Philosophy is one of those subjects that might be extremely daunting for beginners.
There are so many philosophers and philosophies to choose from. From western to eastern philosophy, so where do you begin?
The universe seems to have an infinite number of unanswerable questions. But fortunately, through a philosopher’s work, we have access to their minds.
In today’s article, let’s explore the 5 best philosophy books for beginners.
This reading list of the best philosophy books ever written includes classics by great philosophers like Nietzsche as well as contemporary works by physiologists like Viktor Frankl. So, let’s get started.
A Guide To The Good Life
William B. Irvine explores the wisdom of Stoic philosophy in the book “A Guide to the Good Life.”
He demonstrates throughout the book how its wisdom and insight are still remarkably relevant to contemporary existence. Stoicism is presented in a new way by Irvine, who demonstrates how this antiquated school of thought still has relevance for today’s world. This is one of the best books for beginners as it begins with a brief history of Stoicism, then focuses on psychological strategies for embodying Stoicism, then applies these strategies to numerous contemporary vices, and concludes with Stoicism as a way of life.
You will get the impression that the author wrote this book to inspire people to reflect on their lives and (hopefully) not waste it pursuing wealth or status.
Renowned bookstagrammer Bjorn shares this book as “Few books have impacted my life to the same degree as A Guide to the Good Life.”
A History of Western Philosophy
A History of Western Philosophy is a brilliantly original investigation of the ideologies of prominent philosophers over the ages, from Plato and Aristotle to Spinoza, Kant, and the 20th century. It is regarded as one of the most significant philosophical books of all time.
First published in 1945, this book is ideal for all readers who are looking to get a brief overview of all western philosophies.
Lord Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy continues to be renowned for its thoroughness, clarity, erudition, grace, and wit. He chronicles philosophy in 76 chapters, beginning with the rise of Greek culture and ending with the development of logical analysis in the 20th century.
For beginners, the finest sources are philosophy works that raise readers’ consciousness. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is such a book.
Meditations is the private journal of the Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor.
The tenets of stoic philosophy emphasize self-control and resisting emotional reactions. Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations shows how he personally applied the lessons to his life and leadership. The book is highly captivating as Aurelius explains how to be self-disciplined, unaffected by influences, and emotionally in control.
Since it is a personal story, you can identify with Aurelius’ writing. It is without a doubt among the top philosophy books for beginners in terms of content and setting.
Best-selling author Ryan Holiday mentioned Mediations as the book that changed his life.
What the Buddha Taught
The majority of this book is an overview of Buddhist philosophy, which is surprising given how straightforward and sensible it seems. This is an ideal beginner book to learn about Buddhist philosophy.
The book doesn’t attempt to prove whether a Buddhist thought is valid or not, in contrast to other publications concerning Buddhist philosophy. Simply put, it clarifies the concept in order for you to comprehend it fully.
This is a wonderful reference book for philosophy if all you’re looking for is a concise review of Buddhist thought. Based on verified facts and the generally accepted interpretations of the many teachings, the author does a fantastic job articulating the core ideas of Buddhism.
This book will fulfill the desire to learn about the beneficial aspects of other religions, especially those lessons that are applicable to all people.
Man’s Search For Meaning
One of the most insightful contemporary philosophers on meaning and purpose is Viktor Frankl.
He changed the question from the nebulous philosophical statement, “What is the meaning of life?” to one that forces man to respond with his actions.
In this part-biography part-philosophy book, Viktor examines how we discover meaning by devoting ourselves to a goal, developing love, and discovering a purpose for our suffering.
Our lives have significance even when we don’t understand why, and as our lives change, our meaning and purpose frequently do as well. Viktor conveys this straightforward and sensible concept with genuine emotion and heart.
The bookstagramer mindsetsearch recommends this as a “Must-read for everyone… it will help you find meaning in your life…”
What purpose do all of these books serve?
When you think about how philosophy has influenced historical events like the American and French Revolutions and the World Wars, it is true that everything seems abstract and cerebral.
With its extensive historical and geographic breadth, one might not know where to start.
We hope there is at least one book on this list of the best philosophy books for beginners that will inspire you to think deeply and give you an introduction to the philosophical way of life.