Best Philosophy Books
21–40 of 50 results
I know next to nothing about philosophy. Where should i start?
Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.” First published in 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward. more about book…
The Ethics of Voting338
[political philosophy] On what basis can the average voter legitimately vote?
Nothing is more integral to democracy than voting. Most people believe that every citizen has the civic duty or moral obligation to vote, that any sincere vote is morally acceptable, and that buying, selling, or trading votes is inherently wrong. In this provocative book, Jason Brennan challenges our fundamental assumptions about voting, revealing why it is not a duty for most citizens–in fact, he argues, many people owe it to the rest of us not to vote.Bad choices at the polls can result in… more about book…
Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth (Philosophical Issues in Science)338
Plenty of today’s scientific theories will one day be discredited. So should we be sceptical of science itself?
Scientific realism is the optimistic view that modern science is on the right track: that the world really is the way our best scientific theories describe it . In his book, Stathis Psillos gives us a detailed and comprehensive study which restores the intuitive plausibility of scientific realism. We see that throughout the twentieth century, scientific realism has been challenged by philosophical positions from all angles: from reductive empiricism, to instrumentalism and to modern sceptical… more about book…
A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will336
What are some influential/unique philosophical texts on free will NOT written by Sam Harris?
Accessible to students with no background in the subject, A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will provides an extensive and up-to-date overview of all the latest views on this central problem of philosophy. Opening with a concise introduction to the history of the problem of free will–and its place in the history of philosophy–the book then turns to contemporary debates and theories about free will, determinism, and related subjects like moral responsibility, coercion, compulsion, autonomy… more about book…
The Scientific Image (Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy)336
“It’s a delusion to believe that causality is built into the fabric of the world and that science is uncovering the laws of causality by empirical observation. Causality is not in the world. It is constructed in the head of the observer.”
In this book van Fraassen develops an alternative to scientific realism by constructing and evaluating three mutually reinforcing theories. more about book…
Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized334
What are the philosophical books that really changed you?
Every Thing Must Go aruges that the only kind of metaphysics that can contribute to objective knowledge is one based specifically on contemporary science as it really is, and not on philosophers’ a priori intuitions, common sense, or simplifications of science. In addition to showing how recent metaphysics has drifted away from connection with all other serious scholarly inquiry as a result of not heeding this restriction, they demonstrate how to build a metaphysics compatible with current fu… more about book…
The Metaphysics Within Physics332
Reading Recommendations in Philosophy of Science
What fundamental account of the world is implicit in physical theory? Physics straightforwardly postulates quarks and electrons, but what of the more intangible elements, such as laws of nature, universals, causation and the direction of time? Do they have a place in the physical structure of the world? Tim Maudlin argues that the ontology derived from physics takes a form quite different from those most commonly defended by philosophers. Physics postulates irreducible fundamental laws, esche… more about book…
The Last Word330
In the realm of philosophy, is logic objective or subjective?
If there is such a thing as reason, it has to be universal. Reason must reflect objective principles whose validity is independent of our point of view–principles that anyone with enough intelligence ought to be able to recognize as correct. But this generality of reason is what relativists and subjectivists deny in ever-increasing numbers. And such subjectivism is not just an inconsequential intellectual flourish or badge of theoretical chic. It is exploited to deflect argument and to belit… more about book…
On What Matters (2 Volume Set)328
According to you, what three books and/or academic papers define 21st century philosophy?
On What Matters is a major work in moral philosophy. It is the long-awaited follow-up to Derek Parfit’s 1984 book Reasons and Persons, one of the landmarks of twentieth-century philosophy. In this first volume Parfit presents a powerful new treatment of reasons and rationality, and a critical examination of three systematic moral theories — Kant’s ethics, contractualism, and consequentialism — leading to his own ground-breaking synthetic conclusion. Along the way he discusses a wide range … more about book…
Marx for Beginners324
Understanding Slavoj Zizek
A cartoon book about Marx? Are you sure it’s Karl, not Groucho? How can you summarize the work of Karl Marx in cartoons? It took Rius to do it. He’s put it all in: the origins of Marxist philosophy, history, economics; of capital, labor, the class struggle, socialism. And there’s a biography of “Charlie” Marx besides.Like the companion volumes in the series, Marx for Beginners is accurate, understandable, and very, very funny. more about book…
The Social Construction of What?324
Every French Postmodernist EVER
Lost in the raging debate over the validity of social construction is the question of what, precisely, is being constructed. Facts, gender, quarks, reality? Is it a person? An object? An idea? A theory? Each entails a different notion of social construction, Ian Hacking reminds us. His book explores an array of examples to reveal the deep issues underlying contentious accounts of reality.Especially troublesome in this dispute is the status of the natural sciences, and this is where Hacking fi… more about book…
Sophie’s World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy322
What book(s) would you guys recommend me buying for a 9 years old girl?
Discovering two thought-provoking philosophical questions in her mailbox, Sophie enrolls in a correspondence course with a mysterious philosopher and begins to receive some equally unusual letters. Reprint. more about book…
History of Madness316
Questioning the western and eastern perception of mental illness and psychotic experience and how they relate.
When it was first published in France in 1961 as Folie et Déraison: Histoire de la Folie à l’âge Classique, few had heard of a thirty-four year old philosopher by the name of Michel Foucault. By the time an abridged English edition was published in 1967 as Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault had shaken the intellectual world. This translation is the first English edition of the complete French texts of the first and second edition, including all prefaces and appendices, some of them un… more about book…
Computability and Logic316
I’ve nearly completed my textbook on propositional & predicate logic – What would be good to learn next and what’s a good text for it?
Computability and Logic has become a classic because of its accessibility to students without a mathematical background and because it covers not simply the staple topics of an intermediate logic course, such as Godel’s incompleteness theorems, but also a large number of optional topics, from Turing’s theory of computability to Ramsey’s theorem. Including a selection of exercises, adjusted for this edition, at the end of each chapter, it offers a new and simpler treatment of the representabi… more about book…
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition314
What is philosophy of science (and should scientists care)?
A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teac… more about book…
Probability Theory: The Logic of Science312
“Alan: Or, My Friend the Utility Monster”
Going beyond the conventional mathematics of probability theory, this study views the subject in a wider context. It discusses new results, along with applications of probability theory to a variety of problems. The book contains many exercises and is suitable for use as a textbook on graduate-level courses involving data analysis. Aimed at readers already familiar with applied mathematics at an advanced undergraduate level or higher, it is of interest to scientists concerned with inference f… more about book…
Killing in War (Uehiro Series in Practical Ethics)310
Are there any Warrior-Philosophers I can read?
Killing a person is in general among the most seriously wrongful forms of action, yet most of us accept that it can be permissible to kill people on a large scale in war. Does morality become more permissive in a state of war? Jeff McMahan argues that conditions in war make no difference to what morality permits and the justifications for killing people are the same in war as they are in other contexts, such as individual self-defence. This view is radically at odds with the traditional theor… more about book…
Critique of Pure Reason (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant)310
Question about the A Priori
This entirely new translation of Critique of Pure Reason is the most accurate and informative English translation ever produced of this epochal philosophical text. Though its simple, direct style will make it suitable for all new readers of Kant, the translation displays a philosophical and textual sophistication that will enlighten Kant scholars as well. This translation recreates as far as possible a text with the same interpretative nuances and richness as the original. more about book…
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions310
Looking for something to read involving science.
Thomas S. Kuhn’s classic book is now available with a new index.”A landmark in intellectual history which has attracted attention far beyond its own immediate field. . . . It is written with a combination of depth and clarity that make it an almost unbroken series of aphorisms. . . . Kuhn does not permit truth to be a criterion of scientific theories, he would presumably not claim his own theory to be true. But if causing a revolution is the hallmark of a superior paradigm, [this book] has be… more about book…
Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong310
Ethics and truth
An insight into moral skepticism of the 20th century. The author argues that our every-day moral codes are an ‘error theory’ based on the presumption of moral facts which, he persuasively argues, don’t exist. His refutation of such facts is based on their metaphysical ‘queerness’ and the observation of cultural relativity. more about book…