The study of philosophy in the Western world is often parochial, and limited to the study of the Anglo-European tradition. It’s time to widen our focus, advises the author and philosopher Bryan Van Norden. Here he selects five foundational texts of philosophical traditions worldwide.
What do the sages of ancient China have to teach us about living in the 21st century? The Harvard professor and author of The Path, Michael Puett, recommends the texts you need to read to find out. He picks the best books of Chinese philosophy.
Greek Thought, Arabic Culture
by Dimitri Gutas
Great Medieval Thinkers: Avicenna
by Jon McGinnis
Avicenna's 'De Anima' in the Latin West
by Dag Nikolaus Hasse
Maimonides in His World: Portrait of a Mediterranean Thinker
by Sarah Stroumsa
The Teleological Ethics of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī
by Ayman Shihadeh
Arabic philosophy was hugely influential during the Islamic Golden Age; at one point, the Persian polymath Avicenna’s influence outstripped that of Aristotle. But a strong tradition has continued in the centuries since, explains Professor Peter Adamson, as he selects five of the best books on the subject.
The human condition has not changed down the millennia, so it’s no surprise that ancient philosophy has much to teach us about how to live our lives, argues Jules Evans. He picks the best books about ancient philosophy in modern life.
The Stoics offer us valuable strategies of thinking about and dealing with hardships that remain relevant for modern society, says the philosophy professor and author Massimo Pigliucci. Here he recommends the five books that best express the essence of Stoicism and how it might be applied to real life.
The classical Greek philosopher is credited with laying the foundation of Western philosophy – without ever having written a word. Here, the eminent scholar M M McCabe enters into dialogue with Five Books to recommend the best texts through which we might understand Socrates, and engage with the eternal question: How best to live?