“This is actually a difficult question — which philosophical texts are best for beginners? But it’s also one that I get asked pretty regularly. I typically suggest starting with Plato, and occasionally delve a bit deeper into the topic, but admittedly haven’t devoted the thought and attention it really deserves to give a proper answer.”
Sorry. I cannot read past that, it makes me shudder. Honestly, the best way to learn philosophical thinking is to question, anything and everything. Then go to a book store, to the philosophy section (or religion or semiotics or anything else that sparks inspiration) and look for a book or title that fascinates you. Read that. Go from there. A path will open itself, coz philosophers have the (sometimes) annoying tendency to quote one another. Boom, rabbit hole.
Honestly, start with the classics if you want to show off. They are important to read if you study philosophy I guess, academically. But all thoughts are always repeated, so if Plato speaks your language cool, if you prefer something more modern, try Nitzsche (also his poems which are beautiful and unjustly maligned). The ideas don’t change, the wonders don’t change. The language does change and the people writing it.
And make an effort to seek out women / differently gendered thinkers. They are you there. And usually better thought out.
My last priest, the one who performed my Confirmation, told me a great wisdom: every thought is a prayer, because God, no matter their name, their number or their ascribed actions, lives in everything we do, in us, so every thought is a word in gods ears, a mirror (perhaps darkly) of our self.
Philosophy is like the air we breath and the food we eat. Everything is philosophy, everything is thought. And if you have a faith, a prayer.
For an academic or perhaps a young intellectual, I may be too tainted by Sophie’s World (the book, which remains amazing).
In the end, we all ask ourselves, why those dancing shadows on the walls are reborn every morning and how we can escape that endless cycle.
2020/2/4–5, to and inspired by Anna!