2 Answers

  1. I also have the answer of a person who did not receive a philosophical education, but still.

    I don't think it's a question of which book to start with. It's about the beginning itself. I have a counter question for you, but what do you care about in life? What excites you? What's bothering you?

    First of all, you need to understand for yourself why you need to start “studying philosophy”. When you decide why you want to read philosophy, then the question will disappear by itself. Don't torture yourself, force your brain, and immediately try to read and understand the works of Hegel or Kant. The internal question, the need for reading should arise by itself, your task will be to grasp it. This will be the real philosophy.

    As the same Hegel wrote, “Such' recognition scenes', which teach the world against its will, have the unforgivable mistake of simultaneously embarrassing the audience, while the theatrical machinist would like to gain fame by his art.”If you need philosophy just to have something to talk about in a secular society – the answer above is quite suitable.

    But if you are still “sick” of it, if you can't do without it, then the flag is in your hands, you will find something to read yourself. Philosophy is far from physics, there is no theorimum that you need to know. Philosophical questions, philosophical approaches – this is a matter for everyone. This does not mean that everyone interprets Hume in their own way, but, however, the questions that they consider will only be fully understood when you live with these questions. Yes, most philosophers don't care, they will study philosophy as a science. However, I think (so far) this approach is too rational and analytical. You can't look for answers where the question itself is the basis and goal.

    It's about business. I would say that academic philosophy (before Hegel) developed from J. Berkeley (“A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge”), to Hume (“A Treatise of…”), then to Kant (“Kritik der reinen Vernunft “and” Kritik der praktischen Vernunft”), whose questions are based precisely in opposition to Hume's ideas. Then there's Hegel (well, there's one thing I can't choose, especially since I've barely read it). Later, if you can manage it, Marx. But this is a very serious matter, and it takes people years to study Hegel alone. I don't recommend reading Hegel just for the sake of interest.

    From early analysts, one can read mentioned in another answer by Russell, Wittgenstein (“Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung”). From the positivists-Carnap, Fayrabend. Still interesting are the works of phenomenologists like Heidegger, who was engaged in the analysis of language, and works about other philosophers and about the art of Deleuze (and, by the way, his lectures).

    On my own part, among the more exotic ones, I can recommend Ortega y Gasset, who writes about the philosophy of art, in particular, about modernism.

  2. My answer is the answer of an interested layman, and it should be considered from this point of view. That is, I am not talking about how to become a professional philosopher, but about how to navigate philosophical problems for your own pleasure and self-development.

    At the first stage, three books helped me the most:

    B. Russell “History of Western Philosophy”,

    G. V. F. Hegel “Lectures on the History of Philosophy”, these two books perfectly complement each other. The authors almost always look in different directions.

    And the third book was such an anthology “The World of Philosophy” in 2 volumes, built in a very funny way: there were sections named for some fairly broad problem, and each section consisted of pieces from the original works of various philosophers from Plato to Popper, devoted more or less to this problem. Just a bunch of torn pieces from a couple of paragraphs to 20-30 pages. This book allowed me to immediately understand that I am more interested in reading original works than textbooks, although textbooks/lecture courses are much easier not only to make a general impression, but also to get a deep interpretation of the ideas of this philosopher, since whole generations of researchers often work for you.

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