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Best Philosophy Books

Dive into the world of wisdom with these critically acclaimed philosophy books. Each title on this list has been consistently recommended across the internet's most authoritative literature circles and blogs.

Recommendations from 59 articles, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, Oprah Winfrey and 187 others.
Best Philosophy Books
100 books on the list
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The Republic book cover
The Republic
Plato - 2003-02-25 NaN
Goodreads Rating
This timeless dialogue features Socrates engaging in conversations with three different people about a perfect community and ideal individual. Explore notions of goodness, reality, and knowledge, while pondering the role of education and guardianship. With deft use of allegory, the author presents a portrait of a harmonious state ruled by philosopher kings.
Meditations book cover
Marcus Aurelius - 2006-04-27 (first published in 180)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the wisdom of a great Stoic philosopher with this pocket-sized classic. Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library, this beautifully-crafted edition features personal reflections by Marcus Aurelius on how to live virtuously in an unpredictable world. Translated by A. S. L. Farquharson and with an introduction by John Sellars, this book showcases the clarity of writing and uprightness that made Aurelius one of Stoicism's finest advocates. Discover his aphorisms on keeping a calm and rational mind even in the face of life's vicissitudes.
Beyond Good and Evil book cover
Beyond Good and Evil
Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future
Friedrich Nietzsche - 2003-04-29 (first published in 1886)
Goodreads Rating
This European philosophy classic by a renowned philosopher challenges Western thought's notions of truth, God, good, and evil. It critiques false piety and 'slave morality', in favor of a philosophy that celebrates the present, and emphasizes the individual's 'will to power'. With an introduction by Michael Tanner and a translator's commentary, this edition of Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche is a must-read for lovers of philosophy.
Tao Te Ching book cover
Tao Te Ching
Lao Tzu - 1989-08-28 NaN
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A timeless classic of spiritual literature, this Taoist text speaks to the qualities of an enlightened leader and a balanced, harmonious life. Written over two thousand years ago, it offers insights helpful not only for personal growth but also in leadership, business, and politics today. A remarkable English translation by a leading scholar, this compact and portable edition is part of the Shambhala Pocket Library series, featuring short, accessible teachings from renowned figures that distill wisdom from over 50 years of Shambhala Publications.
Man's Search for Meaning book cover
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl - 2006-06-01 (first published in 1959)
Goodreads Rating
Discover how to find meaning in suffering and move forward with renewed purpose by exploring the riveting memoir of a psychiatrist who survived Nazi death camps. In this influential book, based on his own experience and the stories of his patients, the author argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it and find meaning in it through his theory of logotherapy. This book is a must-read for anyone searching for significance in the act of living.
Letters from a Stoic book cover
Letters from a Stoic
Lucius Annaeus Seneca - 2004-08-26 (first published in 65)
Goodreads Rating
Experience the spiritual and philosophical wisdom of the Stoic philosophy through the letters of a true master. Written by a conflicted minister in Nero's court, these letters provide insight into upstanding Stoic ideals and a good way of life. Spiritual and progressive for their time, these letters offer criticism of harsh treatment of slaves and the barbaric shows in the arena. Enjoy the pointed and philosophical style of the Latin Silver Age in these essays disguised as letters to Lucilium.
The Nicomachean Ethics book cover
The Nicomachean Ethics
Aristotle - 2004-03-30 NaN
Goodreads Rating
Discover a timeless exploration of the nature of happiness in this classic work of philosophy. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics delves into what it means to live a good life and find true happiness, not as a feeling, but as a way of living that utilizes our greatest human capacities. With discussions on morality, responsibility, practical reasoning, and friendship, this work has inspired ethical writings for centuries. This new edition includes a valuable introduction and helpful notes to guide readers through Aristotle's thought-provoking arguments.
Recommended by
Mark Manson
The Prince book cover
The Prince
Niccolò Machiavelli - 2014-07-13 (first published in 1513)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the world's most famous master plan for seizing and holding power in this prophetic work on leadership. Written by an ousted political leader in 1512, The Prince is a disturbingly realistic guide for those seeking to rule - without being encumbered by ordinary ethical and moral values. From the qualities of successful presidents to the art of manipulation, this small sixteenth-century masterpiece has been essential reading for every student of government and is the ultimate book on power politics.
Critique of Pure Reason book cover
Critique of Pure Reason
Immanuel Kant - 1999-02-28 (first published in 1781)
Goodreads Rating
This philosophical masterpiece delves into the nature of human reason, its knowledge, and its illusions. Kant challenges the old ways of metaphysics and presents a revolutionary approach to understanding the world around us. His transcendental idealism merges the schools of rationalism and empiricism, offering a new way of thinking beyond both. A profound and thought-provoking read for anyone interested in modern philosophy.
Recommended by
Mark Manson
Sophie's World book cover
Sophie's World
A Novel About the History of Philosophy (FSG Classics)
Jostein Gaarder - 1995-01-01 (first published in 1991)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the fascinating journey of Sophie, a curious fourteen-year-old girl who becomes fascinated with deep philosophical questions. From "Who are you?" to "Where does the world come from?", Sophie's obsession takes her on a journey beyond her Norwegian village. Along the way, she enrolls in a mysterious correspondence course on philosophy, covering the likes of Socrates and Sartre. But when letters addressed to someone else start appearing, Sophie must use her newfound knowledge to unravel a complex riddle. Discover the thought-provoking twists and turns in this compelling read.
A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell
Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig
The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday
On the Shortness of Life by Seneca
Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
Fragments by Heraclitus
Five Dialogues by Plato
The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell
The Analects by Confucius
At the Existentialist Café by Sarah Bakewell
Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
The Symposium by Plato
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein
The Essential Epicurus by Epicurus
A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama
Confessions by Saint Augustine
The Gay Science by Friedrich Nietzsche
Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit
Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton
Being and Time by Martin Heidegger
12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
Montaigne by Michel de Montaigne
The Last Days of Socrates by Plato
Thomas Aquinas by Thomas Aquinas
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
What Does It All Mean? by Thomas Nagel
The Stranger by Albert Camus
The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker
Candide by Francois Voltaire
Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter
Be Here Now by Ram Dass
Justice by Michael J. Sandel
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
Essays and Aphorisms by Arthur Schopenhauer
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
Everything Is F*cked by Mark Manson
The Philosophy Book by Will Buckingham
How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson
How to Be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci
A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine
Art of Living by Epictetus
The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt
Ethics by Benedictus de Spinoza
Metaphysics by Aristotle
The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius
Three Philosophical Dialogues by Anselm
Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson
A New History of Western Philosophy by Anthony Kenny
Think by Simon Blackburn
Discipline & Punish by Michel Foucault
The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzgeber
Simulacra and Simulation The Body, In Theory by Jean Baudrillard
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Dhammapada by Eknath Easwaran
The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1 by Arthur Schopenhauer
The Book by Alan Watts
The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts
On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche
The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
The Practicing Stoic by Ward Farnsworth
A Theory of Justice by John Rawls
Free Will [Deckle Edge] by Sam Harris
Ikigai by Héctor García
Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran
The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama
A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber
The Basic Works of Aristotle by Aristotle
Phenomenology of Spirit by G. W. F. Hegel
Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday
Until the End of Time by Brian Greene
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
No Self, No Problem by Chris Niebauer
The Religions Book by Neil Philip
The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
Lives of the Stoics by Ryan Holiday
Rome's Last Citizen by Rob Goodman
An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding by David Hume
The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant