10 easy & must-read Philosophy Books

We are often asked which book to start with. Some books are more complex than others, some philosophers are more obscure than others. And if all deserve our attention, some prove to be both necessary and accessible. We’ve compiled our “must-read” philosophical books.

Apology of Socrates by Plato


In this short and accessible dialogue, Plato deals about Socrates’ death and through this draws the figure of the philosopher. This book still radiates the whole philosophy.

Read our analysis

Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

Nicomachean Ethics

Aristotle defines his moral thought in this essay on the good life and answers the question “What should we do?”. He asks that Good is the supreme goal of life, and the Good is the object of the politics.

Read our analysis

The discourse on method by Descartes

discourse on method

Founding book of philosophy, Descartes’ cogito reveals that famous I think therefore I am, then putting the priority of subjectivity over anything else (including God). Science, on the methodological approach of Descartes, are particularly indebted.
Note: The speech is simple, at least in appearance. Take time to read and read again each paragraph, however.

Read our analysis

Candide or Optimism by Voltaire

Candide or Optimism

Candide is often under-analyzed, reduced to the denunciation of religion and fanaticism. In fact, Voltaire revolutionizes the thought of happiness in this little tale: instead of looking for it in the Hereafter (that promise all religions), happiness is to be found “here and now”. This is the ultimate meaning of the famous “We must cultivate our garden.”

Read our analysis

Beyond good and evil by Nietzsche


In this test, much more accessible than Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche blames everything in his lower man (the herd instinct, nationalism, European civilization, Christian morality, …) and prevents it from being free, that is what prevents it from becoming himself.

Read our analysis

Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky


Crime and Punishment is undoubtedly one of the most important novels of the 19th century. At the depth of the characters (including Raskolnikov) adds a real philosophical complexity where the theme of guilt mingle, freedom, nihilism, human nature. Dostoevsky also distills number of psychoanalytic concepts that will inspire the Freudian theory.

Read our analysis

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Kundera

Unbearable Lightness of Being

This novel Kundera pits four main characters with history (including Communism), the difficulty of making choices and enjoing their freedom. Kundera tries to show how the concept of fate is wrong and, as a corollary, that the human human existence is precarious.

Read our analysis

Existentialism and Humanism by Sartre

Existentialism and Humanism

Existentialism is a Humanism is a great text. Sartre defends his major thesis (man is condemned to be free) and place the consequences on the notions of conscience, compared to others, responsibility, bad faith.

Read our analysis

The Fall by Camus

The Fall

In this beautiful novel, Camus discusses inaction and its consequences. Man must not only always act according to Camus, but especially to be the first judge, ask his responsibility as total and permanent in front of the world.

Read our analysis

The philosophy of The Simpsons Irwin

The philosophy of The Simpsons

Packed with cultural references, the series created by Matt Groening has been the subject of numerous analyzes. Among them, this book by Irwin highlights all the themes developed by the Simpsons family: the place of the family (theme of fatherhood, of fraternal relationship, etc.), happiness (and the weight of the everyday) , religion, capitalism or anti-intellectualism

You’re all set up to make your ideal library!

Cite this article as: Tim, "10 easy & must-read Philosophy Books, December 29, 2015, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, December 29, 2015, https://www.the-philosophy.com/10-easy-philosophy-books-read.

Leave a Reply