What are the best must-read philosophical classics?

asked by Anonymous
339 contributors
20 solutions
  1. 54

    #1The Republic

    The Republic
    The Republic is one of the most famous works of the Greek philosopher Plato. Written around 380 BC, the book is a Socratic dialogue in which an ideal state is defined. Is considered one of the most influential works of philosophy and political theory.
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    Mary Flores
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "This is one of the first books we read in my college philosophy course. It definitely opens up windows in the mind -- it has stood the test of time for a reason."
  2. 49

    #2The Prince

    The Prince
    The Prince is a 16th-century political analysis written by Niccolò Machiavelli. This book explains the different types of states, how to acquire and maintain political power and the character and behavior a good prince has to have in order to rule his territory properly.
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    Ai Dai
    Written on April 11, 2018
    "This is a very good book as a philosophical classic. It's easy to read too, so it's a perfect book for a middle or a high-school student's choice for a book report. I enjoyed it as an adult, so if you like philosophy books, I'd pick this one up."
  3. 46

    #3Being and Time

    Being and Time

    "Being and time" is one of the most important philosophy novels of our time. This novel by Martin Heidegger makes a central question: "What is the meaning of being?", challenged the intellectual map of today's occidental modernity. 

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    Kimberly Hudson
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "This book was extremely philosophical! So much in fact that it was very hard for me to read! It was interesting though to see how the author goes into the meaning of being. I will say there is a lot of big words in here and it goes very deep. If you are looking for something like that this will spark your interest! "
  1. 37

    #4The Philosophy of Art

    The Philosophy of Art
    The Philosophy of Art is a philosophical book written by 19th-century German philosopher, George Hegel. It was published posthumously by his student, Heinrich Gustav Hotho in 1835.
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    Timothy Brooks
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "The Philosophy of Art is a very critical piece by Hegel. The depth and level of intelligence is amazing in this thoughtful perspective on the culture of artistic endeavors. "
  2. 34

    #5An Essay on the Beautiful

    An Essay on the Beautiful

    An Essay on the Beautiful is a compilation of essays and writings about aesthetics written by ancient Greek philosopher Plotinus and some works by Enlightenment philosopher Taylor Thomas.

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    Gregorio Gaytán
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "Interesting read if you're into the greek history and what not. Not personally a fan but that's just me."
  3. 29

    #6On Art and Artists

    On Art and Artists

    On Art and Artists: An Anthology of Diderot's Aesthetic Thought is a compilation of the art critic essays written by the Enlightenment philosopher and playwright Denis Diderot. This version is edited by John Glaus and Jean Seznec.

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    Marilyn Kim
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "I experienced why On Art and Artists is the best must-read philosophical classic. I just began reading On Art and Artists the other day and would iterate it is a page turner. I recommend On Art and Artists to one and all."
  4. 26

    #7Phenomenology of Spirit

    Phenomenology of Spirit
    Phenomenology of Spirit is a nonfiction classic philosophical book written by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and translated by A.V. Miller. With over 600 pages, this book was published in 1976 by Oxford University Press.
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    Micaela Ordoñez
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "If you're into philosophical classics this one needs to be on your must read list. Its got a great intro as well as help throughout the book to help you understand what you're reading. This one is a classic!"
  5. 24

    #8The Sense of Beauty

    The Sense of Beauty

    The Sense of Beauty: Being the Outline of Aesthetic Theory is a philosophical book by George Santayana. It was originally published in 1896 and is considered as the brightest work on aesthetics since Plato.

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    April Duan
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "The Sense of Beauty is definetly one of the top must read philosophical books. This book is a classic and great for anyone who enjoys these types of reads."
  6. 18

    #9Art as Experience

    Art as Experience
    Art as Experience is a philosophical book written by John Dewey based on the author's lecture at Harvard in 1932. It was published posthumously in 2005. It discusses most art form, from architecture to visual art and literature.
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    Lisa Allen
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "Art as Experience is a philosophical book written by John Dewey based on the author's lecture at Harvard in 1932. It was published posthumously in 2005."
  7. 2

    #10Critique of Pure Reason

    Critique of Pure Reason

    Critique of Pure Reason a classic philosophy book written by Immanuel Kant, with Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood as editors. With over 700 pages, this book was published in 1999 by Cambridge University Press
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    Alicia Peña
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "Difficult philosophy text. Some very interesting points in it, though. The concepts are highly educational and very fascinating. I think for some it will require a second thorough read through to really understand the material covered."
  8. 0

    #11How Real Is Real?

    How Real Is Real?

    How Real is Real by Paul Watzlawick is a psychological and philosophical nonfiction book originally published in 1976 by the Vintage. This science book introduces the readers to different communication theories.

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    Jordan Webb
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "I love reading classical books, How Real Is Real is one such book that really interested me. This science book introduces the readers to different communication theories."
  9. 0

    #12Hecate I: Death, Transition and Spiritual Mastery

    Hecate I: Death, Transition and Spiritual Mastery

    Hecate I: Death, Transition and Spiritual Mastery is an Occult Anthology, Philosophy, Witchcraft book written by Jade Sol Luna. It was published October 31, 2008 by TARA INTERNATIONAL.

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    Stephen Washington
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "Hecate I: Death, Transition and Spiritual Mastery was an interesting read for sure. Author Jade Sol Luna has such an interesting writing style. I would suggest reading this book at least once!"
  10. 0

    #13Amok and Other Stories

    Amok and Other Stories

    Amok and Other Stories is a classic fiction in German literature written by Stefan Zweig. This book collection of short stories is translated by Anthea Bell. First published in 1922, this book is published in 2007 by Pushkin Press.

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  11. 0

    #14Rabbit Angstrom Tetralogy

    Rabbit Angstrom Tetralogy

    Rabbit Angstrom Tetralogy is a classic fiction written by John Updike. This novel is composed of Rabit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit is Rich; and Rabbit at Rest. With over 1,000 pages, this book is published in 1995 by Everyman's Library.

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    Brian Bailey
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "The Rabbit Angstrom Tetralogy is a combination of 4 novels and over 1,000 pages. You must have patience to go through this extremely long read. But it is well worth it as this classic will not let you down."
  12. 0

    #15Couples (A Novel)

    Couples (A Novel)

    Couples is a classic fiction novel written by John Updike. This book explores the theme of love, marriage, and adultery. With over 500 pages, this book is published in 1996 by Random House Trade Paperbacks.

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    Juan Weaver
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "This was not a philosophical book. It is a book about sex in the sixties and basically swinging couples did not like it."
  13. 0

    #16The Women Who Got Away

    The Women Who Got Away

    The Women Who Got Away is a collection of fictional short stories written by John Updike. This explores the theme of love and possibilities of love. With over 100 pages, this book is published in 2007 by Penguin Classics.

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    Bruce Hudson
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Some of the short stories in The Women Who Got Away are pretty interesting. I will say that I am glad they were short because many of them really lacked any depth. Some fell pretty hard but others were quite great. It's a mixed one."
  14. 0

    #17Hamlet and Oedipus

    Hamlet and Oedipus

    Hamlet and Oedipus is a non-fiction book written by Alfred Ernest Jones which as it investigates Hamlet’s mind relating to the general psychological conditions. 

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    Juan Greene
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "I am not sure it is necessary to spend time examining the psychology of two classic, very unrealistic characters from stage and literature. I think it is much more worthwhile to understand the psyche of the writers, and how this was projected into the work. Either way, I would have preferred to simply read and enjoy Hamlet and Oedipus."
  15. 0

    #18A Tale of Two Cities

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities is set in the late 18th century during the French Revolution. While political events drive the story, Dickens takes a decidedly antipolitical tone, lambasting both aristocratic tyranny and revolutionary excess.

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    Helen Lynch
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "A classic from teen years revisted. Dickens spins a timeless yarn of a young boy coming of age. It has the good, the bad and the ugly. If you haven't read this since required reading in high school, I challenge you to do another read through and see if you can master the Old English narrative."
  16. 0

    #19What Is Life?

    What Is Life?
    What Is Life?: with "Mind and Matter" and "Autobiographical Sketches" is a philosophical and investigative book written by Erwin Schrodinger with contribution and a foreword from Roger Penrose.
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    Linda Robinson
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "What Is Life? is a good book for everyone. it is written by Erwin Schrodinger with contribution and a foreword from Roger Penrose."
  17. 0

    #20The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

    The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

    The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is a collection of stories written by Milan Kundera which tells the seven different narratives of characters in Europe in the Russian occupation era. 

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    Larry Walker
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "What a great book! I just finished reading The Book of Laughter and Forgetting and just loved how the writing brought all the characters to life. The stories flowed perfectly and kept me entertained throughout the whole book. "

Summary

Best What are the best must-read philosophical classics
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The RepublicBooks 54 Paid
2The PrinceBooks 49 Paid
3Being and TimeBooks 46 Paid
4The Philosophy of ArtBooks 37 Paid
5An Essay on the BeautifulBooks 34 Paid
6On Art and ArtistsBooks 29 Paid
7Phenomenology of SpiritBooks 26 Paid
8The Sense of BeautyBooks 24 Paid
9Art as ExperienceBooks 18 Paid
10Critique of Pure ReasonBooks 2 Paid
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