A Collection of Philosophy Reading Lists

One of the most common questions people ask when learning about philosophy is: “what should I read first?” Unfortunately, it can also be a difficult question to answer. Philosophy is an incredibly broad subject and there is no single starting point that will be best for everyone. The best place to start will depend heavily on your preferred learning style, the topics you’re interested in, and the amount of time and energy you’re willing to spend reading. Instead of recommending a single “best” starting point, these lists aim to provide reading recommendations that will suit a broad range of learning styles. Each list will usually contain:

  • a short, beginner friendly introduction
  • a longer, more comprehensive introduction
  • an anthology of important readings
  • an academic handbook or companion
  • a couple of classic works

This means that if you tend to find classic works of philosophy difficult to understand, there’s usually a short, beginner-friendly introduction to the topic available to read instead. If you prefer more depth, you can choose a more comprehensive introduction, a relevant handbook, or pick up one of the classics. For more information on how to choose which philosophy book to read, I highly recommend Dr. Gregory Sadler’s advice in this article.

There are over 100 different philosophical topics below, simply choose one to get started.



The Daily Idea aims to make learning about philosophy as easy as possible by bringing together the best philosophy resources from across the internet. To get started, check out this organized collection of 400+ articles, podcasts, and videos on a wide range of philosophical topics.

A Collection of the Greatest Philosophical Quotations

A History of Western Philosophy in 500 Essential Quotations is a collection of the greatest thoughts from history’s greatest thinkers. Featuring classic quotations by Aristotle, Epicurus, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Michel Foucault, and many more, A History of Western Philosophy in 500 Essential Quotations is ideal for anyone looking to quickly understand the fundamental ideas that have shaped the modern world.

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