Top 5 Philosophy Books for the New Term

It’s back to school time, Philosophers! I’m really looking forward to the new term. Today, I am here to recommend the best books for you new Philosophy course.

Philosophy is a fantastic course to study. Your brain will be challenged with rational and ethical thinking.

Why is Extra reading of Philosophy Books Important in your New Course?

Extra reading around your subjects is a must. A Philosophy examiner can always tell when someone is well read, and using their reading to support their arguments. Extra reading of philosophy books will…

  • Firm up your Subject Knowledge.
  • Give you historical context.
  • Expand your vocabulary.
  • Challenge your initial ideas and responses.
  • Provide a stronger basis for your arguments.
  • Reflect in the way that you write an essay.

Which Books should I Invest in for Philosophy Studies?

Most schools and colleges now provide the essential and core texts to their students. However, it is always good to have your own copy incase you want to text mark it and make notes in the margin. It is also a good idea to have wider reading readily available.

If you are struggling financially, get yourself to your local library, where you should find a basic philosophy section.

The Philosophy Books that you invest in will obviously depend on your course. Most AS, A-level and IB courses in Philosophy or Religious Studies and Philosophy have three main elements…

  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Ethics
  • Core Text (Descartes, Nietzsche or Locke usually)

It is a good idea to check with your course tutor which books are recommended, before you invest a lot of money. Some course texts are specific to a certain course and may not be applicable to yours.

My Top 5 Philosophy Books

3. Philosophy of Religion for A-Level (Jordan, Lockyer and Tate)

Jordan, Lockyer and Tate have produced this easy to understand text book as a basic text for OCR. I have also used this for AQA teaching as it is excellent on Philosophy of Religion. It is well organised and presented with boxes for keywords, discussion points and things you must know. The end of each chapter has a succinct summary which I find helpful as a revision aid.

2. Ethical Studies (Bowie)

This book on Ethical Studies by Bowie is the best text book that I have found for the Ethics module. It includes ethical theory and practical ethics with examples. I highly recommend this book if you are studying ethics as part of your course.

3. Descartes Meditations

Descartes Meditations is the most popular set text used by colleges, sixth forms and Universities in the UK. And it’s not a difficult or boring read!

4. What does it all mean? (Nagel)

This very short introduction to Philosophy is great to read before your course, to get you into a Philosophical way of thinking. It is a very short and enjoyable read.

5. Arguments for the Existence of God (Hick)

Hick is, in my opinion, the best author on Arguments for the Existence of God. It was this book that helped me to get my head around the Ontological argument for God’s existence at the age of 18!

Which Philosophy books do you recommend? I’d love to hear your feedback.

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