As one of those knowledge sponges I was wondering if anybody had some recommend reading, so far under my belt I've read most of European philosophy Greek,German and British, as well as some Native American and early American philosophy.

Does anyone have an Asian Philosophy books recommendations or modern Philosophy recommendations?

Also to add on to this discussion what have you read personally that has had a lasting inpact on how you think and way you view world?

Like for me I've read my fair share of distopia's such as fahrenheit 451 and brave new world that helps me appreciate what we have today.

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Well, there is a lot of stuff out there to read But what about reading stuff, that's almost unavailable anywhere in this world (and universe at large)?

For example, Ken's book of research

That book is normally blowing the mind, so you know before reading it

Note, that me is not in any religion (incl Scientology) Althou some authors had to do with it, what's not a problem for me neither

Also TROM e-book by Dennis is also very interesting, especially for those, who are interested in more unusual philosophical implications (that book is not about philosophy thou, but rather deals with the tools, that are used in it)

What it did for an impact for myself?
LOL, hm, could be said it reminded me of many impacts, that happened before - whose I have used to encyst for some reason Not anymore, thou

One of my favorite philosophical writers is Daniel Quinn who basically created the New Tribalist movement. Extremely interesting and very thought provoking in my opinion and had a big impact on me. Also no its not one of those 'everyone should go live out in the woods and live off the land' sort of books either. It suggests true but admits it doesn't work.

I've read The Story of B and Ishmael, two of his best books
Just a couple of suggestions:

Although you mentioned European philosophy, I notice you didn't refer specifically to French philosophers. I would think here of Jean-Paul Sartre (Being and Nothingness), the phenomenologist Paul Ricoeur, and those associated with postmodernism and poststructuralism: Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze (all their important works are in translation).

There are also those who are in some sense 'anti-philosophers'. The term is somewhat overstated, but refers to those who critique aspects of the whole Western tradition. I would include here Richard Rorty (Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature) and George Lakoff & Mark Johnson (Philosophy in the Flesh).
Also re: French philosophers... go w/ Camus' The Stranger and his philosophical essays like the Myth of Sisyphus. I found them easier to read than JPS' veritable tome Being & Nothingness. Foucault is alright. I definitely have to read Deleuze though.

Modern philosophy/political science... maybe try Karl Popper (reflexivity), John Kenneth Galbraith (good society), Hannah Arendt (on totalitarianism), Gloria Anzaldua (borderlands,3rd wave feminism), Judith Butler (gender & women, critical theory), Frantz Fanon (post colonial), Andrea Smith's Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, ...?

Not so "new" philosophers... Baruch Spinoza's Ethics

Poetry/Religion... Fernando Pessoa (collected poetry), Conference of the Birds by Farid ud-Din Attar (islamic mysticism/sufi poetry), Gersholm Scholem's Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, Steven Fanning's Mystics of the Christian Tradition, a few chapters from Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God is Within You.

Fiction & misc Non Fiction... Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Exterminate all the Brutes by Sven Lundquist (basically a swede goes to Africa and brings along a copy of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness with him), The Revolution Will Not Be Funded (activists on the ideas behind funding movements, very current, very relevant book esp if you work w/ or in non-profits)
'The Condition of Man' by Lewis Mumford is a great read.
For Asian philosophy, I'd have to recommend Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu's (Zhuangzi is a very common second spelling of his name) work, usually simply titled with his name. Both are Taoist works, so the farthest they go into the fantastic is to refer to some mythical animals; no deities involved**. They have influenced me to the point that I identify myself as a philosophical Taoist as well as an Atheist.

Moving away from China, the Hagakure and The Book Of Five Rings are both excellent. Though they tend to address the concerns of the Samurai of their times, the broad points they make are easily applicable to any situation involving conflict or the need to make decisions... which is pretty much everything, of course.

Happy reading!

**a lot of their later followers hitched a lot of their folk religion to it, so Taoism is often identified with animist, polytheistic, 'alchemical', and/or magical ideas. But neither man's work has anything to do with these later developments.
Since you have familiarity with European philosophy (and you specifically mentioned German), I would recommend any representative of the Japanese Kyoto School as interesting reads. Thinkers such as Nishida Kitaro and Nishitani Keiji (influenced by both Heidegger and Buddhism), for example. As far as modern (more recent) philosophy goes, lots of good suggestions mentioned. I definitely second the motion for Deleuze and Guattari! Georges Bataille is worth checking out as well (a little less recent, died 1962). And someone mentioned Richard Rorty's "Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature" but I really liked his "Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity." Also, Cornel West's "The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism" was a pretty good read. And have you checked out Andre Comte-Sponville's "The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality"?

As far as books that have had an impact on me....most of Nietzsche's works, almost anything Shakespeare, The Tao Te Ching, Eugen Herrigel's "Zen in the Art of Archery", Lyotard's "The Postmodern Condition" and "Just Gaming", Foucault's "History of Sexuality", Fred Alan Wolf's "Taking the Quantum Leap", Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything", William Stryon's "Darkness Visible", Gloria Anzaldua's "Borderlands/La Frontera", Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass", Dostoevsky's "Notes from the Underground", Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway", Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God", poetry by Allen Ginsberg, Rumi, Kabir, most of the French Symbolists, T.S. Eliot, and other poets too
I recommend the "The Nature of Things" written in about 50 b.c. by a Roman named Lucretius.It is a sample of Epicurean philosophy and its premise is that the world is made up of atoms and functions through natural forces without supernatural aid. Kind of a naturalistic view of the world. Back then no one could admit to being an atheist but if you read between the lines it seems that Lucretius was godless. he was way ahead of his time.
Some of the best dystopian(science-fiction) novels have been written by John Brunner: "Stand on Zanzibar", "The Sheep Look Up", and one that is amazingly prophetic, considering it came out around 1971, "The Shockwave Rider".
As far as pure philosophy is concerned, Adorno is kind of off the beaten path(I wish I had time for more reading in general). Over the past few years I've read quite a bit of it, and it took me almost as long to learn how to read him. If you haven't read "Dialectic of Enlightenment", I would strongly recommend it. You would likely have an easier time than I did with "Negative Dialectics": you're probably well versed in Kant, Hegel and Nietzsche and I am not, so I found it almost impossible to understand. But I read every word of it anyway. The sections on Heidegger do not require intimacy with his writings. Adorno savages him almost word by word. His most important work is "Aesthetic Theory", which unfortunately is in no way relevant to atheism. I started reading him because of his extensive writing on contemporary music.
Right now I'm struggling to work through Wittgenstein. I read the Tractatus some time back and I'm halfway through The Brown Book now. " Philosophical Investigations" is next. If you have any supplementary reading to suggest regarding Wittgenstein, it would be appreciated. I feel his thinking on language games and metaphysics are important, which of course relates to theology, not to mention political propaganda. I have this idea that if he is correct in thinking that if even the casual, but correct usage of language can lead to uncertain meaning, what does one do about it's deliberate misuse? Which gets me to thinking about politics and theology again.
I find the entire "Frankfurt School" fascinating. I think Adorno is by far the most important of them. His thinking on the enlightenment is of obvious relevance to (a)theism and the political role of religion. (If you're one of those people that has serious ideological issues with Marx, forget I even mentioned it.)
Brunner was an amazing writer particularly Shockwave Rider (who, IMO, trumps Gibson as the seminal Cyber-punk writer by a couple of decades)
The writers that had a significant influence on my thinking were Leslie White's, Science of Culture and Heinz Pagels', Dreams of Reason -the Computer and the Rise of the Science of Complexity
Daniel dannet, daniel pink and carol tavris - not exactly philosophic but more of social psychology. Their writing Sparks me on various philosophic points.

I very much recommend "Siddartha" by Herman Hesse.


Although you've read many of the Europeans, and although I end up disagreeing with his conclusions, I want to recommend Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as a wonderful example of nearly impeccable logical analysis. It is an extremely difficult read (I remember reading one sentence over a hundred times just to be sure I knew what he was saying). He has some really loooooong compound sentences, but his intellect is staggering to behold and if you can force yourself to understand it, you will be head and shoulders above the common sense of common man. However, I must warn you that, once your logic becomes much stricter than theirs, you will find it more and more difficult to relate to the thoughts of others.


I am also a sponge, as you say. I started as a lover of language and grammar, moving later into physics and philosophy. I used to carry a little dictionary and pocket thesaurus when I was a kid, but rather than increasing my ability to communicate effectively, I have most often found that it has isolated me from those who have not taken the time to understand. Good luck to you.






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