19 Answers

  1. I would recommend Russell's History of Western Philosophy for a general introduction to the field and to get an idea of its structure (for example, the division of philosophy into continental and analytical, the possibility to distinguish separate branches-logic, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy). After that, depending on which ideas attract you from the ones described by Russell (and he, in fact, lists the most influential philosophical concepts and considers the historical context in which they arose), you can move on to an in-depth study of individual concepts. Good luck learning the art of generating new ideas 🙂

  2. If you have to start from scratch, then try ” Introduction to Philosophy. From mythology to religion”. This book is not at all difficult to understand and contains some basic facts and concepts about the essence of philosophy.

  3. So. I will not repeat myself in the books, as many have already been described above.

    I will only say that for a down-to-earth person who is far from philosophy, it is better to start a little from afar.

    Personally, I recommend books that will help you 100% fall in love with philosophy. Each of your new days will be interpreted through different prisms of perception.


    1. “The Old Man and the Sea” by E. Hemingway.

    2. “Fight Club” by C. Palahniuk. (It's strange to see Chuck here, but the book raises the most pressing issues of modern humanity.)

    3. “Beyond Good and Evil” by F. Nietzsche

    4. The Critique of Pure Reason by Imanuel Kant

    5. “What to do?” N. Chernyshevsky

    6. “Judas Iscariot” by L. Andreev

    7. “Crime and Punishment” by F. Dostoevsky

    8. Franz Kafka's “The Process”.

    I hope these books will help you to love this subject. Have a nice day.”

  4. Let me categorically disagree with almost all the answers.

    The fact is that you confuse the history of philosophy and the process of philosophizing, dialectical reasoning. So, no matter how funny it sounds,” for starters ” philosophical books are almost contraindicated – they are too complicated! And if you don't have a course at university or a couple of friends to discuss it with all the time, it won't do you any good. Also, it is very hard work to wade through rich pages, and not evening reading material to expand your horizons; there is a high chance that in the end you will simply memorize the postulates and understand references to Stagiritu, for example. They talk very well, but as long as they introduce a conceptual framework, you will simply die trying to understand what this is all about.

    Therefore, you need to start by asking yourself questions. No, not with “why do I live”, but with an analysis of everyday situations, for example, “why don't I want to give a neighbor a write-off” or “why do I want to drive only specific people”. Or try to analyze who you are friends with and what unites these people. Dostoevsky raises a lot of similar questions – by the way, he was appreciated and appreciated by many people both as a philosopher and as a psychologist.

    Yes, these are psychological questions, but you can quickly move through them to philosophical categories (such as profit, for example), and already try to get to more complex things. There are no right and wrong approaches in philosophy, and the most naive philosophical system, but fully defined by you, is more expensive than reading all these introductions.

    PS directly to the question-read Dostoevsky, probably; for the philosophy itself, read something like Russell, but remember that all the short contents interpret the text for you (albeit in a generally accepted approach).

  5. It would be a good idea to try the original sources, combined with the tutorial, bibliotekar.ru , here the whole point is smartly understood, and a good author's composition. It is worth starting with the Ancient and in order, first the chapter about Socrates, and then Plato's dialogues, these are the basics, with their knowledge it is easier to move on to Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, and then to more modern ones, such as Foucault or Badrillard.

  6. Before deciding where to start studying philosophy, you should determine for what purposes and how well you want to know philosophy. In the event that you have become interested in philosophy and do not know where to start, it will be great if you start with the authors of such works, whose ideas and thoughts expressed in their works seem correct and close to you, philosophers whose positions in their views on things and phenomena you share, so you will really be interested in reading and you will not Then you can read authors whose concepts are opposite (materialism-idealism, etc. d) This will also be interesting. Well, then you can choose, guided by what questions considered by philosophy, you most want to get an answer. If you want to study philosophy at a professional level, then here I would just get acquainted with the program of teaching philosophy in the best universities and read the same books. If you are a polymath, and/or have time, you can simply read the works of all philosophers in chronology.

  7. Not since any of them. Introduction to philosophy begins with questions that you ask yourself when you pay attention to the world around you or yourself. The very nature of these questions will inevitably lead you to study the structure of mental acts and mental acts. That is, the need to study psychology and logic. This is a preliminary and mandatory stage, without it there will be no philosophical knowledge, but there will be a simple stuffing of memory with fragmentary information without any understanding of what their application is. It is better to start with old textbooks Chelpanov, as they are designed for people who will practice the knowledge gained, update them. Modern mura is not designed for this, its authors simply saw the loot on large print runs.

    If you go through psychology and logic, understand their boundaries and problems, then you can start with pre-socratics. Of course, it is more pleasant for the ego to go straight to the modern philosophers, or at least to someone “solid” – Plato, Kant, Hegel-but you will not understand anything about them. More precisely, an illusion of understanding will be created, which will then be very difficult to get rid of. So you should immediately tune in to the fact that only preparing for familiarization with relatively simple philosophical questions can take a very long time. Until you learn to track your mental and mental acts, you simply will not understand what the problems of certain philosophical teachings are.

    Hence the question: do you need it? Somewhere in the answers to a similar question, it was correctly mentioned that practicing philosophy has its own effects or risks. Personal life, social life, financial well-being, professional career, mental health – all this can be at risk if you are seriously interested in philosophy as a science. Not necessarily, but it can. Therefore, it is better to first think long and hard about whether you can live without philosophical knowledge, and only then take up or not to take up the study of this science.

  8. “…introduction to philosophy? From scratch.”

    Well, you can't start from scratch… For the question itself, speaking in a pompous Heideggerian way, already betrays your “fascination with philosophy”, which happened without / before reading worthwhile books. And, probably, it indicates a desire to correlate one's own experience of experiencing this entrapment with the experience of other people, if possible – “philosophers”, and even writing”about philosophy”.

    And this set of “Best of…” answers sincerely offers you a significant part of the answers already given. That is, it offers you to repeat what has already happened to the authors of the answers who themselves (or on someone else's tip-off) once discovered something that happened to the authors of “philosophical” books, who (naturally, we assume) in turn were surprised by the experience of their predecessors, who…

    In general, not everyone is as lucky as Socrates, who had nothing to read about philosophy and then created it… как as an “exercise in preparing for death”. As, despite the frightening definition of the average person, one of the most life-affirming activities of a person 🙂

    It seems that M. Mamardashvili has a remark that the text on the soap wrapper has no less cultural (and in our case philosophical) meaning than in Dante's “Divine Comedy” – the whole point is Who reads these texts…

    Well, here is a direct (dogmatic according to I. Kant) answer from me: Merab Mamardashvili, any book/text, from any page, in any volume…

    And here is a rather non-direct (although quite substantive) answer: try reading Plato's dialogue “Phaedo”, armed not with abstract information from textbooks and monographs (although it is not forbidden to read this) about Plato and his text, but with a very specific and relevant question: “Why don't I, Tatyana Savina, understand why Simmius and Kebet don't understand Socrates?” 🙂 Good luck!!!

  9. A. I. Klizovsky. “Fundamentals of the new age worldview.” is exactly the philosophy that I have always lacked: understandable, and therefore interesting. Without any heavy philosophical”twists”.

  10. Books by Osho .The philosophy of Zen and tao is very interesting.
    All of these sources are not just ephemeral arguments.They are really valuable .

  11. Tatiana, the question is very powerful and if you solve it for yourself, you will move very far forward in the matter of awareness of your own being, and this is worth a lot.

    Kirill Gerasimenko gave quite an exhaustive answer, but if I am also asked to answer your question, I will offer you a different way to dive into the topic so that you have a choice.

    To begin with, it is important to know that once upon a time it was philosophers who controlled the development of the sciences and society as a whole. Why? Because the main question of philosophy can be attributed to the basic for any thinking being and therefore society.�

    The main question is: the relation of thinking to being, and of being to thinking (consciousness). The importance of this issue lies in the fact that its reliable solution depends on building a holistic knowledge of the world around us and the place of a person in it. Matter and consciousness (spirit) are two inseparable and at the same time opposite characteristics of being. In this regard, there are two sides to the basic question of philosophy – ontological and epistemological.

    The ontological (existential) side of the basic question of philosophy consists in the formulation and solution of the problem: what is primary-matter or consciousness? Here materialistic and idealistic concepts originate (“matter is primary” vs “consciousness is primary”).

    The essence of the epistemological (cognitive) side of the main question: is the world cognizable or unknowable, which is primary in the process of cognition? �Gnosticism and agnosticism (“the world is knowable” vs “the world is not knowable”) originate here.

    Now for reading. Materialists: Anaximander, Aristotle, Epicurus, Da Vinci, Bruno, Descartes, Bacon. Idealists: Plato, Leibniz, Hegel. It is important to understand that the division is rather conditional, there are trends that are adjacent or combine both approaches (monism, dualism, pluralism). Gnostics (often called heretics): Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian. Agnostics: Kant, Hume,�

    Special attention should be paid to such pillars as Descartes (dualist), Feuerbach (materialist), Schopenhauer and Nietzsche (irrationalists), Spinoza and Sartre.

  12. I would recommend Action philosophers comics. Of course, you will not find a deep analysis there, but you will understand the essence of the teachings of famous philosophers. They are quite easy to read and fast. After reading the comics, you can start reading the books of your favorite thinkers in order to”dig deeper”.

  13. I don't know if it's worth it or not, but at the university we started learning philosophy (from absolute zero) from textbooks

    Giovanni Reale and Dario Antiseri, “Western Philosophy from its Origins to the present day “(in 4 volumes)

    I. T. Frolov, “Introduction to Philosophy” (2003)

    It wasn't exactly a cakewalk. In some ways, these books complemented each other well, some topics remained fundamentally incomprehensible at all, but it is quite possible that these manuals will be useful to you as a starting material.

  14. I am absolutely not strong in philosophy, I really want to explore this world, but I don't feel ready yet, because this is a very difficult process and you can't force yourself, you just need to want to. But since I am being asked to answer the question, I will answer it in the sequence that my philosopher friend once advised me, namely: Descartes, F. Bacon, Plato, Aristotle, Aximander, Aristarchus of Zamora.

  15. I would recommend books like “When Nietzsche Cried” and “Schopenhauer as Medicine”by Irwin Yalom. In them, famous philosophers are presented as patients of famous psychotherapists. The book about Nietzsche, for example, contains his most interesting aphorisms, as well as describes the process of treating psychotic patients through psychoanalysis. The doctor is played by Josef Breuer, Freud's teacher. That is, after the book, you will definitely have an idea of Nietzsche's philosophy and psychoanalysis. Also, the book is very easy to read, the plot is interesting.

  16. There were already a dozen such questions here, see, for example, here https://thequestion.ru/questions/57082/kak-nachat-ponimat-filosofiyu-s-kogo-nachat

    First, you need to decide what you need to get acquainted with philosophy for: to know it systematically or just to understand the features of the philosophical view of the world?�

    If the former, then the recommended lists of books where B. Russell's “History of Western Philosophy” occurs are suitable. True, for example, T. Nagel “from scratch” is not suitable for everyone, and you need to look at others individually: you read several pages, if it's hard, then it's not yours.�

    If the latter, then various books like ” Plato once went to a bar…”, “Philosophical Stories” by Lowe, “The Pig that wanted to be eaten” and others with funny titles.�

    Or you can first decide which topic of life interests you most and take a few philosophical books on this particular topic.

  17. I recently came across a funny nonfiction book on philosophy, “If the Mind Had Legs,” by Lucy Eyre.
    Those who read “Lectures of Professor Chaynikov” or, for example, “Master of Scattered Sciences” as a child will definitely be covered with nostalgia from the manner of presenting the material.
    Of course, the author did not embrace the vast, but it turned out to be easy, interesting and informative.

    “…when discussing whether it is a good idea to give Epicurus a license to open a new restaurant, Socrates very convincingly demonstrated to all those present that none of them, in fact, does not understand what the concept of “good” means.

  18. To get started, you can read the following “introductions” (not necessarily in this order)::

    1. Nagel T. What does all this mean? A very brief introduction to philosophy

    2. Teichman J., Evans K. Philosophy. A beginner's guide.

    3. James W. Introduction to Philosophy; Russell B. Problems of Philosophy (these are two different books, but they are under the same cover).

    4. Lowe S. Philosophical training.

    5. Lowe S. Filosofskie istorii [Philosophical Stories].

    6. J. Bajini A pig that wanted to be eaten.

    7. Russell B. History of Western philosophy.

    8. J. Passmore One hundred years of philosophy.

    9. J. Passmore Modern philosophers.

    10. Gorder Y. The World of Sofia.


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