Sartre wrote as if anything were possible: whatever position you found yourself in, you could always think yourself out of it. Architecture has deep wells of research, thought, and theory that are unseen on the surface of a structure. But I think they’re different. We live in a golden age for philosophy books that are accessible to a wide audience. It covers many aspects of philosophy of mind and it’s very accessible for somebody who hasn’t studied philosophy before. He says on page one, line one, “We are conscious creatures embedded in a world of consciousness.” I think that’s far-fetched. A leading philosopher chooses the best books on the philosophical questions surrounding art. Andrew Hui actually captures this in something that could also become an aphorism. At its best, travel broadens our minds, expands our horizons and allows us to see the world we live in differently. It’s a biography of Socrates, who refused to write anything down, as a matter of principle. “It’s very readable even if you aren’t a professional philosopher. What he does—and what the best philosophy does—is he makes you think. 1. According to Eric Schwitzgebel, philosopher at the University of California Riverside, they can open up worlds of fresh possibility. Dialogues and Natural History of Religion, The Philosopher Queens: The lives and legacies of philosophy's unsung women, The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad, The Murder of Professor Schlick: The Rise and Fall of the Vienna Circle, Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind, The Collected Works of Spinoza (Volume I), Behind the Geometrical Method: A Reading of Spinoza's Ethics, The Explainability of Experience: Realism and Subjectivity in Spinoza's Theory of the Human Mind, Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion, and Politics: The Theologico-Political Treatise, American Citizenship: The Quest for Inclusion, Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed, How to Live a Good Life: A Guide to Choosing Your Personal Philosophy, Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World, Arthur Schopenhauer: His Life and His Philosophy. Kate Kirkpatrick quotes Simone de Beauvoir: “There’s no divorce between philosophy and life. So you could explain, say, the redness of a tomato in terms of the interaction between the stuff which you could quantify, the physical thing out there, which wasn’t in itself red, and its relationship to the sensory system of an observer. I only wanted to read a couple of entries before meeting you, to get a general sense of what the book is about. We’re lucky that the ideas of some thinkers and writers exist pretty much intact, but for most of the ancient world, we literally have fragments of their writing, which we piece together to try and tell the best story we can, given the many gaps. Going back to Eric Schwitzgebel, he’s got a rant against obfuscation in philosophy. In a sense, she was trying to be a Kierkegaardian as she wrote about Kierkegaard. From reflections on travel and searching for a personal philosophy to live by, to books on important aspects of democracy and contagious diseases, here’s British philosopher Nigel Warburton’s 2020 summer reading list. He makes all kinds of promises, about what he’s going to deliver in terms of blending rationalism and empiricism and finding the rational grounds for morality and so on, but does anybody follow the arguments all the way through? According to the story D’Angour tells, it’s very likely he had a love affair with Aspasia, who had been Pericles’s lover, and that she was the source of the character Diotima in Plato’s Symposium. So somehow falling in love with a beautiful young person is a route to philosophy and the highest form of morality. So is it the case, then, that as a philosopher she should be treated alongside Sartre? John Gray: 'What can we learn from cats? Best philosophy books of all time. He’s a professor of humanities, not a card-carrying philosopher, which probably liberated him to write about something which is very prominent in the history of philosophy but gets largely neglected in philosophical teaching, which is the aphorism. Although he was awarded—and turned down—the Nobel Prize for literature, the majority of his philosophy is on the cusp of being intelligible. I think it’s plausible. In contrast, many of the best aphorisms have the quality of great poetry. He’s quite sympathetic to the approach. Physically it ended quite quickly, and they were not passionate lovers for their whole lifetime. Let’s go on to the next book in your best philosophy of 2020 selection, which is Emily Thomas’s The Meaning of Travel. That said, if you look online, there are a couple of interviews with her on Open Culture and YouTube and it’s clear she was a superb speaker as well as a writer. The classical Greek philosopher is credited with laying the foundation of Western philosophy – without ever having written a word. How has the year 2019 been for philosophy books? To me, that’s somebody who culpably fails to appreciate the perspective of others around him and treats them as fools to be dealt with. Machiavelli’s The Prince, as well as his other writing, has to be understood in the context of Renaissance Italy and Skinner is authoritative on that, but also excellent at showing you the meanings of key ideas. Whereas if you spoke to somebody, you could adjust what you said according to who was in front of you. Read Here, he picks five works of life-changing philosophy, from Epictetus to Jacob Needleman, a professor (emeritus) at San Francisco State University. Her book, The Second Sex, is an important landmark in the history of feminism. There’s no obvious connection between the two parts of his life whatsoever. Featuring short interviews with the world's best philosophers on bite-size topics, the podcast has been downloaded more than 35 million times to date. What she reveals—based on thorough research, including diaries and early writings of Beauvoir that haven’t been much discussed in English prior to this book—is that she’d already started thinking about some of the existentialist themes that are usually thought Sartrean some time before she’d met Sartre. She lived with Claude Lanzmann, for example, and was in love with the American novelist Nelson Algren. A Theory of Jerks and Other Philosophical Misadventures That immediately divided the qualitative and the quantitative—and science focused on the quantitative. Yes, says bestselling author Eric Weiner, though partly by making it more complicated. The argument of the panpsychists is that it was already there in the bits you put together, at a very low level. But what do the moments in philosophy that make us stop and look outside ourselves have to teach us? What is the meaning of religious belief? It’s not as if he felt he was writing history in any sense that we would recognise. I think it’s too early to resort to such exotic explanations as panpsychism. Australian philosopher Peter Singer introduces us to the highlights of a century of philosophy books. And so we get different levels of understanding. Simone de Beauvoir is not claiming to be perfect, you can very easily see her flaws. I was a judge of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction last year and I was appalled by how long many of the books on the longlist for that prize were.