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Re: Philosophers
December 04, 2007, 09:19:44 PM
Perhaps I should give a bit of a background as to why i want to start this reading. Lately I have become inspired to become a Christian, and before this i always followed an anus-type of ideology. Im conflicted with two opposing thoughts which is absurd but true. Hence before i make further commitment to any further ideological changes/steps i want to be sure and hence am seeking out the philosophy of life i guess.

wow the response has been great. I guess it seems i should start with the Greeks then.

1. Plato - The Republic
2. Socrates ??
3. Aristotle ??
4. Plotinus ??

Then move onto
5. Nietzsche - The Gay Science
6.  Kierkegaard - Diary of a Seducer
7. Teilhard de Chardin ??
8. Schopenhauer - On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason
9.  Oswald Spengler ??
10.  Julius Evola ?? or Guenon and Schuon ??

 Also remember to "read around" each author / work and study the cultural and political events, happenings and attitudes of the time (and from previous eras). Also understanding the art of the time helps too. These heavily influence what a philosopher had to write.
It's useful to start off with short summaries of each philosopher to refresh and expand on the knowledge you already have. Penguin has a few useful books of this description and there are plenty of others.
Once you've read some of these move more into depth with specific ancient Greek philosophers (but keep in mind that some of these don't have complete backlogs of material still available, hell some of them only have a few fragments.

Thanks Thamuz, i think this is very important advice.

Re: Philosophers
December 04, 2007, 09:34:28 PM
Haha, well, if you're simply wanting something 'opposed' to Christianity, Nietzsche's the go. Beyond Good & Evil should serve nicely in that respect, I think. If you're after the "philosophy of life", you might enjoy Marcus Aurelius' Meditations.

Just a note for the list you've conjured up there; there are no existing works by Socrates. His philosophy is known only through his students, specifically Plato.

Re: Philosophers
December 04, 2007, 09:36:34 PM
17th century British empiricism is interesting, laid the groundwork for the break between psychology and philosophy, and argues against Greek rationalism. John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume were the core proponents of the movement.
I highly recommend to look this school over after reading classical philosophy, prior to the German idealists.

Re: Philosophers
December 04, 2007, 10:15:39 PM
I would not necessarily read Aristotle. Exceptionally, I'd suggest you read about him (on Standford Encyclopedia for example) rather than reading his books. The matter is, not all his works survived. However, the Nichomachean Ethics may possibly be an interesting lecture.

Re: Philosophers
December 04, 2007, 10:39:20 PM
I am after a concise recommendation of philosophers to read over the next 3 month holiday I have.

Are you a seeker of Truth?

For starters, you can safely avoid almost everything written within the past 500 years, as by reading modern authors, you will be taught to think in a certain way, but in no way taught to think. Below is a list of works, which, though apparently brief, is of great depth. These have been chosen so as to engage the reader in vastly different perspectives, and if read in the chronological order listed, should help the reader see their ultimate continuity.

Lao-tzu - Tao Te Ching
Plato - The Republic
Nagarjuna - Mulamadhyamakakarika
Shankara - Viveka Chudamani