The 10 Best Philosophy Textbooks

video play icon 10 Best Philosophy Textbooks

This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in July of 2018. Philosophy is the application of logical reasoning to general questions about existence, the world, and ourselves, with the goal of achieving understanding in the most unified and comprehensive way possible. These textbooks offer accessible content that will help you dive into the different branches of the field. We have included both general works and specialized selections. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Metaphysics: The Big Questions

2. Reason and Argument

3. Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge

Editor's Notes

November 14, 2019:

Made several revisions to the list to reflect a wider range of topics and styles. Added Reason and Argument and The Logic Book because logic and reasoning underlie everything that is done in philosophy and, as areas of research, they are studied mostly by philosophers.

'Philosophy' is a word that can apply to many different things including analytic philosophy, continental philosophy, and apparently, even the text on the back of some shampoo bottles. For the sake of simplicity, and because it is the dominant form of philosophy in the world (particularly in academia) we have restricted our inclusions to books in the analytic tradition.

4. The Elements of Moral Philosophy

5. The Logic Book

6. Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings

7. Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues

8. The History of Western Philosophy

9. The Philosophy of Language

10. The Great Conversation

Rafael Perez
Last updated by Rafael Perez

Rafael Perez is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Rochester. His primary focus is the metaphysics of time and the philosophy of mind, with a particular interest in artificial intelligence and antirepresentational models of the mind. He has extensive experience as a mechanic, a construction worker, and a general repairman. This has allowed him to gather a wealth of knowledge on automobile repair, auto parts, carpentry, masonry, welding, and the tools used in those trades. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar, woodworking, and fishing.

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