18 Life-Altering Philosophy Books That Will Blow Your Mind

Hadley Mendelsohn

Ah, philosophy. Like that annoying friend who always kills the vibe at a dinner party for the sake of a really meaningful conversation, philosophy loves to make you wrestle with those hard-hitting questions. What is truth? What is reality? Does it even matter? You know, the kind of things human beings have been asking and investigating forever. (To no avail, if you're like Ludwig Wittgenstein, the father of anti-philosophy, but more on that later.) But philosophy is also so much more than that—it's about critical thinking, logic, imagination, ethics, and self-discovery. Indeed, philosophy is one of the most self-aware disciplines around. 

To take part in all that soul-searching and to work our intellectual muscle, we rounded up the best philosophy books for beginners, experts, and generally curious minds. We broke our reading list into two sections: philosophy books you'd come across in a classroom setting and philosophical works of fiction. How are they different, you ask? Fiction engages with the particulars of a certain ethic or sentiment while philosophy is essentially an academic hypothesis that explains reality by establishing systems of thought. In other words, fiction enacts philosophy.

Ready to have your mind blown without having an existential crisis? Scroll through the reading list below. 

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