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

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

1. The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

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

For all the deep thinkers with questions about the world, this encyclopedia holds the answers you have been searching for. What is the meaning of life? What is the universe made of? Read what our eminent philosophers thought about the nature of reality and the fundamental questions we ask ourselves. To help you understand the subject and what it is about,  The Philosophy Book  introduces you to ancient philosophers like Plato and Confucius. But it doesn’t stop there -- read about our modern thinkers such as Chomsky and Derrida, too. This book has short and sweet biographies of over a hundred philosophers and their profound questions.   Work your way through the different branches of philosophy like metaphysics and ethics. Understand how philosophical questions have led to breakthroughs in math and science. Figure out how the history of philosophy informs our modern lives, exploring topics like how science can predict the future and how language shapes our thoughts and decisions.   Your Philosophical Questions Explained If you thought philosophy was full of difficult concepts,  The Philosophy Book  presents the key ideas in an easy-to-follow layout. They’re explained in simple terms with visual guides like mind maps, diagrams, and timelines for the progression of ideas. Enjoy the stunning graphics that add a little wit to the serious subject.  Travel from ancient philosophers, to contemporary thinkers: ●    The Ancient World 700 BGE – 250 CE ●    The Medieval World 250 – 1500  ●    Renaissance and the Age of Reason 1500 – 1750  ●    The Age of Revolution 1750 – 1900   ●    The Modern World 1900 – 1950  ●    Contemporary Philosophy  The Series Simply Explained  With over 7 million copies sold worldwide to date,  The Philosophy Book  is part of the award-winning  Big Ideas Simply Explained  series from DK Books. It uses innovative graphics along with engaging writing to make complex subjects easier to understand.

  • Author: DK
  • Publisher: DK; Illustrated edition (February 21, 2017)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Philosophy
  • ISBN: 978-1465458551
  • Dimensions: 7.75 x 0.82 x 9.25 inches


2. Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work

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

A philosopher/mechanic's wise (and sometimes funny) look at the challenges and pleasures of working with one's hands  "This is a deep exploration of craftsmanship by someone with real, hands-on knowledge. The book is also quirky, surprising, and sometimes quite moving."  —Richard Sennett, author of  The Craftsman Called "the sleeper hit of the publishing season" by  The Boston Globe ,  Shop Class as Soulcraft  became an instant bestseller, attracting readers with its radical (and timely) reappraisal of the merits of skilled manual labor. On both economic and psychological grounds, author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a "knowledge worker," based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world.

  • Author: Matthew B. Crawford
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Politics & Government
  • ISBN: 978-0143117469
  • Dimensions: 7.66 x 5.3 x 0.69 inches


3. Stoicism for Inner Peace

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

The ancient Stoics were deeply concerned with the virtue of equanimity. Equanimity or ‘inner peace’ is a prerequisite for being a happy and flourishing person according to Stoic philosophy. Therefore, it’s no surprise that ancient Stoic texts contain invaluable wisdom on how to calm the mind. The challenge, however, is to find and translate this wisdom in a way that’s simple and comprehensible in our modern context, while still maintaining its profundity. Einzelgänger studied the ancient Stoic texts and has been creating a (growing) collection of essays on applying Stoic philosophy in everyday life. Most of these essays have been published on YouTube in video format. Due to their popularity, Einzelgänger decided to revise a selection of these essays on Stoicism and inner peace, and release them in book format. Not only have all the texts been re-edited and improved, many of them have been extended, and two unreleased pieces about ‘loneliness’ and ‘guilt’ have been added to the collection. A focus on inner peace is more than relevant in these challenging and unpredictable times. Stoic philosophy can help us put things into perspective, let go of past events, worry less about the future, and improve our overall experience of life.

  • Author: Einzelgänger
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Religion & Spirituality


4. The Basic Works of Aristotle (Modern Library Classics)

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

Edited by Richard McKeon, with an introduction by C.D.C. Reeve   Preserved by Arabic mathematicians and canonized by Christian scholars, Aristotle’s works have shaped Western thought, science, and religion for nearly two thousand years. Richard McKeon’s The Basic Works of Aristotle —constituted out of the definitive Oxford translation and in print as a Random House hardcover for sixty years—has long been considered the best available one-volume Aristotle. Appearing in paperback at long last, this edition includes selections from the Organon, On the Heavens, The Short Physical Treatises, Rhetoric, among others, and On the Soul, On Generation and Corruption, Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, and Poetics in their entirety.

  • Author: Aristotle
  • Publisher: Modern Library; Revised ed. edition (September 11, 2001)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, United States
  • ISBN: 978-0375757990
  • Dimensions: 5.17 x 2.27 x 8.01 inches


5. Aristotle: The Complete Works

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

Aristotle (384–322 BCE) was a Greek philosopher and student of Plato who stunningly changed the course of Western philosophy. He has gone down in history as one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Cicero, the Roman statesman and philosopher, once called his writing style "a river of gold;" and his scope of thought and subsequent influence on the study of science, logic, philosophical discourse, and theology has led many to dub him "The Philosopher." Contents: Part 1: Logic (Organon) Categories, translated by E. M. Edghill On Interpretation, translated by E. M. Edghill Prior Analytics (2 Books), translated by A. J. Jenkinson Posterior Analytics (2 Books), translated by G. R. G. Mure Topics (8 Books), translated by W. A. Pickard-Cambridge Sophistical Refutations, translated by W. A. Pickard-Cambridge Part 2: Universal Physics Physics (8 Books), translated by R. P. Hardie and R. K. Gaye On the Heavens (4 Books), translated by J. L. Stocks On Gerneration and Corruption (2 Books), translated by H. H. Joachim Meteorology (4 Books), translated by E. W. Webster Part 3: Human Physics On the Soul (3 Books), translated by J. A. Smith On Sense and the Sensible, translated by J. I. Beare On Memory and Reminiscence, translated by J. I. Beare On Sleep and Sleeplessness, translated by J. I. Beare On Dreams, translated by J. I. Beare On Prophesying by Dreams, translated by J. I. Beare On Longevity and Shortness of Life, translated by G. R. T. Ross On Youth, Old Age, Life and Death, and Respiration, translated by G. R. T. Ross Part 4: Animal Physics The History of Animals (9 Books), translated by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson On the Parts of Animals (4 Books), translated by William Ogle On the Motion of Animals, translated by A. S. L. Farquharson On the Gait of Animals, translated by A. S. L. Farquharson On the Generation of Animals (5 Books), translated by Arthur Platt Part 5: Metaphysics (15 Books), translated by W. D. Ross Part 6: Ethics and Politics Nicomachean Ethics (10 Books), translated by W. D. Ross Politics (8 Books), translated by Benjamin Jowett The Athenian Constitution, translated by Sir Frederic G. Kenyon Part 7: Aesthetic Writings Rhetoric (3 Books), translated by W. Rhys Roberts Poetics, translated by S. H. Butcher

  • Author: Aristotle
  • Publisher: KTHTK (July 23, 2021)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Politics & Social Sciences


6. Candide

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

Candide is a French satire first published in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. The novella has been widely translated, with English versions titled Candide: or, All for the Best (1759); Candide: or, The Optimist (1762); and Candide: or, Optimism (1947). It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply "optimism") by his mentor, Professor Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating a deeply practical precept, "we must cultivate our garden", in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, "all is for the best" in the "best of all possible worlds".Candide is characterised by its sarcastic tone as well as by its erratic, fantastical and fast-moving plot. A picaresque novel with a story similar to that of a more serious bildungsroman, it parodies many adventure and romance clichés, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Still, the events discussed are often based on historical happenings, such as the Seven Years' War and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. As philosophers of Voltaire's day contended with the problem of evil, so too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and humorously. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers through allegory; most conspicuously, he assaults Leibniz and his optimism.As expected by Voltaire, Candide has enjoyed both great success and great scandal. Immediately after its secretive publication, the book was widely banned because it contained religious blasphemy, political sedition and intellectual hostility hidden under a thin veil of naïveté. However, with its sharp wit and insightful portrayal of the human condition, the novel has since inspired many later authors and artists to mimic and adapt it. Today, Candide is recognized as Voltaire's magnum opus and is often listed as part of the Western canon; it is arguably taught more than any other work of French literature. Martin Seymour-Smith has listed Candide as one of The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written.

  • Author: Voltaire
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 4, 2020)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, History & Criticism
  • ISBN: 978-1503253797
  • Dimensions: 6 x 0.19 x 9 inches


7. The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View

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

"The most lucid and concise presentation I have read, of the grand lines of what every student should know about the history of Western thought. The writing is elegant and carries the reader with the momentum of a novel... It is really a noble performance." --Joseph Campbell,  author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces Here are the great minds of Western civilization and their pivotal ideas, from Plato to Hegel, from Augustine to Nietzsche, from Copernicus to Freud. Richard Tarnas performs the near-miracle of describing profound philosophical concepts simply but without simplifying them. Ten years in the making and already hailed as a classic, THE PASSION OF THE WESTERN MIND is truly a complete liberal education in a single volume.

  • Author: Richard Tarnas
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (March 16, 1993)
  • Genre: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Alternative Medicine
  • ISBN: 978-0345368096
  • Dimensions: 6.04 x 1.21 x 9.18 inches


8. In the Dark Places of Wisdom

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

A set of ancient inscriptions on marble found forty years ago in southern Italy, recording details so bewildering that scholars have kept silent about them ... Strange evidence about a tradition of people who were mystics but who were so intensely practical that, two and a half thousand years ago, they shaped our existence and the world we live in. And yet they did this with a purpose we've completely forgotten ... These are just two ingredients of this extraordinary book, which uncovers an astonishing reality that lies unsuspected right at the origins of the western world. Our dramatic failure to acknowledge or come to grips with that reality is what has been responsible for so much of the emptiness -- of the sense of something missing -- in our modern lives. In the Dark Places of Wisdom  is no work of fiction. The documents, the discoveries, the people that it describes are all as real as we are. But the story it has to tell is far stranger than any fiction, because this is the story of ourselves.

  • Author: Peter Kingsley
  • Publisher: The Golden Sufi Center; 0 edition (December 1, 1999)
  • Genre: History, World
  • ISBN: 978-1890350017
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches


9. Franz Kafka: The Best Works

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

This ebook compiles Franz Kafka's greatest writings, including novels, novellas, short stories and parables such as "Amerika", "The Trial", "The Metamorphosis", "The Castle", "In the Penal Colony", "A Hunger Artist" and "The Great Wall of China". This edition has been professionally formatted and contains several tables of contents. The first table of contents (at the very beginning of the ebook) lists the titles of all novels included in this volume. By clicking on one of those titles you will be redirected to the beginning of that work, where you'll find a new TOC that lists all the chapters and sub-chapters of that specific work.

  • Author: Franz Kafka
  • Publisher: Pandora's Box (July 23, 2021)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Dramas & Plays


10. Ethics (Penguin Classics)

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

A profoundly beautiful and uniquely insightful description of the universe, Benedict de Spinoza's Ethics is one of the masterpieces of Enlightenment-era philosophy. Published shortly after his death, the Ethics is undoubtedly Spinoza's greatest work - an elegant, fully cohesive cosmology derived from first principles, providing a coherent picture of reality, and a guide to the meaning of an ethical life. Following a logical step-by-step format, it defines in turn the nature of God, the mind, the emotions, human bondage to the emotions, and the power of understanding - moving from a consideration of the eternal, to speculate upon humanity's place in the natural order, the nature of freedom and the path to attainable happiness. A powerful work of elegant simplicity, the Ethics is a brilliantly insightful consideration of the possibility of redemption through intense thought and philosophical reflection. The Ethics is presented in the standard translation of the work by Edwin Curley. This edition also includes an introduction by Stuart Hampshire, outlining Spinoza's philosophy and placing it in context. 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: Benedict de Spinoza
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (July 26, 2005)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Philosophy
  • ISBN: 978-0140435719
  • Dimensions: 0.29 x 8 x 10 inches