Saturday, December 6, 2008

10 Favorite Philosophy Books

The Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature blog recently asked readers for their ten most favorite philosophy books. I posted the list below.

1. Moral Tradition and Individuality, John Kekes

2. Moral Wisdom and Good Lives, Kekes

3. The Morality of Pluralism, Kekes

4. The Art of Politics, Kekes

5. The Art of Life, Kekes

6. Enjoyment: The Moral Significance of Styles of Life, Kekes (See a pattern?)

7. The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt

8. Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution, Ken Wilber

9. The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion, Wilber

10. Personal Destinies: A Philosophy of Ethical Individualism, David Norton

A couple of points. First, while I have been influenced by Ayn Rand (and continue to be) I find that her fiction influenced me more than her nonfiction. The one book of hers that I’d add to the above list is her The Virtue of Selfishness (although as I wrote in my paper Is Self-Interest Enough, I question whether her version of self-interest is complete.) Second, I have read essays or excerpts of certain classics in philosophy but my main interest has been in contemporary writers, particularly in the neo-Aristotelians. This is purely a personal preference; I would certainly not discourage anyone from reading the classics in philosophy.

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