57 Best Books in Philosophy

  • Natural

    Alan Levinovitz

    "The widespread confusion of Nature with God and "natural" with holy has far-reaching negative consequences, from misinformation about everyday food and health choices to mistaken justifications of sexism, racism, and flawed economic policies"--

    @pravieen @KitchenChemProf Get him this excellent book by @AlanLevinovitz https://t.co/rpOUr3Z7Jw

  • The Righteous Mind

    Jonathan Haidt

    Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.

    On morality and politics, and on the two kinds of fairness, I can't recommend this book by @JonHaidt too highly: https://t.co/1cMGkWbdGq

  • Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves--and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives--and destroyed them. Now, Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers, and each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-drive design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped the world. The Stoic writings of the philosopher Seneca offer powerful insights into the art of living, the importance of reason and morality, and continue to provide profound guidance to many through their eloquence, lucidity and timeless wisdom.

    If you want a smarter, better-written explanation of this than I can offer, check out one of the best books of all time: https://t.co/mK3jrmKoHB

  • The Righteous Mind

    Jonathan Haidt

    Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.

    I read the first hundred pages of @JonHaidt’s Righteous Mind (“why good people are divided by politics and religion”) tonight. It’s both excellent and the most conversationally-written book I’ve read in recent memory.

  • Leisure

    Josef Pieper

    One of the most important philosophy titles published in the twentieth century, Joseph Pieper's Leisure, the Basis of Culture is more significant, even more crucial than it was when it first appeared fifty years ago. Pieper shows that Greeks understood and valued leisure, as did the medieval Europeans. He points out that religion can be born only in leisure. Leisure that allows time for the contemplation of the nature of God. Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture. He maintains that our bourgeois world of total labor has vanquished leisure, and issues a startling warning: Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for nonactivity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our cultureCand ourselves. These astonishing essays contradict all our pragmatic and puritanical conceptions about labor and leisure; Joseph Pieper demolishes the twentieth-century cult of Awork as he predicts its destructive consequences.

    This is my book Hall of Fame https://t.co/l0qtMU2U3W

  • Leisure

    Josef Pieper

    One of the most important philosophy titles published in the twentieth century, Joseph Pieper's Leisure, the Basis of Culture is more significant, even more crucial than it was when it first appeared fifty years ago. Pieper shows that Greeks understood and valued leisure, as did the medieval Europeans. He points out that religion can be born only in leisure. Leisure that allows time for the contemplation of the nature of God. Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture. He maintains that our bourgeois world of total labor has vanquished leisure, and issues a startling warning: Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for nonactivity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our cultureCand ourselves. These astonishing essays contradict all our pragmatic and puritanical conceptions about labor and leisure; Joseph Pieper demolishes the twentieth-century cult of Awork as he predicts its destructive consequences.

    @JohnathanBi One of my favorite books of all time

  • “There are at least two kinds of games,” states James P. Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.” Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end. What are infinite games? How do they affect the ways we play our finite games? What are we doing when we play—finitely or infinitely? And how can infinite games affect the ways in which we live our lives? Carse explores these questions with stunning elegance, teasing out of his distinctions a universe of observation and insight, noting where and why and how we play, finitely and infinitely. He surveys our world—from the finite games of the playing field and playing board to the infinite games found in culture and religion—leaving all we think we know illuminated and transformed. Along the way, Carse finds new ways of understanding everything, from how an actress portrays a role to how we engage in sex, from the nature of evil to the nature of science. Finite games, he shows, may offer wealth and status, power and glory, but infinite games offer something far more subtle and far grander. Carse has written a book rich in insight and aphorism. Already an international literary event, Finite and Infinite Games is certain to be argued about and celebrated for years to come. Reading it is the first step in learning to play the infinite game.

    James Carse’s book Finite and Infinite Games has been one of the biggest influences on how I think about life. May more people abandon finite games and embrace the joy of never ending play. https://t.co/NBPmGpo4e5

  • “There are at least two kinds of games,” states James P. Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.” Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end. What are infinite games? How do they affect the ways we play our finite games? What are we doing when we play—finitely or infinitely? And how can infinite games affect the ways in which we live our lives? Carse explores these questions with stunning elegance, teasing out of his distinctions a universe of observation and insight, noting where and why and how we play, finitely and infinitely. He surveys our world—from the finite games of the playing field and playing board to the infinite games found in culture and religion—leaving all we think we know illuminated and transformed. Along the way, Carse finds new ways of understanding everything, from how an actress portrays a role to how we engage in sex, from the nature of evil to the nature of science. Finite games, he shows, may offer wealth and status, power and glory, but infinite games offer something far more subtle and far grander. Carse has written a book rich in insight and aphorism. Already an international literary event, Finite and Infinite Games is certain to be argued about and celebrated for years to come. Reading it is the first step in learning to play the infinite game.

    Am seeing a few tweets that James Carse has passed away? RIP. His book Finite and Infinite Games is sort of a cult hit in Silicon Valley, but it still feels under-read. Reading it changed me forever. https://t.co/rzoMMymY4J

  • Mohandas K. Gandhi, Autobiography

    Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

    Portrays the life of Gandhi, describes the development of his nonviolent political protest movement, and discusses his religious beliefs

    I'm currently reading Gandhi's autobiography. It's fascinating to understand how he looked at the world and thought about social service. Highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it already https://t.co/uJ1hUbPvDZ

  • The story of the greatest of all philosophical friendships—and how it influenced modern thought David Hume is arguably the most important philosopher ever to have written in English, but during his lifetime he was attacked as “the Great Infidel” for his religious skepticism and deemed unfit to teach the young. In contrast, Adam Smith, now hailed as the founding father of capitalism, was a revered professor of moral philosophy. Remarkably, Hume and Smith were best friends, sharing what Dennis Rasmussen calls the greatest of all philosophical friendships. The Infidel and the Professor tells the fascinating story of the close relationship between these towering Enlightenment thinkers—and how it influenced their world-changing ideas. It shows that Hume contributed more to economics—and Smith contributed more to philosophy—than is generally recognized. The result is a compelling account of a great friendship that had great consequences for modern thought.

    @whyvert @paulg Great book, yes.

  • This book constitutes the first treatment of C. S. Peirce’s unique concept of habit. Habit animated the pragmatists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, who picked up the baton from classical scholars, principally Aristotle. Most prominent among the pragmatists thereafter is Charles Sanders Peirce. In our vernacular, habit connotes a pattern of conduct. Nonetheless, Peirce’s concept transcends application to mere regularity or to human conduct; it extends into natural and social phenomena, making cohesive inner and outer worlds. Chapters in this anthology define and amplify Peircean habit; as such, they highlight the dialectic between doubt and belief. Doubt destabilizes habit, leaving open the possibility for new beliefs in the form of habit-change; and without habit-change, the regularity would fall short of habit – conforming to automatic/mechanistic systems. This treatment of habit showcases how, through human agency, innovative regularities of behavior and thought advance the process of making the unconscious conscious. The latter materializes when affordances (invariant habits of physical phenomena) form the basis for modifications in action schemas and modes of reasoning. Further, the book charts how indexical signs in language and action are pivotal in establishing attentional patterns; and how these habits accommodate novel orientations within event templates. It is intended for those interested in Peirce’s metaphysic or semiotic, including both senior scholars and students of philosophy and religion, psychology, sociology and anthropology, as well as mathematics, and the natural sciences.

    @rplevy @prathyvsh @vanbettauer Speaking about Peirce's ideas on habit, there apparently is a book that ties his idea with affordances. https://t.co/p3W8wBkrGF

  • The Righteous Mind

    Jonathan Haidt

    Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.

    @jasoncwarner I'm sure there are some articles online which summarize their theories but for Haidt "the righteous mind" is the book and for Lakoff "don't think of an elephant"

  • Kant

    Christine M. Korsgaard

    Published in 1785, Immanuel Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals ranks alongside Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics as one of the most profound and influential works in moral philosophy ever written. In Kant's own words, its aim is to identify and corroborate the supreme principle of morality, the categorical imperative. He argues that human beings are ends in themselves, never to be used by anyone merely as a means, and that universal and unconditional obligations must be understood as an expression of the human capacity for autonomy and self-governance. As such, they are laws of freedom. This volume contains Mary Gregor's acclaimed translation of the work, sympathetically revised by Jens Timmermann, and an accessible, updated introduction by Christine Korsgaard.

    v good book https://t.co/2E6lOYFNNj

  • Leisure

    Josef Pieper

    One of the most important philosophy titles published in the twentieth century, Joseph Pieper's Leisure, the Basis of Culture is more significant, even more crucial than it was when it first appeared fifty years ago. Pieper shows that Greeks understood and valued leisure, as did the medieval Europeans. He points out that religion can be born only in leisure. Leisure that allows time for the contemplation of the nature of God. Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture. He maintains that our bourgeois world of total labor has vanquished leisure, and issues a startling warning: Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for nonactivity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our cultureCand ourselves. These astonishing essays contradict all our pragmatic and puritanical conceptions about labor and leisure; Joseph Pieper demolishes the twentieth-century cult of Awork as he predicts its destructive consequences.

    @leonjcoe Yep, love that book

  • “There are at least two kinds of games,” states James P. Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.” Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end. What are infinite games? How do they affect the ways we play our finite games? What are we doing when we play—finitely or infinitely? And how can infinite games affect the ways in which we live our lives? Carse explores these questions with stunning elegance, teasing out of his distinctions a universe of observation and insight, noting where and why and how we play, finitely and infinitely. He surveys our world—from the finite games of the playing field and playing board to the infinite games found in culture and religion—leaving all we think we know illuminated and transformed. Along the way, Carse finds new ways of understanding everything, from how an actress portrays a role to how we engage in sex, from the nature of evil to the nature of science. Finite games, he shows, may offer wealth and status, power and glory, but infinite games offer something far more subtle and far grander. Carse has written a book rich in insight and aphorism. Already an international literary event, Finite and Infinite Games is certain to be argued about and celebrated for years to come. Reading it is the first step in learning to play the infinite game.

    Last week I told a friend about Finite and Infinite Games, and I realised what a privilege it is to introduce somebody to a potentially life-changing book. So much responsibility in book recommendations - and boy is it rewarding!

  • @ravindragovndni @joshelman The Courage to be Disliked The Courage to be Happy (they aren’t explicitly about parenting but I learned a ton about it from these books)

  • This is an account of the essential aspects of the new physics for those with little or no knowledge of mathematics or science. It describes current theories of quantum mechanics, Einstein's special and general theories of relativity and other speculations, alluding throughout to parallels with modern psychology and metaphorical abstractions to Buddhism and Taoism. The author has also written "The Seat of the Soul".

    @Sushimacher Well, a really simple book that helped me understand it from a first principles stand point was “The Dancing Wu Lee Master.” Read it a long time ago though.

  • A Treatise on Efficacy

    François Jullien

    In this highly insightful analysis of Western and Chinese concepts of efficacy, Francois Jullien subtly delves into the metaphysical preconceptions of the two civilizations to account for diverging patterns of action in warfare, politics, and diplomacy. He shows how Western and Chinese strategies work in several domains (the battlefield, for example) and analyzes two resulting acts of war. The Chinese strategist manipulates his own troops and the enemy to win a battle without waging war and to bring about victory effortlessly. Efficacity in China is thus conceived of in terms of transformation (as opposed to action) and manipulation, making it closer to what is understood as efficacy in the West. Jullien s brilliant interpretations of an array of recondite texts are key to understanding our own conceptions of action, time, and reality in this foray into the world of Chinese thought. In its clear and penetrating characterization of two contrasting views of reality from a heretofore unexplored perspective, A Treatise on Efficacy will be of central importance in the intellectual debate between East and West.

    @BooksChatterBot This is a cool idea! Please add all the books found at the following link. These are the best of the best - the top 5% of what is now over 600 books read and summarized https://t.co/SP0CSgfSzT

  • “There are at least two kinds of games,” states James P. Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.” Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end. What are infinite games? How do they affect the ways we play our finite games? What are we doing when we play—finitely or infinitely? And how can infinite games affect the ways in which we live our lives? Carse explores these questions with stunning elegance, teasing out of his distinctions a universe of observation and insight, noting where and why and how we play, finitely and infinitely. He surveys our world—from the finite games of the playing field and playing board to the infinite games found in culture and religion—leaving all we think we know illuminated and transformed. Along the way, Carse finds new ways of understanding everything, from how an actress portrays a role to how we engage in sex, from the nature of evil to the nature of science. Finite games, he shows, may offer wealth and status, power and glory, but infinite games offer something far more subtle and far grander. Carse has written a book rich in insight and aphorism. Already an international literary event, Finite and Infinite Games is certain to be argued about and celebrated for years to come. Reading it is the first step in learning to play the infinite game.

    @BooksChatterBot This is a cool idea! Please add all the books found at the following link. These are the best of the best - the top 5% of what is now over 600 books read and summarized https://t.co/SP0CSgfSzT

  • At the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes's still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion -- and indeed our future.

    @BooksChatterBot This is a cool idea! Please add all the books found at the following link. These are the best of the best - the top 5% of what is now over 600 books read and summarized https://t.co/SP0CSgfSzT

  • Inspire and educate yourself with this comprehensive guide to the tactful and legendary ways of renowned martial arts master, Bruce Lee! During his lifetime, legendary martial artist Bruce Lee formulated a complex personal philosophy--a synthesis of Eastern and Western ideals--that extolled the virtues of knowledge and total mastery of one's self. However, most of his philosophical writings could be found only within the personal library of the Bruce Lee estate--until now. The Warrior Within is the most comprehensive volume of these teachings, meant to help you apply Lee's philosophies to your own life. This unique guide reveals such life-affirming secrets as: Seeing the totality of life and putting things into perspective Understanding the concept of Yin and Yang Defeating adversity by adapting to circumstances Tapping into inner spiritual forces to help shape the future With a foreword by his wife, Linda Lee Cadwell and photographs and other memorabilia from Bruce Lee's short but celebrated life, The Warrior Within is an engrossing and easy-to-understand guide to the little-explored world of Bruce Lee.

    @BooksChatterBot This is a cool idea! Please add all the books found at the following link. These are the best of the best - the top 5% of what is now over 600 books read and summarized https://t.co/SP0CSgfSzT

  • A philosophy that saw self-possession as the key to an existence lived 'in accordance with nature', Stoicism called for the restraint of animal instincts and the severing of emotional ties. These beliefs were formulated by the Athenian followers of Zeno in the fourth century BC, but it was in Seneca (c. 4 BC- AD 65) that the Stoics found their most eloquent advocate. Stoicism, as expressed in the Letters, helped ease pagan Rome's transition to Christianity, for it upholds upright ethical ideals and extols virtuous living, as well as expressing disgust for the harsh treatment of slaves and the inhumane slaughters witnessed in the Roman arenas. Seneca's major contribution to a seemingly unsympathetic creed was to transform it into a powerfully moving and inspiring declaration of the dignity of the individual mind.

    @BooksChatterBot This is a cool idea! Please add all the books found at the following link. These are the best of the best - the top 5% of what is now over 600 books read and summarized https://t.co/SP0CSgfSzT

  • The Book of Why

    Judea Pearl

    'Correlation does not imply causation.' This mantra was invoked by scientists for decades in order to avoid taking positions as to whether one thing caused another, such as smoking and cancer and carbon dioxide and global warming. But today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, sparked by world-renowned computer scientist Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and placed cause and effect on a firm scientific basis. Now, Pearl and science journalist Dana Mackenzie explain causal thinking to general readers for the first time, showing how it allows us to explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It is the essence of human and artificial intelligence. And just as Pearl's discoveries have enabled machines to think better, The Book of Why explains how we can think better.

    @MichaelKogan14 @teddyschleifer The n will be sufficiently large soon, unfortunately. Read the Book of Why by Judeah Pearl to see why my smoking point is true.

  • Now’s a good time to pickup a book. https://t.co/BgWR2VCUym I’m currently reading The Courage to be Happy.

  • Everything is getting more complex. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information we encounter each day. Whether at work, at school, or in our personal endeavors, there's a deepening (and inescapable) need for people to work with and understand information.Information architecture is the way that we arrange the parts of something to make it understandable as a whole. When we make things for others to use, the architecture of information that we choose greatly affects our ability to deliver our intended message to our users.We all face messes made of information and people. I define the word “mess” the same way that most dictionaries do: “A situation where the interactions between people and information are confusing or full of difficulties.” — Who doesn't bump up against messes made of information and people every day?This book provides a seven step process for making sense of any mess. Each chapter contains a set of lessons as well as workbook exercises architected to help you to work through your own mess.

    @erinlynnyoung How to Make Sense of Any Mess by @Abby_the_IA

  • Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves--and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives--and destroyed them. Now, Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers, and each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-drive design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped the world. The Stoic writings of the philosopher Seneca offer powerful insights into the art of living, the importance of reason and morality, and continue to provide profound guidance to many through their eloquence, lucidity and timeless wisdom.

    If you have been meaning to pick up a book on Stoicism, now is a better time than most: https://t.co/fWjljYLxVb https://t.co/1zY8vxDKqn https://t.co/O6lXeB5oWQ https://t.co/P1Wpit2DHk https://t.co/qCaCFz0UNX

  • Stoic Philosophy of Seneca

    Lucius Annaeus Seneca

    A selection of essays and letters by the 1st century Roman philosopher.

    If you have been meaning to pick up a book on Stoicism, now is a better time than most: https://t.co/fWjljYLxVb https://t.co/1zY8vxDKqn https://t.co/O6lXeB5oWQ https://t.co/P1Wpit2DHk https://t.co/qCaCFz0UNX

  • The Righteous Mind

    Jonathan Haidt

    Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.

    A decent #book but too verbose. Thankfully, each chapter comes with a summary at the end of it so I could do with just the summary for last few chapters. https://t.co/qLQid6e0zm

  • The far right is back with a vengeance. After several decades at the political margins, far-right politics has again taken center stage. Three of the world’s largest democracies – Brazil, India, and the United States – now have a radical right leader, while far-right parties continue to increase their profile and support within Europe. In this timely book, leading global expert on political extremism Cas Mudde provides a concise overview of the fourth wave of postwar far-right politics, exploring its history, ideology, organization, causes, and consequences, as well as the responses available to civil society, party, and state actors to challenge its ideas and influence. What defines this current far-right renaissance, Mudde argues, is its mainstreaming and normalization within the contemporary political landscape. Challenging orthodox thinking on the relationship between conventional and far-right politics, Mudde offers a complex and insightful picture of one of the key political challenges of our time.

    @hjarche Reading The Far Right Today by Can Muddie right now. Very interesting.

  • Everybody tells you to live for a cause larger than yourself, but how exactly do you do it? The bestselling author of The Road to Character explores what it takes to lead a meaningful life in a self-centered world. Every so often, you meet people who radiate joy--who seem to know why they were put on this earth, who glow with a kind of inner light. Life, for these people, has often followed what we might think of as a two-mountain shape. They get out of school, they start a career, and they begin climbing the mountain they thought they were meant to climb. Their goals on this first mountain are the ones our culture endorses: to be a success, to make your mark, to experience personal happiness. But when they get to the top of that mountain, something happens. They look around and find the view . . . unsatisfying. They realize: This wasn't my mountain after all. There's another, bigger mountain out there that is actually my mountain. And so they embark on a new journey. On the second mountain, life moves from self-centered to other-centered. They want the things that are truly worth wanting, not the things other people tell them to want. They embrace a life of interdependence, not independence. They surrender to a life of commitment. In The Second Mountain, David Brooks explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. Our personal fulfillment depends on how well we choose and execute these commitments. Brooks looks at a range of people who have lived joyous, committed lives, and who have embraced the necessity and beauty of dependence. He gathers their wisdom on how to choose a partner, how to pick a vocation, how to live out a philosophy, and how we can begin to integrate our commitments into one overriding purpose. In short, this book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives. But it's also a provocative social commentary. We live in a society, Brooks argues, that celebrates freedom, that tells us to be true to ourselves, at the expense of surrendering to a cause, rooting ourselves in a neighborhood, binding ourselves to others by social solidarity and love. We have taken individualism to the extreme--and in the process we have torn the social fabric in a thousand different ways. The path to repair is through making deeper commitments. In The Second Mountain, Brooks shows what can happen when we put commitment-making at the center of our lives.

    TIL about Anthony Trollope’s prodigious output. “If he finished a novel without writing that allotment, he would immediately start a new novel to hit the mark.” https://t.co/vYpzy3Fpbe

  • Reason, we are told, is what makes us human, the source of our knowledge and wisdom. If reason is so useful, why didn't it also evolve in other animals? If reason is that reliable, why do we produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense? In their groundbreaking account of the evolution and workings of reason, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber set out to solve this double enigma. Reason, they argue with a compelling mix of real-life and experimental evidence, is not geared to solitary use, to arriving at better beliefs and decisions on our own. What reason does, rather, is help us justify our beliefs and actions to others, convince them through argumentation, and evaluate the justifications and arguments that others address to us. In other words, reason helps humans better exploit their uniquely rich social environment. This interactionist interpretation explains why reason may have evolved and how it fits with other cognitive mechanisms. It makes sense of strengths and weaknesses that have long puzzled philosophers and psychologists--why reason is biased in favor of what we already believe, why it may lead to terrible ideas and yet is indispensable to spreading good ones.--

    @YablokoU @GaryMarcus @AymericPM @MelMitchell1 No. The reasoning system that is supported by System 1 is described in the book 'The Enigma of Reason' that you have yet to finish.

  • “There are at least two kinds of games,” states James P. Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.” Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end. What are infinite games? How do they affect the ways we play our finite games? What are we doing when we play—finitely or infinitely? And how can infinite games affect the ways in which we live our lives? Carse explores these questions with stunning elegance, teasing out of his distinctions a universe of observation and insight, noting where and why and how we play, finitely and infinitely. He surveys our world—from the finite games of the playing field and playing board to the infinite games found in culture and religion—leaving all we think we know illuminated and transformed. Along the way, Carse finds new ways of understanding everything, from how an actress portrays a role to how we engage in sex, from the nature of evil to the nature of science. Finite games, he shows, may offer wealth and status, power and glory, but infinite games offer something far more subtle and far grander. Carse has written a book rich in insight and aphorism. Already an international literary event, Finite and Infinite Games is certain to be argued about and celebrated for years to come. Reading it is the first step in learning to play the infinite game.

    @peternlimberg @macterra @LetterWiki Finite and Infinite Games is one of my all-time favorites. It's been a long time since I read my tattered and well-worn copy.

  • The Righteous Mind

    Jonathan Haidt

    Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.

    @JimmyRis I think most people should read this book ASAP - though, personally, I feel I read both this and The Righteous Mind "too late" (not that this makes them any less great).

  • In this lively series of conversations with writer Michel Treguer, René Girard revisits the major concepts of mimetic theory and explores science, democracy, and the nature of God and freedom. Girard affirms that “our unprecedented present is incomprehensible without Christianity.” Globalization has unified the world, yet civil war and terrorism persist despite free trade and economic growth. Because of mimetic desire and the rivalry it generates, asserts Girard, “whether we’re talking about marriage, friendship, professional relationships, issues with neighbors or matters of national unity, human relations are always under threat.” Literary masters including Marivaux, Dostoevsky, and Joyce understood this, as did archaic religion, which warded off violence with blood sacrifice. Christianity brought a new understanding of sacrifice, giving rise not only to modern rationality and science but also to a fragile system that is, in Girard’s words, “always teetering between a new golden age and a destructive apocalypse.” Treguer, a skeptic of mimetic theory, wonders: “Is what he’s telling me true...or is it just a nice story, a way of looking at things?” In response, Girard makes a compelling case for his theory.

    @alanjosephwilli @visakanv this book. it's fantastic. https://t.co/L2JxtSUIAW

  • Visionary theologian and evolutionary theorist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin applied his whole life, his tremendous intellect, and his great spiritual faith to building a philosophy that would reconcile religion with the scientific theory of evolution. In this timeless book, which contains the quintessence of his thought, Teilhard argues that just as living organisms sprung from inorganic matter and evolved into ever more complex thinking beings, humans are evolving toward an "omega point"—defined by Teilhard as a convergence with the Divine.

    @eriktorenberg I read part of Teilhard de Chardin's book on it, crouching in the library stacks, as a teenager. I remember the book as pretty weird and wild and interesting. IIRC it was "The Phenomenon of Man", though Wikipedia suggests "Cosmogenesis".

  • A Guide to the Good Life

    William B Irvine

    One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives. In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Readers learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have. Finally, A Guide to the Good Life shows readers how to become thoughtful observers of their own life. If we watch ourselves as we go about our daily business and later reflect on what we saw, we can better identify the sources of distress and eventually avoid that pain in our life. By doing this, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life.

    @Austen - A Gentleman in Moscow Runners-up: - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - My Name Is Asher Lev - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Enlightenment Now - A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - To Kill a Mockingbird - The Reluctant Fundamentalist

  • In his brilliantly enjoyable and freewheeling new book, John Gray draws together the religious, philosophic, and fantastical traditions that question the very idea of human freedom. We flatter ourselves about the nature of free will and yet the most enormous forces--logical, physical, metaphysical--constrain our every action. Many writers and intellectuals have always understood this, but instead of embracing our condition we battle against it, with everyone from world conquerors to modern scientists dreaming of a "human dominion" almost comically at odds with our true state. Filled with wonderful examples and drawing on the widest possible reading (from the Gnostics to Philip K. Dick), The Soul of the Marionette is a stimulating and engaging meditation on everything from cybernetics to the fairground marionettes of the title.

    That's it. The book touched on many topics on meaning and freedom. I highly recommend reading it. (Thanks to @rdntola for recommending the book) My other book summaries are listed here: https://t.co/JnGi27blI5

  • In his brilliantly enjoyable and freewheeling new book, John Gray draws together the religious, philosophic, and fantastical traditions that question the very idea of human freedom. We flatter ourselves about the nature of free will and yet the most enormous forces--logical, physical, metaphysical--constrain our every action. Many writers and intellectuals have always understood this, but instead of embracing our condition we battle against it, with everyone from world conquerors to modern scientists dreaming of a "human dominion" almost comically at odds with our true state. Filled with wonderful examples and drawing on the widest possible reading (from the Gnostics to Philip K. Dick), The Soul of the Marionette is a stimulating and engaging meditation on everything from cybernetics to the fairground marionettes of the title.

    Recently finished reading the excellent #book "The Soul of The Marionette" by John Gray. It's is a short metaphorical essay on progress in human life. (a thread with my notes on the book) https://t.co/lqDjlMSXth

  • After 1989, capitalism has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system - a situation that the bank crisis of 2008, far from ending, actually compounded. The book analyses the development and principal features of this capitalist realism as a lived ideological framework. Using examples from politics, films, fiction, work and education, it argues that capitalist realism colours all areas of contemporary experience. But it will also show that, because of a number of inconsistencies and glitches internal to the capitalist reality program capitalism in fact is anything but realistic.

    @aweissman He’s incredible! Committed suicide a few years ago, but his texts Capitalist Realism and Exiting the Vampire Castle are must reads.

  • What Money Can't Buy

    Michael Sandel

    Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars, outsourcing inmates to for-profit prisons, auctioning admission to elite universities, or selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay? Isn't there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life-medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relations. Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society. In What Money Can't Buy, Sandel examines one of the biggest ethical questions of our time and provokes a debate that's been missing in our market-driven age: What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society, and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets do not honour and money cannot buy?

    This is hands down the most interesting thing I've read in at least a month. Thanks for the DM @njwfish "What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets" - Michael J. Sandel https://t.co/HDGyOu8rCo https://t.co/eVYsrZeqd3

  • Reason, we are told, is what makes us human, the source of our knowledge and wisdom. If reason is so useful, why didn't it also evolve in other animals? If reason is that reliable, why do we produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense? In their groundbreaking account of the evolution and workings of reason, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber set out to solve this double enigma. Reason, they argue with a compelling mix of real-life and experimental evidence, is not geared to solitary use, to arriving at better beliefs and decisions on our own. What reason does, rather, is help us justify our beliefs and actions to others, convince them through argumentation, and evaluate the justifications and arguments that others address to us. In other words, reason helps humans better exploit their uniquely rich social environment. This interactionist interpretation explains why reason may have evolved and how it fits with other cognitive mechanisms. It makes sense of strengths and weaknesses that have long puzzled philosophers and psychologists--why reason is biased in favor of what we already believe, why it may lead to terrible ideas and yet is indispensable to spreading good ones.--

    9/ That's all. Hope I did justice to the book :) I really like the hypothesis and evidence that reasoning evolved in an interactionist context to convince others, and not in intellectual, truth-seeking context.

  • DARWIN'S DANGEROUS IDEA

    Daniel C. Dennett

    Offers a wider perspective on Darwin's scientific theory of natural selection, explaining how it extends beyond biology, analyzing current controversies over the origins of life and inherent biases, and challenging popular philosophies

    @CrashBand7 I haven’t read him unfortunately. I came up on Richard Dawkins’s “The Selfish Gene” and Dan Dennett’s “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea,” both of which are excellent. Sorry I don’t have an opinion on Gould

  • The Zen master explains the practice, nature, and basic attitudes of Zen meditation.

    Book 21 Lesson: There is no certain way that exists permanently. Moment after moment, we have to find our own way. https://t.co/1AmP7pcWZ0

  • “There are at least two kinds of games,” states James P. Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.” Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end. What are infinite games? How do they affect the ways we play our finite games? What are we doing when we play—finitely or infinitely? And how can infinite games affect the ways in which we live our lives? Carse explores these questions with stunning elegance, teasing out of his distinctions a universe of observation and insight, noting where and why and how we play, finitely and infinitely. He surveys our world—from the finite games of the playing field and playing board to the infinite games found in culture and religion—leaving all we think we know illuminated and transformed. Along the way, Carse finds new ways of understanding everything, from how an actress portrays a role to how we engage in sex, from the nature of evil to the nature of science. Finite games, he shows, may offer wealth and status, power and glory, but infinite games offer something far more subtle and far grander. Carse has written a book rich in insight and aphorism. Already an international literary event, Finite and Infinite Games is certain to be argued about and celebrated for years to come. Reading it is the first step in learning to play the infinite game.

    The outcome is the finite game, the friends we made along the way are the infinite game. https://t.co/lFJ7Iq124u

  • “There are at least two kinds of games,” states James P. Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.” Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end. What are infinite games? How do they affect the ways we play our finite games? What are we doing when we play—finitely or infinitely? And how can infinite games affect the ways in which we live our lives? Carse explores these questions with stunning elegance, teasing out of his distinctions a universe of observation and insight, noting where and why and how we play, finitely and infinitely. He surveys our world—from the finite games of the playing field and playing board to the infinite games found in culture and religion—leaving all we think we know illuminated and transformed. Along the way, Carse finds new ways of understanding everything, from how an actress portrays a role to how we engage in sex, from the nature of evil to the nature of science. Finite games, he shows, may offer wealth and status, power and glory, but infinite games offer something far more subtle and far grander. Carse has written a book rich in insight and aphorism. Already an international literary event, Finite and Infinite Games is certain to be argued about and celebrated for years to come. Reading it is the first step in learning to play the infinite game.

    When finite games end it just means you get 100% brain power for the infinite game. https://t.co/xdohi1Wg1G

  • "An elegant and intelligent translation. The text provides a perfect solution to the problem of how to introduce students to Hegel in a survey course in the history of Western philosophy." -- Graham Parkes, University of Hawaii

    @levilian1 Three Body Problem is in my backpack right now! Finishing Hegel's Introduction to the Philosophy of History first.

  • Featuring the edited transcripts of eight lectures delivered by Alan Watts from 1960 to 1973. The Tao of Philosophy offers a rich introduction to the wit and wisdom of one of the foremost philosophers of the twentieth century.

    @_TamaraWinter Great question! Impro, The Lessons of History, The Tao of Philosophy, and Class by Fussell It’s not that they’re my very favorite books (although they’re all up there), but also that they’re mercifully short, so as not to be a burden on people.

  • Status Anxiety

    Alain De Botton

    Drawing from the fields of history, psychology, politics, and economics, a close up look at the anxieties we suffer associated with a pursuit of status explains how humans have sought to cope with their fears through philosophy, art, religion, and bohemia and offers thought-provoking suggestions on other ways to deal with the problem. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.

    How to survive 2019: "Status Anxiety" by @alaindebotton - If someone doesn't text you back - If no one likes your Instagram posts - If you're feeling FOMO - If you bomb all of your New Year's Resolutions... https://t.co/2YAreGL8nK

  • A narrative history of paradoxes explores how the greatest minds in humanity have addressed challenging problems, in a chronologically organized volume that considers perspectives on the chicken and the egg riddle and more. (Philosophy)

    34. The God of Small Things - Arundhuti Roy (@SHeavenrich bears witness to me crying at the ending in a kid’s playground) 35. Human Acts 👐🏾- Han Kang 36. Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi 37. History of the Paradox ⁉️Philosophy and Labyrinths of the Mind - Roy Sorensen

  • Ecce Homo

    Friedrich Nietzsche

    Ecce Homo is an autobiography like no other. Nietzsche passes under review all his previous books and reaches a final reckoning with his many enemies. Ecce Homo is the summation of an extraordinary philosophical career.

    @VillabencH @michael_nielsen @voeliz @BMBernstein @iAmLikelyWrong Found it. https://t.co/MFUbos0W3k

  • But What If We're Wrong?

    Chuck Klosterman

    What if everything we are most certain about turns out to be totally wrong?

    "But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past - Chuck Klosterman" - People either love this or hate it. I found it uneven but it forces you to look at a few spaces differently. https://t.co/qQXF6APuhk

  • Self Comes to Mind

    Antonio Damasio

    A leading neuroscientist addresses key questions about the origins and mechanisms of human consciousness, drawing on decades of research to challenge beliefs about the separateness of consciousness from the body while presenting a revisionist perspective built on traditional approaches. By the author of Descartes' Error. Reprint.

    @cleverclue @KirkDBorne @ipfconline1 Did you ever read Damasio's "A Self Comes to Mind"? I thought it did a great job of explaining this stuff.

  • Offering an answer to the anti-rationalist argument that all rational theory rests on an irrational commitment, this book also provides a case study of modern Protestant theology. The author contends that Western philosophical traditions are authoritarian in structure.

    @C_Harwick Cool. This reminds me of W. W. Bartley III's "The Retreat to Commitment" — one of my favorite books (but pretty obscure). It's kind of like a book-length version of your post: a rejection of the "tu quoque" argument against rationalism.

  • The Righteous Mind

    Jonathan Haidt

    Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.

    finally read Righteous Mind by @JonHaidt - one of the best books I've read on the last decade. HIGHLY recommend. https://t.co/TtR6rHltmb

  • Strangers Drowning

    Larissa MacFarquhar

    "What does it mean to devote yourself wholly to helping others? In Strangers Drowning, Larissa MacFarquhar seeks out people living lives of extreme ethical commitment and tells their deeply intimate stories; their stubborn integrity and their compromises; their bravery and their recklessness; their joys and defeats and wrenching dilemmas. Through its sympathetic and beautifully vivid storytelling, Strangers Drowning confronts us with fundamental questions about what it means to be human. In a world of strangers drowning in need, how much should we help, and how much can we help? Is it right to care for strangers even at the expense of those we are closest to? Moving and provocative, Strangers Drowning challenges us to think about what we value most, and why"--

    I can't say enough about @LarissaMacFarqu's book Strangers Drowning. Profound & enthralling study of do-gooders http://t.co/ZYjgu9jwhM

  • The Righteous Mind

    Jonathan Haidt

    Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.

    Dear liberals & conservatives, what's the point of arguing about the conclusions if you disagree about the premises? http://t.co/lsXeWvWXsO