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

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

1. Designing the Mind: The Principles of Psychitecture

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

The Instant Cult Classic on the Art of Reprogramming Your Own Psychological Software A bold and fascinating dive into the nuts and bolts of psychological evolution, Designing the Mind: The Principles of Psychitecture is part philosophical manifesto, part practical self-development guide, all based on the teachings of legendary thinkers like Marcus Aurelius, Lao Tzu, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Abraham Maslow. The ideas and techniques it offers are all integrated into a vital theory for helping individuals scale the heights of self-mastery and lead great lives. "A fascinating framework" - Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD, author of Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization This visionary guide argues that the mind can be compared to software, made up of many interwoven algorithms which were originally programmed by natural selection. Though most never learn to alter their default programming, it is possible to rewire cognitive biases, change ingrained habits, and transform emotional reactions. The process of psychitecture enables you to unplug from your own mind, identify its underlying patterns, and become the architect of your own enlightenment. "It has already changed my life, and I know it will change others as well" - Aaron T. Perkins, Executive Leadership Coach Simultaneously ancient and futuristic, Designing the Mind defies categorization, masterfully linking mindfulness to transhumanism, evolutionary psychology to Stoicism, and neuroscience to Buddhism. It frames the ideas of ancient sages as open-source code for the mind, putting forth a new, rational vision of spiritual enlightenment centered around gradual self-optimization. "Super intriguing" - Jason Silva, global keynote speaker and Emmy-nominated host of Brain Games This book will teach you to cultivate deep introspective insight. It will show you how to effortlessly change your automatic behaviors and manipulate your own desires so you always get what you want. It will provide a toolkit for building perpetual peace into your operating system. If you have ever longed for an operating manual for your own mind, this book will serve as a crucial guide for turning your own mind into a palace.

  • Author: Designing the Mind
  • Publisher: Independently published (January 10, 2021)
  • Genre: Medical Books, Psychology
  • ISBN: 979-8574576656
  • Dimensions: 6 x 0.61 x 9 inches


2. Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity―and Why This Harms Everybody

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

Wall Street Journal ,  USA Today , and  Publishers Weekly  Bestseller! Times, Sunday Times,  and  Financial Times  Book-of-the-Year Selection! Have you heard that language is violence and that science is sexist? Have you read that certain people shouldn't practice yoga or cook Chinese food? Or been told that being obese is healthy, that there is no such thing as biological sex, or that only white people can be racist? Are you confused by these ideas, and do you wonder how they have managed so quickly to challenge the very logic of Western society? In this probing and intrepid volume, Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay document the evolution of the dogma that informs these ideas, from its coarse origins in French postmodernism to its refinement within activist academic fields. Today this dogma is recognizable as much by its effects, such as cancel culture and social-media dogpiles, as by its tenets, which are all too often embraced as axiomatic in mainstream media: knowledge is a social construct; science and reason are tools of oppression; all human interactions are sites of oppressive power play; and language is dangerous. As Pluckrose and Lindsay warn, the unchecked proliferation of these anti-Enlightenment beliefs present a threat not only to liberal democracy but also to modernity itself. While acknowledging the need to challenge the complacency of those who think a just society has been fully achieved, Pluckrose and Lindsay break down how this often-radical activist scholarship does far more harm than good, not least to those marginalized communities it claims to champion. They also detail its alarmingly inconsistent and illiberal ethics. Only through a proper understanding of the evolution of these ideas, they conclude, can those who value science, reason, and consistently liberal ethics successfully challenge this harmful and authoritarian orthodoxy—in the academy, in culture, and beyond.

  • Author: Helen Pluckrose
  • Publisher: Pitchstone Publishing; None edition (August 25, 2020)
  • Genre: Education & Teaching, Schools & Teaching
  • ISBN: 978-1634312028
  • Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches


3. The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety

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

"The perfect guide for a course correction in life, away from materialism and its empty promise" (Deepak Chopra),  The Wisdom of Insecurity  shows us how—in an age of unprecedented anxiety—we must embrace the present and live fully in the now in order to live a fulfilling life. Spending all our time trying to anticipate and plan for the future and to lamenting the past, we forget to embrace the here and now. We are so concerned with tomorrow that we forget to enjoy today. Drawing from Eastern philosophy and religion, Alan Watts shows that it is only by acknowledging what we do not—and cannot—know that we can learn anything truly worth knowing. “Perhaps the foremost interpreter of Eastern disciplines for the contemporary West, Watts had the rare gift of ‘writing beautifully the unwritable.’” — Los Angeles Times

  • Author: Alan Watts
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; 2nd edition (February 8, 2011)
  • Genre: Religion & Spirituality, New Age & Spirituality
  • ISBN: 978-0307741202
  • Dimensions: 5.19 x 0.49 x 7.94 inches


4. Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbors: Against the Double Blackmail

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

Popular philosopher and leftist rabble-rouser Slavoj Zizek looks at one of the most desperate situations of our time: the current refugee crisis overwhelming Europe In this short yet stirring book, Slavoj Zizek—called “the Elvis of cultural history” by The New York Times —argues that accepting all comers or blocking all entry are both untenable solutions . . . But there is a third option. Today, hundreds of thousands of people, desperate to escape war, violence and poverty, are crossing the Mediterranean to seek refuge in Europe. Our response, from our protected Western European standpoint, argues Slavoj Zizek, offers two versions of ideological blackmail: either we open our doors as widely as possible; or we try to pull up the drawbridge. Both solutions are bad, states Zizek. They merely prolong the problem, rather than tackling it. The refugee crisis also presents an opportunity, a unique chance for Europe to redefine itself: but, if we are to do so, we have to start raising unpleasant and difficult questions. We must also acknowledge that large migrations are our future: only then can we commit to a carefully prepared process of change, one founded not on a community that see the excluded as a threat, but one that takes as its basis the shared substance of our social being. The only way, in other words, to get to the heart of one of the greatest issues confronting Europe today is to insist on the global solidarity of the exploited and oppressed. Maybe such solidarity is a utopia. But, warns Zizek, if we don't engage in it, then we are really lost. And we will deserve to be lost.

  • Author: Slavoj Zizek
  • Publisher: Melville House (October 4, 2016)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Politics & Social Sciences


5. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

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

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize A metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of "maps" or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. Gödel, Escher, Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more.

  • Author: Douglas R Hofstadter
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 20th Anniversary ed. edition (February 5, 1999)
  • Genre: Computers & Technology, Computer Science
  • ISBN: 978-0465026562
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.9 x 9.25 inches


6. The Life of the Mind: The Groundbreaking Investigation on How We Think (Combined 2 Volumes in 1)

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

“A passionate, humane intelligence addressing itself to the fundamental problem of how the mind operates.” — Newsweek Considered by many to be Hannah Arendt’s greatest work, published as she neared the end of her life, The Life of the Mind investigates thought itself, as it exists in contemplative life. In a shift from her previous writings, most of which focus on the world outside the mind, this work was planned as three volumes that would explore the activities of the mind considered by Arendt to be fundamental. What emerged is a rich, challenging analysis of human mental activity, considered in terms of thinking, willing, and judging.   This final achievement, presented here in a complete one-volume edition, may be seen as a legacy to our own and future generations.

  • Author: Hannah Arendt
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1st edition (March 16, 1981)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Politics & Social Sciences


7. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, Third Edition

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

When After Virtue first appeared in 1981, it was recognized as a significant and potentially controversial critique of contemporary moral philosophy. Newsweek called it “a stunning new study of ethics by one of the foremost moral philosophers in the English-speaking world.” Since that time, the book has been translated into more than fifteen foreign languages and has sold over one hundred thousand copies. Now, twenty-five years later, the University of Notre Dame Press is pleased to release the third edition of After Virtue , which includes a new prologue “After Virtue after a Quarter of a Century.” In this classic work, Alasdair MacIntyre examines the historical and conceptual roots of the idea of virtue, diagnoses the reasons for its absence in personal and public life, and offers a tentative proposal for its recovery. While the individual chapters are wide-ranging, once pieced together they comprise a penetrating and focused argument about the price of modernity. In the Third Edition prologue, MacIntyre revisits the central theses of the book and concludes that although he has learned a great deal and has supplemented and refined his theses and arguments in other works, he has “as yet found no reason for abandoning the major contentions” of this book. While he recognizes that his conception of human beings as virtuous or vicious needed not only a metaphysical but also a biological grounding, ultimately he remains “committed to the thesis that it is only from the standpoint of a very different tradition, one whose beliefs and presuppositions were articulated in their classical form by Aristotle, that we can understand both the genesis and the predicament of moral modernity.”

  • Author: Alasdair MacIntyre
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press; 3rd edition (March 6, 2007)
  • Genre: New, Used & Rental Textbooks, Humanities
  • ISBN: 978-0268035044
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches


8. Simulacra and Simulation (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism)

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

The first full-length translation in English of an essential work of postmodernist thought

  • Author: Jean Baudrillard
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press; 33601st edition (December 22, 1994)
  • Genre: New, Used & Rental Textbooks, Humanities
  • ISBN: 978-0472065219
  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 1.3 x 9 inches


9. Phenomenology of Spirit

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Modern 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


10. A History of Western Philosophy

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

Hailed as “lucid and magisterial” by The Observer , this book is universally acclaimed as the outstanding one-volume work on the subject of Western philosophy.  Considered to be one of the most important philosophical works of all time, the History of Western Philosophy is a dazzlingly unique exploration of the ideologies of significant philosophers throughout the ages - from Plato and Aristotle through to Spinoza, Kant, and the 20th century. Written by a man who changed the history of philosophy himself, this is an account that has never been rivaled since its first publication more than 60 years ago.  Since its first publication in 1945, Lord Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy is still unparalleled in its comprehensiveness, its clarity, its erudition, its grace, and its wit. In 76 chapters he traces philosophy from the rise of Greek civilization to the emergence of logical analysis in the 20th century.   Among the philosophers considered are: Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the Atomists, Protagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Cynics, the Sceptics, the Epicureans, the Stoics, Plotinus, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Benedict, Gregory the Great, John the Scot, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Occam, Machiavelli, Erasmus, More, Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, the Utilitarians, Marx, Bergson, James, Dewey, and lastly the philosophers with whom Lord Russell himself is most closely associated - Cantor, Frege, and Whitehead, coauthor with Russell of the monumental Principia Mathematica .

  • Author: Bertrand Russell
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Philosophy, Greek & Roman