"Books for the Modern Philosopher" with illustration of The Thinker sitting atop some books.

Books For the Modern Philosopher

Exercise your mind with these fresh takes on classic intellectual inquires.

100 HOW

How To Live A Good Life: Choosing the Right Philosophy of Life For You / Massimo Pigliucci, Skye C. Cleary, Daniel A. Kaufman

This thought-provoking, wide-ranging collection brings together essays by fifteen leading philosophers reflecting on what it means to live according to a philosophy of life. Together, the pieces in How to Live a Good Life provide not only a beginner’s guide to choosing a life philosophy but also a timely portrait of what it means to live an examined life in the twenty-first century.

100 KLE

Philosophy 101 / Paul Kleinman

Too often, textbooks turn the noteworthy theories, principles, and figures of philosophy into tedious discourse that even Plato would reject. Philosophy 101 cuts out the boring details and exhausting philosophical methodology, and instead, gives you a lesson in philosophy that keeps you engaged as you explore the fascinating history of human thought and inquisition.

102.07 CAT

Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes / Thomas Cathcart, Daniel Klein

Teaches the principles and concepts of philosophy through one-liner jokes, vaudeville humor, cartoons, and limericks, in an irreverent introduction to the great philosophers and philosophical traditions, from Existentialism to Logic.

109 GRA

The History of Philosophy / A.C. Grayling

The story of philosophy is an epic tale, spanning civilizations and continents. A. C. Grayling takes the reader from the age of the Buddha, Confucius, and Socrates through Christianity’s capture of the European mind, from the Renaissance and Enlightenment on to Mill, Nietzsche, Sartre and, finally, philosophy today.

128.4 SET

Life is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way / Kieran Setiya

There is no cure for the human condition: life is hard. But Kieran Setiya believes philosophy can help. He offers us a map for navigating rough terrain, from personal trauma to the injustice and absurdity of the world.

142.78 BAK

At The Existentialist Café / Sarah Bakewell

At the Existentialist Café follows the existentialists’ story, from the first rebellious spark through the Second World War, to its role in postwar liberation movements such as anticolonialism, feminism, and gay rights. Interweaving biography and philosophy, it is the epic account of passionate encounters’ fights, love affairs, mentorships, rebellions, and long partnership; ‘and a vital investigation into what the existentialists have to offer us today.

170 MOD

Modern Ethics in 77 Arguments / Peter Catapano, Simon Critchley

The editors have meticulously arranged this book to reflect a wide range of perspectives, voices and rhetorical strategies. By directly addressing some of the most complex and troubling issues we face today—racial discrimination, economic inequality, immigration, citizenship and more—the volume reveals the profound power of ethics in shaping our perceptions of nearly every aspect of our lives.

179.9 PHI

Six Questions of Socrates: A Modern-Day Journey of Discovery Through World Philosophy / Christopher Phillips

What is virtue? What is moderation? What is justice? What is courage? What is good? What is piety? Socrates thought that understanding the perspectives of others on these six great questions would help him become a more excellent human being. Following in Socrates’ footsteps, Christopher Phillips investigates these same questions.

187 KLE

Travels With Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island In Search of a Fulfilled Life / Daniel Klein

Daniel Klein journeys to the Greek island Hydra to discover the secrets of aging happily. Drawing on the lives of his Greek friends, as well as philosophers ranging from Epicurus to Sartre, Klein learns to appreciate old age as a distinct and extraordinarily valuable stage of life. He uncovers simple pleasures that are uniquely available late in life, as well as headier pleasures that only a mature mind can fully appreciate.

188 FAR

The Practicing Stoic: A Philosophical User’s Manual / Ward Farnsworth Jaffrey

See more clearly, live more wisely, and bear the burdens of this life with greater ease—here are the greatest insights of the Stoics, in their own words. Presented in twelve lessons, Ward Farnsworth systematically presents the heart of Stoic philosophy accompanied by commentary that is clear and concise. Also available as an audiobook on hoopla digital and Libby.

190 KEN

Philosophy In the Modern World / Anthony Kenny

Here Kenny tells the fascinating story of the development of philosophy in the modern world, from the early nineteenth century to the end of the millennium. Alongside (and intertwined with) extraordinary scientific advances, cultural changes, and political upheavals, the last two centuries have seen some of the most intriguing and original developments in philosophical thinking, which have transformed our understanding of ourselves and our world.