Philosophy books: Learn how to choose the best in 2021
Whether to develop a form of free thinking or to understand the fundamental reasons why we exist and our role in society, it is essential to read and have references from good philosophy books.
That is why philosophy is timeless and so important during the academic years, helping human beings to understand more about themselves and the world around them, helping them to awaken their critical sense.
And, to help you find the best books and authors,has prepared this complete analysis with more information on the subject and tips on how to find your favorite philosophical line.
First, the most important
- It is very common for philosophers to extend their studies over several volumes, exploring several different lines of thought, so it is worth checking collections with the complete work.
- Although many titles have been translated into Portuguese, some works are only available in foreign languages.
- It is always worth remembering that authors are often limited to the way of thinking of their time, so it is important to take this into account during your studies.
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Thinking and reflecting on the issues around us is inherent in our nature, so even if you don’t stop to consider, we are philosophizing all the time to make choices and make our decisions.
So, be sure to take a good look at our shopping guide to understand a little more about philosophy books and how to find the best authors on a quality product that will help in your studies.
What are philosophy books?
Philosophy books are nothing more than works focused on a particular author’s way of thinking, either as a form of social criticism or to find ways to better explain human nature.
Today we divide them into several different categories, with two broader strands, which cover Western and Eastern philosophy, each with its own views on the world, which can vary immensely from one author to the other.
It is also very unusual to find textbooks that deal with philosophy in a broader way, analyzing its different strands of thoughts, exploring the history of the authors and their works.
Did you know that philosophy as we know it today was born in Ancient Greece and meant a profound change in the reality of how people saw the gods and the myths that surrounded them?
Who are the main authors of philosophy books?
Today we can separate philosophy not only by its lines of thought, but also by the historical period in which its main representatives lived. Among the most famous, it is impossible not to consider the Greeks as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, since they are practically the creators of what we know as philosophy.
During the Middle Ages, Western thought was more permeated by religious influence, with
instructions from Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine, something that only changed with the emergence of modern philosophy led by authors such as René Descartes, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes and Francis Bacon.
Following this timeline, the Enlightenment soon followed, with philosophers such as Montesquieu, Voltaire, David Hume, Immanuel Kent, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Finally, we have authors considered contemporary, such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, Karl Marx, Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault and Simone De Beauvoir.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of philosophy books?
Philosophy books offer numerous advantages, as they help in the intimate reflection of the human being. They are also excellent ways to develop critical thinking and help the individual to better understand the society in which they live.
However, there are some disadvantages to be aware of. Many lines of thought are limited to your time. And, to go even deeper into the subject, it takes time and a lot of dedication. In addition, you must be aware of the edition of the book, as there may be revisions and updates.
- Help in the intimate reflection of the human being
- They are excellent ways to develop a critical sense
- They help the individual to better understand the society in which they live
- Many lines of thought are limited to your time
- To deepen the subject it is necessary to study and dedicate a lot
- It is necessary to pay attention to the edition of the book, as there may be revisions
What are the main strands of philosophy?
Throughout history, philosophy has been a divinity in many ways, but it is possible to identify three main categories. Political philosophy, for example, specializes in different forms of government and questions how politics works on human and society development. Its main authors were Aristotle, Karl Marx and John Locke.
In the field of ethics and morals, authors like Nietzsche, Montesquieu and Voltaire addressed the nature of ethics versus morality. Finally, we have metaphysics, questioning what is natural or supernatural, in addition to other particularities of reality. The main authors of this aspect are Michel Foucault, René Descartes and Santo Agostinho.
How much do philosophy books cost?
The price of philosophy books can depend a lot on the format, size and even the type of binding or number of volumes. The simplest models can be found in a range of 10 $ to R $ 30, with a few more luxurious ones costing between R $ 50 to R $ 100.
And, if you choose digital models, the famous e-books that can be read on a Kindle or e-reader, the prices are more friendly, from R $ 5 to R $ 15.
Where to buy philosophy books?
You can find philosophy books in bookstores, stationers, bookstores and even large supermarket chains that already have special departments for literature.
However, if you are looking for a specific title or looking for better prices, it is also possible to search the internet, either in virtual bookstores or in large distributors such as Amazon, which has a wide range of physical and digital books, in addition to count on the Kindle Unlimeted service, a subscription service similar to Netflix, but aimed exclusively at e-books.
Purchasing criteria: What to consider before buying philosophy books
The world of philosophy is intrinsic to the human being and it is more and more relevant that we are updating and developing our ability to think freely.
But, before choosing a book by your favorite author, it is still essential to be aware of some factors in order not to regret your decision. Here are some topics that we have separated for you.
- Book size
After carefully analyzing each of the items below, you will be ready to choose without fear, be it a physical book or its digital version.
As we have already mentioned throughout our analysis, the variety of authors is immense, whether in classical or contemporary philosophy. In addition, many of them explored different strands and lines of thought, which makes the search for a favorite author even more complex.
There are not many rules here, since you can choose by similarities of ideologies or even look for compilations with the main information about the authors and their philosophical lines before choosing where to start their studies.
A much more practical matter, the size of the book, especially those in physical format, is something you should consider, whether to take it with you in your study backpack or to put it on the shelf in your home.
Therefore, always remember to check the dimensions provided by the manufacturer to make sure that the book is easy to transport or will fit well in the rest of your collection.
For digital books, size must be taken into account when storing it on a memory card, such as an SD card or in the internal memory of your electronic device.
As we have already mentioned throughout our analysis, today it is possible to find books in their physical or digital version, e-books. And here, each one has its peculiarities. Some people even choose to obtain both formats.
While physical books have their charm and you can even incorporate them into your home or office decor, the digital format is gaining more and more popularity as it is more accessible and even cheaper. Here, just consider which one best suits your needs.
In the case of physical books, a major concern is binding, which ranges from how the book is sewn or glued to the type of cover, hard or flexible.
Currently, the most popular type of binding uses a glue to attach the pages to the cover and back cover of books, since it is more resistant and maintenance is easier and cheaper.
Finally, philosophers are individuals who dedicate their lives to thought, so it is only natural that they extend their knowledge and opinions over several different books or even in several volumes.
So, before buying, remember to check if the book in question is part of a collection or is divided into several volumes, so you don’t run the risk of feeling lost while reading.
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