Where To Start With Reading Philosophy - Deepstash
Where To Start With Reading Philosophy

Where To Start With Reading Philosophy

  • Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson – Plugging my own shit here, but needless to say, if you got through this article and enjoyed it, you will love the book.
  • The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday – A great entrypoint to Stoic philosophy but also ancient philosophy, in general.
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche.
  • Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche.
  • Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes.
  • Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit.

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Why Does Philosophy Matter?

Philosophy matters because at some point in our lives we must all ask and answer these questions for ourselves.

  • What is true?
  • Why do I believe it to be true?
  • How should I live based on what I believe?

A failure to answer one or more of these questions will quickly result in what we generally label as a mental or emotional crisis—we fall into depression, succumb to anxiety, struggle to find any sense of meaning or purpose.

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Why We All Need Philosophy

Philosophy teaches us the fundamental techniques for finding meaning and purpose in a world where there is no given meaning, no cosmic purpose. Philosophy gives us tools to determine what is likely to be important and true and what is likely frivolous and made-up.

Philosophy Is As Relevant As Ever. Why?

  1. Philosophy is the foundation of critical thinking.
  2. Science can’t answer every question.
  3. Philosophy has particular meaning in the business world.
  4. Ancient philosophers continue to influence humanity.

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Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • Ancient Greek philosophy extends from as far as the seventh century B.C. up until the beginning of the Roman Empire, in the first century A.D.
  • It distinguishes itself from other early forms of philosophical and theological theorizing for its emphasis on reason as opposed to the senses or the emotions.
  • During this period five great philosophical traditions originated: the Platonist, the Aristotelian, the Stoic, the Epicurean, and the Skeptic.
  • Favorite themes include the principle of reality, the good; the life worth being lived; the distinction between appearance and reality, etc.

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Thales
  • Thales is best remembered for his metaphysics which argued that everything originated from water and that water somehow constituted all other elements. He left no writings.
  • Thales devoted time to astronomy and was the first person to predict a solar eclipse accurately. 
  • He was a noted mathematician and is said to have measured the height of the great pyramid using the length of its shadow. 
  • He was credited with discovering magnetism in the west and used it as the basis of his theory of Panpsychism. 
  • While many of his inspirations and sources were mythic, Thales is said to have moved beyond myth and towards naturalistic explanations of the world.

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Athens during the Classical era
  • The city-state of Athens (5th and 4th centuries BCE) valued intellectual pursuits and open inquiry. That lead to the development of philosophy (the love of wisdom).
  • The ancient Athenians' focus on understanding themselves and the world around them provided an intellectual breakthrough in history. Debate and seeking the truth inspired thinkers and influenced the world we live in today.
  • Athens likely was named after the Olympian goddess of wisdom, Athena, who was also the city's patron deity. Athena was also the goddess of war and peace, as well as the goddess of craftsmanship and weaving.

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