be changed by place and time, the mind as its place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, hell of heaven.” The mind is subtle and it controls the brain. It’s the subject and the brain is the object and it cannot be destroyed. It is the transformed state of consciousness. For the action, the mind transcends and acts through the sensory and motor organs. Your mind is the ultimate cause of knowing. Albert Einstein writes ‘Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why yet sometimes seeming to divine purpose.’ Once you master your mind and master your energies, only then you will be able to strive for excellence in any area of your existence. Do you feel often your mind is scattered in all directions, with extreme divergent flows, negatives and it is not easy to tame the wavering thoughts of the mind, as they are like surging waves in the ocean of motion? Learn how to concentrate and practice mindfulness. What is consciousness and how does it go beyond space and time? Is it eternal and timeless? You must connect with your inner self. Essentially, it is the mind in our inner landscape that is the greatest repository of infinite power, and you must utilize it to its full power, potential and experience its extensity. How we are connected with everything through our minds? Learn how we create a mental picture and imagination of our desire things and then sow the seeds of success, failures, and fears within? Why do most of us regard earthly life as temporal vanity and don't dare to dream and nor cherish any vision not harbor any spiritual impulse in its fullness and allow the mind to navigate at a petty level? As rightly said by Spinoza, “In so far as the mind sees things in their eternal aspect, it participates in eternity.” This book takes you all through the internal dynamics of the cognitive world and unfolds the goldmine of treasure hidden within you. Go Ahead and Click on the Buy Button On the Top of This Page

  • Author: Aseem Katoch
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Politics & Social Sciences


8. Fear and Trembling (Penguin Classics)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Existentialist Philosophy - August 2021

The infamous and controversial work that made a lasting impression on both modern Protestant theology and existentialist philosophers such as Sartre and Camus Writing under the pseudonym of "Johannes de silentio," Kierkegaard expounds his personal view of religion through a discussion of the scene in Genesis in which Abraham prepares to sacrifice his son Isaac at God's command. Believing Abraham's unreserved obedience to be the essential leap of faith needed to make a full commitment to his religion, Kierkegaard himself made great sacrifices in order to dedicate his life entirely to his philosophy and to God. The conviction shown in this religious polemic—that a man can have an exceptional mission in life—informed all Kierkegaard's later writings. His "teleological suspension of the ethical" challenged the contemporary views of Hegel's universal moral system, and was also hugely influential for both protestant theology and the existentialist movement. Alastair Hannay's introduction evaluates Kierkegaard's philosophy and the ways in which it conflicted with more accepted contemporary views. This edition also includes detailed notes to complement this groundbreaking analysis of religion, and a new chronology.  For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

  • Author: Soren Kierkegaard
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (January 7, 1986)
  • Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Bible Study & Reference
  • ISBN: 978-0140444490
  • Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.7 inches


9. The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Existentialist Philosophy - August 2021

Winner of the International Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction Animal tracks, word magic, the speech of stones, the power of letters, and the taste of the wind all figure prominently in this intellectual tour de force that returns us to our senses and to the sensuous terrain that sustains us. This major work of ecological philosophy startles the senses out of habitual ways of perception. For a thousand generations, human beings viewed themselves as part of the wider community of nature, and they carried on active relationships not only with other people with other animals, plants, and natural objects (including mountains, rivers, winds, and weather patters) that we have only lately come to think of as "inanimate." How, then, did humans come to sever their ancient reciprocity with the natural world? What will it take for us to recover a sustaining relation with the breathing earth?  In The Spell of the Sensuous  David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand of magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language, which--even at its most abstract--echoes the calls and cries of the earth. On every page of this lyrical work, Abram weaves his arguments with a passion, a precision, and an intellectual daring that recall such writers as Loren Eisleley, Annie Dillard, and Barry Lopez.

  • Author: David Abram
  • Publisher: Vintage; Worn Condition edition (February 25, 1997)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Philosophy
  • ISBN: 978-0679776390
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.79 x 7.97 inches


10. The Ethics of Ambiguity

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Existentialist Philosophy - August 2021

From the groundbreaking author of The  Second Sex comes a radical argument for ethical responsibility and freedom. In this classic introduction to existentialist thought, French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir’s  The Ethics of Ambiguity  simultaneously pays homage to and grapples with her French contemporaries, philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, by arguing that the freedoms in existentialism carry with them certain ethical responsibilities. De Beauvoir outlines a series of “ways of being” (the adventurer, the passionate person, the lover, the artist, and the intellectual), each of which overcomes the former’s deficiencies, and therefore can live up to the responsibilities of freedom. Ultimately, de Beauvoir argues that in order to achieve true freedom, one must battle against the choices and activities of those who suppress it.  The Ethics of Ambiguity is the book that launched Simone de Beauvoir’s feminist and existential philosophy. It remains a concise yet thorough examination of existence and what it means to be human.

  • Author: Simone de Beauvoir
  • Publisher: Open Road Media; Reissue edition (May 8, 2018)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Philosophy
  • ISBN: 978-1504054225
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches