28 Important Philosophers List the Books That Influenced Them Most During Their College Days

The web site Demasiado Aire recently asked “some of the world’s most important philosophers which three books influenced them the most while undergraduate students.” And, from what we can tell, they got a good response. 28 influential philosophers dutifully jotted their lists, and, for at least the past day, Demasiado Aire has been offline, seemingly overwhelmed by traffic. Thanks to Google’s web caching technology, we can recover these lists and provide you with a few highlights. (Note: The original post is here.) We have added links to the texts cited by the philosophers. The free texts have an asterisk (*) next to them.

Charles Taylor (McGill University):

Phénoménologie de la Perception, Maurice Merleau-Ponty

The Brothers Karamazov*, Fyodor Dostoevsky

Jalons pour une théologie du Laïcat, Yves Congar

Daniel Dennett (Tufts University):

“That’s easy:

Word and Object, Quine.

The concept of mind*, Gilbert Ryle

Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein

“I got to study with Quine and Ryle, but Wittgenstein had died before I encountered his work”.

Alexander Nehamas (Princeton University):

Apology of Socrates*, Plato

Nicomachean Ethics*, Aristotle

Ethics*, Spinoza

“Also, I should point out that Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality* had a huge effect on me when I was a graduate student and had a formative influence on my philosophical development”.

David Chalmers (Australian National University):

“I was an undergraduate student in mathematics rather than philosophy, but the answer is”:

Gödel, Escher Bach, Douglas Hofstadter

The Mind’s I, Douglas Hofstadter & Daniel Dennett

Reasons and Persons, Derek Parfit

You can view lists by other philosophers, including Alain de Botton, Wendy Brown, Peter Millican, and more here: live pagecached page.

Related Posts

  • 57
    http://julliengordon.com/the-10-best-business-books-for-side-hustlers http://petracoach.com/book/
    Tags: list, books, book
  • 54
    The written word—be it in the form of a paperback, a hardbound book or E-book—can leave a lasting imprint on a person’s development. If you're looking to better yourself as a professional, needing some business inspiration, or just want to dive into a good read during your commute to work—have…
    Tags: book, books
  • 50
    George Orwell's famous 1984 described an all-seeing state capable of watching our every move - of course, this would be some far-off dystopian vision of the future, right? Well, old George's prediction is very much in evidence now, with security cameras, internet tracking and the like - and a surprising amount of…
    Tags: good, books, book
  • 50
    When I look back at the first three years of bootstrapping our startup NerdWallet, the lesson I wish I had figured out earlier is you can’t read your way out of a problem. When we first launched our company and needed advice, our tendency was to grab a book and…
    Tags: book, development, point, three, books, provide