Philosophy Books that will Change Your Life POV [2024 Edition]

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Philosophy Books- Right Decisions

Philosophy is the study of knowledge, reality, and existence. It asks deep, meaningful questions about who we are, why we’re here, and how we should live. While philosophy can seem intimidating, it’s also profoundly enlightening. The right philosophy book can dramatically change how you see yourself and the world.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the best philosophy books that have the power to transform your perspective. From ancient classics to contemporary page-turners, these profound works will challenge your beliefs and expand your mind. Read on to discover philosophy books that will change your life.

1. The Republic by Plato

The Republic is arguably Plato’s greatest work and one of the most influential books ever written. Composed around 380 BCE, this Socratic dialogue covers topics like justice, goodness, education, and politics. It’s best known for the allegory of the cave, which illustrates how most people mistake shadows and echoes for reality.

Plato argues that justice doesn’t just benefit the just person, but society as a whole. To achieve justice, both individuals and societies must align three parts of the soul – reason, spirit, and appetite. He also envisions an ideal city-state ruled by enlightened philosopher-kings.

The Republic will make you question long-held assumptions about reality, ethics, and governance. It lays the groundwork for Western philosophy and challenges you to live justly.

You can purchase The Republic on Amazon for £11.25.

2. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius wrote Meditations around 170 CE as a personal journal. This iconic work blends Stoic philosophy and spirituality to help readers build emotional resilience during turbulent times.

Aurelius reflects on how to avoid overindulgence, deal with difficult people, and accept misfortune calmly. He advocates living according to reason, banishing anger, and dedicating yourself to justice. While grounded in Stoicism, his meditations have universal insights on leading a meaningful life.

Meditations will teach you to manage stress, curb destructive emotions, and find purpose. Aurelius’ profound self-reflections will inspire you to live virtuously.

You can buy Meditations on Amazon for £6.99.

3. Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

Considered a seminal work of Western philosophy, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics examines the root of happiness, virtue, and human flourishing. Written in 350 BCE, the book provides a rational guide to realizing your full potential.

Aristotle argues that human wellbeing stems from fulfilling your distinctive purpose – a lifelong quest for eudaimonia. He explains how reason, habit, and practice develop virtues within the soul. Generosity, temperance, courage, and justice enable you to thrive.

Nicomachean Ethics will teach you to cultivate virtue, find purpose, and achieve lasting fulfillment. Aristotle’s insights on leading a moral life remain highly relevant today.

You can buy Nicomachean Ethics on Amazon for £5.45.

4. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

Published in 1859, On Liberty argues for moral and economic freedom of the individual. British philosopher John Stuart Mill contends that society should limit authority to prevent harm. But people should be free to do as they wish otherwise.

Mill asserts that silencing opinion denies humanity the opportunity to exchange error for truth. Individual flourishing requires freedom of conscience, thought, emotion, association, and the ability to act on your interests.

On Liberty will make you reconsider state authority and social coercion of individual expression. Mill’s passionate advocacy for autonomy, diversity, and free speech remains highly relevant today.

You can purchase On Liberty on Amazon for £3.49.

5. Existentialism Is a Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre

Existentialism Is a Humanism is a 1946 philosophical manifesto defending existentialism against its critics. French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre argues that humans define their own meaning through radical free will and moral responsibility.

Sartre contends that because there’s no God to design us, human nature becomes a product of our choices. We forge our essence after coming into existence. Subjectivity, imagination, and acting on our values give life purpose.

This book will reorient your perspective on existence, freedom, and accountability. Sartre makes an impassioned case that we alone give life meaning through our actions.

You can buy Existentialism is a Humanism on Amazon for £9.45.

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Why Read Philosophy Books?

From antiquity to today, philosophical works have changed how people think about existence. Here are four key benefits of reading the best philosophy books:

1. Gain Wisdom

Philosophy books let you glean timeless wisdom from history’s greatest thinkers. Profound insights on living purposefully can profoundly shape your worldview.

2. Develop Critical Thinking

Analyzing philosophical arguments strengthens critical thinking skills. You’ll carefully evaluate complex ideas and form reasoned conclusions.

3. Find New Perspectives

The right philosophy book can dramatically shift how you see yourself and the world. Challenging your preconceptions leads to intellectual growth.

4. Live Meaningfully

Philosophy aims to help people live fulfilling lives through ethical action. Applying philosophical concepts leads to meaningful personal changes.

Digging into the seminal works of Plato, Aurelius, Aristotle, Mill, and Sartre will expand your mind immeasurably. Wrestling with life’s biggest questions is deeply rewarding. Let these philosophy classics broaden your perspective and find new purpose.

6 More Life-Changing Philosophy Book Recommendations

Looking to further expand your philosophical horizons? Here are six more mind-stretching philosophy books guaranteed to shake up your worldview:

1. The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell

In this illuminating 1912 book, British philosopher Bertrand Russell examines the distinction between appearance and reality and what constitutes knowledge. It provides an accessible introduction to fundamental philosophical issues.

You can buy The Problems of Philosophy on Amazon for £7.15.

2. The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus

French philosopher Albert Camus uses the Greek myth of Sisyphus to explore life’s absurdity and how to find meaning despite its hardships. This 1942 philosophical essay influenced an entire generation of existential thinkers.

You can purchase The Myth of Sisyphus on Amazon for £9.99.

3. The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius

Written in 524 AD while unjustly imprisoned, Roman philosopher Boethius reflects on happiness, fate, fortune, good and evil. It’s a seminal philosophical work of the Middle Ages.

You can buy The Consolation of Philosophy on Amazon for £9.90.

4. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

In this provocative 1886 book, iconic German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche attacks conventional morality. He argues that philosophic tradition biases people against accepting life’s harsher realities.

You can purchase Beyond Good and Evil on Amazon for £9.05.

5. Discourse on Method by René Descartes

Known as the father of modern philosophy, René Descartes penned this 1637 book detailing how reason should guide inquiry to find truth. He resolves to systematically doubt all belief until arriving at absolute certainty.

You can buy Discourse on Method on Amazon for £11.99.

6. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

Written in 1792, this pioneering feminist work argues women are intellectually equal to men and deserve the same fundamental rights. Wollstonecraft contends that society will benefit when women become rational, moral citizens.

You can purchase A Vindication of the Rights of Woman on Amazon for £9.19.

Transform Your Perspective with Philosophy

The best philosophy books profoundly impact how you see yourself and the world. They ask piercing questions that challenge ingrained assumptions and open new possibilities.

Digging into the seminal works of history’s great thinkers equips you to live wisely. Let Plato, Aurelius, Aristotle, Mill, and Sartre expand your mind and find new purpose. Dive into the classics and prepare for your perspective to transform.

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