11 Philosophy Books to Expand Your Mind


philosophy-2603284_960_720Any account of philosophical history and the important works produced is bound to be not only non-definitive and incomplete, but also unsatisfying. This is because philosophy is a very rich and dynamic venue, for some of the most interesting ideas ever posited by man. I nonetheless sought to construct a list of important works of philosophy, with the hope of discussing some very radical, mind-opening texts. In the list I limit myself to only going back a couple centuries, to narrow the search and discussion.

What is philosophy? People have asked this question since Socrates, and there have been many books seeking to explain what philosophy is. Philosophy for me personally, is the quest for knowledge, as well as the love of wisdom and the search for truth. Philosophy is often seen as being elitist, suited only for intellectual elites, but in my experience, this is not true, philosophy is highly relatable and worth the effort to understand. This is because philosophy has the power to enrich our ideas and thought process and teach us about the many mysteries that exist in this universe, and in our world.

So without further ado, I give you mind-expanding philosophical works. Not all of the writings are print books, but also academic papers and ebooks that you can find on the Internet. I did this to broaden the scale a little bit, and show the true diversity that exists in philosophy today.

Critique of Pure Reason
Immanuel Kant

41yaac8jpiL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_I start with Immanuel Kant, and his book The Critique of Pure Reason. It could be argued that modern philosophy starts with Immanuel Kant, rather than someone like Rene Descartes (who spearheaded the modern view and methodology of science), or even someone as ambitious as Spinoza, specifically his geometrical and mathematical book, Ethics. Considering that some have said that modern philosophy actually started with Samuel Beckett, I suppose there is no need to split hairs over who is the modern founder of philosophy. Since any list of important philosophers is bound to be subjective, I don’t seek to prove why I would start contemporary philosophy with Immanuel Kant, though I will provide reasons.

A German Idealist, also sometimes referred to as a German Rationalist, Kant’s project was very unique, especially for his time, his Critique one of the most important philosophy books ever written, next to Plato’s Republic. Kant was focused on understanding the role of philosophy in the world, specifically such taken-for-granted tools as reason and logic. Ultimately, Kant concluded that the way that we can understand philosophy and things going on in the world, is by taking the approach of an idealist, this by putting emphasis on the mind itself, and its role in how we perceive the world. The mind can, essentially, create philosophical categories that correspond to reality, thus making our understanding of the world “mind-dependent.”

But Kant wasn’t finished with this conclusion. Kant was famous for his version of the dialectic, which can be described as: The questions that we ask that often produce two opposing viewpoints, such as, do we have free will, or does God exist. What makes Kant’s dialectic fascinating, is that he doesn’t seek to prove either side of these issues, but simply wishes to illustrate the failings of reason itself, and how reason, pure reason, ultimately does not show us what is real, because it generates contradictions. So Kant was already undermining philosophy against itself, and showing how there are some things that we simply cannot know. Not only is this a very radical position to take, echoes of which can be found in later analytic thinkers like Quine and Wittgenstein, I consider this to be a mind-expanding book, because it makes you ask the question: what can I really know, and if reason fails me, what actually exists in the world, and what can I know as a consequence? Kant was convinced that there were only so many things we could truly know about the world, and ultimately, we could never perceive the thing-in-itself, the thing as it actually is, the noumena, thus a failing of reason.

The Phenomenology of Spirit

4195SoXEOgL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_We may be confused on what actually exists in the world, but we certainly must continue to place a specific emphasis on what the mind can perceive. This leads to the colossal, controversial, obscure, and sometimes unreadable text, The Phenomenology of Spirit, by Hegel. Like Kant, Hegel was also a German Idealist, though his perspective was much different from Kant’s. This was because Hegel wasn’t concerned with pure reason, per se, but rather, constructs of reason. What could reason produce? Hegel has often been referred to as the last great systematizer of philosophy, going back to the tradition of thinkers like Aristotle. Hegel, indeed, is really at the top of his game with his Phenomenology. Using a highly literate and high style, with an emphasis on the beauty of language, Hegel sets out to create his system of philosophy, the Phenomenology of which is his apex because it deals with fundamental elements of phenomena as it is observed by Hegel. It is phenomena that matters, rather than the noumena, the point at which Hegel truly differed from Kant.

Many people do not understand Hegel’s ideas even though he had a massive influence on the West, and this is why I include Hegel’s book as being a very mind-expanding experience, which you can find in ideas such as the Absolute, which according to Hegel, is the highest state of history. The Absolute is the goal, the final end of history, reaching its apex, the Absolute sometimes seen as a metaphor for God, with everything in history viewed in its totality. In the Phenomenology, Hegel famously posited the Other, through the master and slave dialectic, wherein you only become aware of yourself when you acknowledge the Other’s humanity and existence. Other ideas in the Phenomenology might be less intelligible, but certainly worth diving into. The book is not really an explanation or phenomenology of mind as it is a foray into reason and theory.

Hegel’s book is very difficult to understand, but it is certainly worth reading. Analytic philosopher Bertrand Russell assumed that Hegel was not a serious philosopher, precisely because of the creative liberties he took with his work, as well as Hegel’s supposed misunderstanding of philosophy and logic. But I think that this criticism is unfair because Hegel was really one of the first truly creative geniuses of modern and contemporary philosophy. Indeed, Hegel wasn’t necessarily concerned with being intelligible and logical, but rather, constructing a philosophical system that would help explain the new chaotic world that was emerging in the modern era. In some ways, this project could be seen as similar to Friedrich Nietzsche’s work and goal with his philosophy, though the result was much different.

The Will to Power
Friedrich Nietzsche

31785Which of course, brings me to Friedrich Nietzsche himself, specifically his book, The Will to Power. Nietzsche is often famous for supposedly being a prototype of the German Nazi, and The Will to Power was apparently edited by a relative to make it seem more in line with Nazi sympathies. Indeed, many philosophers have said this about Nietzsche, but in my perspective, this really limits an understanding of what Nietzsche was trying to accomplish with his bold ambitions for philosophy.

Why did I choose The Will to Power instead of one of his more famous books like The Genealogy of Morals or Beyond Good and Evil? Because The Will to Power is a very sophisticated and unique book. It is not one that everybody will understand, because of its obscure ideas and its concepts deeply rooted in modern and classic philosophy. The language is very rich and detailed, literary rather than logical, a characteristic of this great proto-postmodern philosopher.

What does Nietzsche seek to do with this book? Perhaps it was merely just a pile of notes and not a finished philosophy? Ironically, though, that was what made the book so great: Nietzsche himself posited that incomplete thoughts are very purposeful, strategic, and beautiful, and can convey deep philosophical truths. Nietzsche, often seen as a spontaneous philosopher, as being aphoristic and truly Continental, is truly at his best with The Will to Power. The book is an artistic endeavor, an artistic expression. You don’t read this notebook to understand more about systems of philosophy, but rather, to understand the way that thought itself works, in its very fragmented and incomplete form. This makes the book very unconventional, but that is the point. The book, which talks about everything from free will to nihilism, to critiques of science and the function of philosophy, to jabs at prominent philosophers, is a tantalizing book, and it will really challenge the mind. In many ways, this book is better than any of the books that fit in Nietzsche’s traditional system of philosophy, and that is precisely because even for Nietzsche, it is very radical and unconventional. But for Nietzsche, philosophy was a creative act, hence the existence of The Will to Power.

Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?
Nick Bostrom

220px-Nick_BostromThe next mind-blowing philosophical work that I want to talk about isn’t a book at all, but rather, an academic paper. It is called “Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?” by Nick Bostrom. You can find the paper online, something I recommend, as it is a very intriguing and fascinating article.

The main argument that Bostrom puts forward, is that the odds of us living in a computer simulation is bigger than we may think. Using a little bit of logic, Bostrom posits his theory by claiming that there are three likely propositions. The first proposition is that we are not living in a computer simulation because humanity did not advance to a posthuman stage. The second proposition is that we are living in a computer simulation because technology has advanced significantly, and we are living in a posthuman world. And the third and final proposition is that it is impossible to create a computer simulation of the universe.

Even though the article contains a lot of philosophy and science, the main thrust of the article seems to be in these three logical propositions. The argument may seem simple and straightforward, but Bostrom is appealing to our logical sensibilities, by saying that we either are or aren’t living in a computer simulation, but that using logic, there is a one-third chance that we are living in a simulation … which is a noticeably high chance when considered.

Bostrom has shown the power of logic and philosophy to make bold and grand claims about the world. Whether we actually do live in a computer simulation is another matter, it has in fact recently been argued, using heavy empirical science, that the odds of this being the case is actually not very likely, if likely at all. Nonetheless, this article is an interesting intellectual treat, and certainly it makes you consider the possibilities. Some people have even described that after considering the simulation argument, they move from being atheist to agnostic, due to the implications of there being a specific engineer of a computer simulator.

Process and Reality
Alfred North Whitehead

71OsS+ePZFLIn the next philosophical project and work that I wish to recommend, is the gargantuan book by Alfred North Whitehead, called Process and Reality. Even though Whitehead associated with other analytic philosophers like Bertrand Russell, he was far from a purely analytical philosopher, and in many ways, was speculative, in a way that was highly creative and not necessarily based on a worldview steeped in strict facts and logic.

One of the originators of a branch of philosophy known as process philosophy, Whitehead sought to make compelling claims about how things in the world actually are. Process philosophy is the notion that the world as we see it is unfinished rather than complete because it is undergoing a complicated “process.” It is highly against the Platonic tradition, which posited permanency in our concepts, by way of the Ideas. Drawing more off somebody like Darwin and Hegel, rather than Plato and Aristotle, Whitehead was a truly modern philosopher. He believed in change and evolution, and indeed, that our concepts are never fixed or stable. You can see a lot of this philosophy in Process and Reality, the whole book of which is about change and fluctuations, even within philosophy itself.

There is something strangely esoteric about Whitehead, and it is very surprising that he was not seemingly a materialist, even with his background in science and math. Much of Whitehead’s philosophy drew off the discoveries of quantum mechanics, which was opposed to the natural world of physical bodies: we must state as a consequence that we seem to be in a world of chaos and abstract fluctuations. Whitehead was very much convinced that nothing in the world was stable, and he utilized the term “concrescence” to refer to something emerging in the world that lacks form but that has become or is becoming an actual entity. Whitehead emphasized the distinction between actual entities and potential entities, where the world was constantly in flux between these two states of being, where the potentiality for anything to exist was highly abstract and possible, until it became an actual thing in the world. Process for Whitehead was a creative act rather than a scientific one, and this point, among others, is what made Whitehead such a unique and fascinating philosopher. Indeed, Process and Reality is a very mind-blowing book, because it challenges our scientific notions, and forces us to think about the world in a highly evolving and creative way.

Capitalism and Schizophrenia
Deleuze and Guattari

downloadBut the concept of creativity wasn’t just exclusive to somebody like Whitehead. The next book on my list is the two-volume masterpiece, Capitalism and Schizophrenia, by Deleuze and Guattari, which is not only one of the most radical texts ever written in the twentieth century, but also is highly political, even though the book itself is highly philosophical and abstract, filled with complex points that are not easily understood prima facie. The book is remarkable because of what it says about those who suffer from mental illness. Using the coined term “schizo-analysis,” which was the study of mental illness from the perspective of the mentally ill person, Deleuze and Guattari set out to understand the experience and mindset of the schizophrenic. To privilege the perspective of the schizophrenic, as well as challenge and debunk mainstream perspectives and narratives from those considered sane and rational, was a highly radical move, and one that someone who suffers from mental illness could see as offering a new perspective on their disease, in contrast to a more clinical and oppressive view.

Indeed, to Deleuze and Guattari, schizophrenia was not something to fear, because not only was the schizophrenic experience important to understand, but it also existed by way of the creativity of the mind, of radical free association, which, to these two philosophers, seem to be the purest form of thinking that could ever exist, especially when considering that the schizophrenic is excluded from society, forced to think even more originally. Knee-jerk reactions to this text might be one of bafflement and puzzlement, but the book is highly versed in Western and Eastern philosophy and was enjoyed and utilized by philosophers such as Michel Foucault.

Personally, I have always liked the book because it offers a counter perspective to the West’s obsession with rationality, reason, and logic. It is strange and even ironic how the philosophers can use so much philosophy, and still possess a highly original, creative, idiosyncratic, and chaotic style. It shows that reason and rationality are not everything to human thought, and that sometimes, we arrive at truth not through structure and Post-Enlightenment notions of reason, but rather, from irrationality. If you want a mind-expanding book, Capitalism and Schizophrenia literally offers that, because it is a meditation on the mind and the mind’s powers, and because the literary and philosophical techniques used throughout the book will definitely make you think in very different and novel ways. You certainly cannot go wrong with this brilliant work.

Madness and Civilization
Michel Foucault

81uWljx4+PLBut speaking of Foucault: anyone who has studied philosophy from the last century knows that the study of mental illness and madness was far from limited to Deleuze. The next work that I would like to discuss is Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault. Foucault also empathized with those who suffered from what he referred to as madness, perhaps because Foucault himself lived with certain symptoms of mental illness and, like a true philosopher, he wanted to understand what was going on.

Madness and Civilization is a masterwork of the twentieth century, and it is very ambitious. Seeking to trace the history of mental illness from the modern era of the clinic, to the asylums of the eighteenth century, as well as to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Foucault argued vigorously in favor of those who were mad or were considered mad, and thus were marginalized by society. One of Foucault’s major arguments is that in the Middle Ages, leprosy was cured, the lepers of which were mistreated significantly and excluded from society because people were afraid of being “contaminated” by the disease. But society, operating off a kind of ironically irrational hysteria, essentially needed to have a new type of leprosy to justify the exclusion of certain people, and those who suffered with mental illness seemed to fit that role. No one wanted to be contaminated by someone who was mad, lest they go mad themselves. To Foucault, this contaminant was metaphorical, but certainly consistent with his observations of history.

Foucault is not always taken seriously, even in the academic world. This is because some people consider Foucault to be ahistorical, overly political, too literary, too postmodern, as well as even crazy himself. But to call Foucault all of this is to dismiss his legacy and is a very function of the power structures that Foucault sought to understand. Madness and Civilization is an important book because it gives voice to those who suffer from madness and mental illness. This was one of Foucault’s goals, to offer what in history had proven to be a marginalized and excluded perspective, excluded by the dominant narrative of society and history. Foucault, offering the explanation that human rationality had corroded true and creative expression, took the plight of those who were considered crazy throughout history very seriously, often coming to the conclusion that it is often those who are mad and mentally ill that change the world and the course of history, and truly push innovation forward: It was the “mad individuals” that literally developed the concept of destiny.

Suicide Note
Mitchell Heisman

9429159._UY475_SS475_The next book that I recommend, a book that many would probably not have even heard of, is a personal favorite of mine, a kind of cult classic, so to speak, and is one that I recommend even though it is by a very, very different type of philosopher. The book is Suicide Note by Mitchell Heisman.

I imagine that Mitchell Heisman is ignored by elitist academics, most likely because his approach was so very radical, and he doesn’t fit neatly in any history of ideas. Mitchell Heisman was a college student, and he had a very peculiar problem that he was trying to solve. He wanted to know if a person could end their life in a rational manner. To explore this issue, Mitchell Heisman wrote his two thousand page treatise, and then shot himself at the University.

Mitchell Heisman claimed that he was committing suicide rationally, perhaps the way that even Socrates might have when he drank the poison hemlock, but his project, which ended all too soon, was done in order to pose this question to people: He wanted people to discuss.

In the book itself, Heisman argues that reason is actually very limited in what it can tell us. He starts by talking about the goals of the Enlightenment, which was to make reason accessible, and make reason the way by which society made choices. But through time, through the crisis of modernity, this proved to be difficult, with all of the violence that broke out in that era, and all of the many dissatisfactions and discontents of the West. So by the time we get to Postmodernism, all we can claim is that reality does not correspond to reason, and that reason doesn’t convey anything meaningful or enrich our lives in any way. Heisman then uses this claim to say that because reason fails us, we can’t rationalize or justify anything, and because of that, we can’t rationally justify if we should live or die. Hence, with the death of reason in the twenty-first century, we can, essentially, commit suicide. And we can commit suicide rationally, that being the irony.

Indeed, Suicide Note is a very unconventional and strange text, but I consider it to be a highly important text, precisely because of the way that it challenges our assumptions and expectations. It can be disturbing, at times, but I consider it to be an important quest for truth and understanding the nature of ideas. As it has been pointed out, Mitchell Heisman could have taken a more Darwinian approach to life, and place the emphasis on reproduction rather than self-termination. Perhaps this is the tragedy of Mitchell Heisman, however, in that ultimately, his rationality failed him, even though he had produced a remarkable treatise on reason, and about many other topics: certainly, two thousand pages is a lot to cover. If you’re in for a heavy read, you can download Suicide Note on the Internet, and give it a try yourself.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
Thomas Kuhn

9780226458120Because I think that no list of philosophy works would be complete without a philosopher of science, I recommend the book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn. I consider this to be a very important text because in many ways, it challenges our expectations of how we arrive at knowledge, how we establish truth, and how we can understand the world.

Kuhn is often rejected by philosophical conservatives, and this is usually because they see Kuhn as reveling and relishing in a type of unfounded relativism, where nothing is true, and we can’t even speak authoritatively about certain topics, such as science. Often, philosophical liberals use Kuhn as a way of saying that anything is permissible in discourse, and that there is no such thing as authority. This worldview is what we supposedly get from philosophers like Foucault, so this is nothing new. And yet, I believe this is all a major misreading.

Instead, I think Kuhn was trying to show the inherent shakiness to knowledge itself, even knowledge that we consider to be substantial, reliable, and mostly irrefutable, such as science. Kuhn is an interesting thinker because he was one of the first to point out that science is not perfect, and like Karl Popper, says that science is a kind of myth, with a collection of stories and narratives peculiar to the enterprise. Actually, even though I am aware of the criticisms of Thomas Kuhn and his book, I nonetheless really empathize with this point, which is not that science itself is relative, but that our methods of coming to understand the world are. Kuhn, who was a scientist himself, certainly knew scientists could be biased and could commit any number of mistakes or fallacies. There is indeed, a sociology to science. There are political factors in any scientific discovery or search, as well as the fact that people are human, and do not always do science the way that it is supposed to be done. I believe that Kuhn’s legacy is in positing the difficulty of separating human values from the search for scientific truth, and truth in general, as well as reminding us that there is a history of science that influences science itself. Indeed, we can’t forget that the way that we view the world is theory-laden, and that our theories influence the way that we see the world, and they may not always be correct.

Whether you agree or disagree, I think this book is an important text, and I think that it opens the mind because it challenges your expectations, and it forces you to look at your own motivations with accumulating knowledge. The book is mind-bending because it asks these difficult questions, and goes back to a core component of epistemology: how can we know what we know?

Modern Philosophy
Roger Scruton

209353The philosophy of science is important, but so is understanding the history of philosophy. This brings me to the next book on the list, Modern Philosophy by Roger Scruton. Indeed, I consider this book to be an important history of philosophy, particularly of modern philosophy. It is a great primer to philosophy of the twentieth century, describing the innovations with people like Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, and Anscombe. The book is a primer to deep philosophical thought, structured by chapters that focus on an important theme in philosophy, from logic to the human world, from aesthetics to politics, from religion to formal logic. This book is good as a refresher, whenever you want to brush up on your philosophy knowledge.

But I would say that that is not the only reason to read this book–far from it. I consider this to be an important book because it tells the story of modern philosophy in a highly detailed and creative way. Roger Scruton is very careful to make these discoveries relevant to our thinking. Indeed, Scruton is a stylish, and perhaps this is because of his understanding of the philosophy of aesthetics. Scruton seeks to posit, by way of his viewpoint of aesthetics, that the history of philosophy is best understood by paying attention to notions of beauty and truth. Roger Scruton describes his project as being politically conservative because it seeks to offer a counterpoint to Marxist critiques of society. Scruton thinks that the world does not need to be overhauled, that institutions are important, such as the institution of philosophy itself. We don’t always need to change things because there are many beautiful things in this world.

I can see how some intellectuals would not appreciate Roger Scruton’s effort, but I personally have been deeply impacted by this book. He focuses a lot on making a case for beauty and harmony in the world, emphasizing the imagination in the creation and production of thought, as well as showing that sometimes, our deepest held realities are fiction, but a very beautiful and meaningful fiction. This book has influenced me a lot because it has shown me how I can look back at philosophy, and see the progress that has been made. Scruton really appreciated the philosophers of the past, and while not everyone will agree with the importance of this, he nonetheless makes his case, the book, as it continues, becoming more and more steeped in Scruton’s overall philosophical argument. Scruton believes that we can know things, and that we mustn’t get carried away with techniques like deconstruction, a discourse of emptiness, that we mustn’t be fooled by Descartes’ demon, using reason to prove that nothing can be argued, and that nothing is true. In a world of chaos and harshness and lies, I find Roger Scruton’s points really compelling and elegant, and while I don’t agree with all of his points (he heavily criticizes Michel Foucault and the feminists, as well as other postmodernists like Derrida), I find his book to be worth reading because of its sheer breadth, and because of Scruton’s mastering of contemporary and modern philosophy.

Being and Time
Martin Heidegger

41tHACwkLWL._SX333_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe final book that I would like to recommend is more of an obvious choice, but the reasons not necessarily immediately intelligible. That would be Martin Heidegger’s book, Being and Time. I believe that this is an obvious choice, like Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, but important to list nonetheless.

I actually don’t like this book, though I do like the philosophy itself, and I appreciate the project itself. It has been argued that because this book was obscure by nature, highly poetic and supercharged with language, it helps one justify anything–such as Nazism. And to a degree, I believe this. We must be vigilant critics of this type of barbarism, while also maintaining an objectivity about the text itself.

Now, what is the book actually about? Like Derrida, Heidegger has a very poetic style, and he can often be accused of being impenetrable, and even of obfuscating. I personally think that Heidegger’s statement in his writing, however, is to bring back attention to the poetry of language, because, as he implies in his book, poetry is truth. The book is an attempt to explain being, and whether or not we actually understand our ontology. Indeed, Heidegger’s product was very much steeped in the philosophical issue of understanding our modern views of ontology, and for Heidegger, the way that we understand ourselves, is by understanding that we die, that we will die, and confronting this fact head on. Like Camus, we must throw ourselves in our work, even if that includes reading a very long philosophical text like Being and Time.

Indeed, the concepts in this book are very difficult to understand, but it is clear that Heidegger was an important existentialist in the truest sense, and he certainly dealt with existential questions. For Heidegger, there was only anxiety, there was only being in the world, Dasein. Heidegger explicates the idea of living authentically and living despite our barriers to achieving our goals. This bold proposition is similar to what Sartre argued, which is about rebellion and resistance. Hannah Arendt found Heidegger’s idea of thinking to be important as a philosophy, that thinking is how we engage with the world and assert our ideas about ourselves and what actually exists.

Whatever you might think of Heidegger, I think this is a very challenging book philosophically, even if you reject every proposition that the book puts forward. This book was written in a high style, deeply rooted in the tradition of the Romantics like Holderlin and Hegel. Despite what you may think about the book, it will certainly get you to think about things in a different way, and I think that that is the ultimate goal of philosophy, even though Heidegger’s fascism and barbarism was in the end, utterly reprehensible.


As I said before, this list is far from definitive, and there were certainly other great texts to choose from, many philosophers I would have loved to include. But I nonetheless think that this list is a good introduction to some different types of thought out there, philosophy that can change our lives and change our habits of thought. There were indeed many works of philosophy I could have cited. One could always cite Kierkegaard, as a foil and antithesis to the existentialism of Friedrich Nietzsche. If you wanted the study of ontology from the analytic school of philosophy, rather than from the Continental philosopher Heidegger, you could always read the essay “Ontological Relativity” by Quine. One of my personal favorites is any philosopher that deals with the philosophy of mind, which usually ask the metaphysical question of, what is the mind? There are many collections of essays on the philosophy of mind, including the Routledge edition, where different theories of the mind are posited and discussed, from idealism to functionalism, to dualism, eliminative materialism, and psychoparallelism. To understand Kant, I would always recommend reading the works of David Hume, and to understand the nuances of the nineteenth century and nineteenth century philosophy, I recommend the radical political philosophy of Karl Marx, as well as the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer, particularly his ideas of philosophy as they relate to Buddhism. I also think that women philosophers are highly important to study, from Hannah Arendt to Simone de Beauvoir, to Mary Wollstonecraft and Patricia Churchland. Cornel West is an important philosopher of the African American tradition, and I always recommend Eastern works of philosophy to challenge your Western assumptions. There is so much more that I could suggest, but I hope that this list you find tantalizing and inspiring, and can be the beginning of something new, a new relationship with philosophy and the bold ideas of the world.


phoenixPhoenix has written over forty books, and has published everything from works of fiction, to poetry, to philosophy. Phoenix has enjoyed writing since he was a little kid, and he finds much importance and truth in creative expression. He hopes to inspire people with his writing, as well as ask difficult questions about the world and about the universe. Phoenix currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, and he spends much of his time reading books of philosophy, science, and literature, as well as writing, and working on other books. He recently completed a philosophical dialogue called Kid Logic, and he is currently working on his book Mind Warp, a foray into the fantastical and the philosophical. He hopes to imbue his writing with a sensitivity and gentleness, along with a boldness of expression and a confrontation of darkness. Phoenix hopes that you enjoy his writing, and that you find it meaningful. The world is a place full of possibility, and Phoenix hopes we always remember this.

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  1. “What does Nietzsche seek to do with this book? Perhaps it was merely just a pile of notes and not a finished philosophy? Ironically, though, that was what made the book so great.”

    One of my favorite books from Mark Twain is similar in that regard: What is Man? It’s the informal nature of it that makes it more compelling than the typical structured work.

    Good blog you got, sir.


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