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The Complete Essays of Montaigne
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1 Reddit comment about The Complete Essays of Montaigne:

u/DracoOccisor ยท 1 pointr/ChoosingBeggars

For other odds and ends, I cannot, cannot, cannot recommend Michel de Montaigne's Essays enough. They're easy to read, accessible to new philosophers, and cover an immense range of philosophical topics. I keep a copy of this on my bedside table and read an essay every couple of nights. They're short, insightful, and great little tidbits of philosophy to keep you thinking about things. Of particular note is the essay "Of Experience", so if you don't read any Montaigne at all, at least give this one a look. If you feel as though the recommendations above are a little more than you're willing to commit to philosophy, this is a great starting point, and with over 100 essays to read, it has a long life to it.


Now, setting aside everything that I have listed above, it's worth considering a delve into Eastern philosophy. It's not very common that people talk about it here in the West, but it is critical if you want a truly comprehensive understanding of philosophy as a whole. Starting out my own philosophical journey about 10 years ago, I had always heard Eastern philosophy was just religious nonsense, so I never studied it. After taking a few courses in Confucianism and Daoism (as well as Buddhism and Hinduism, but these actually are much more religious in practice) it changed how I viewed everything about philosophy. The more accurate way to describe Eastern philosophy isn't "religious", but rather, "spiritual". The approach taken by Confucianism and Daoism is much less focused on what is absolute, black and white, logical or illogical, but rather, it seeks to understand the human experience with the understanding that not everything can be quantified, tested, and reasoned. This might be a foreign concept to a CompSci major (no offense, of course), but there clearly are some things that Western logic and experimentation simply can't handle: qualia for example. It is impossible for me to know if I am seeing the same color as someone else when we are looking at the same object, and similarly, it is impossible for me to know if I am feeling the same thing when I am happy in a group of happy people. We can recognize these things and make inferences based on our prior experience, but that is strictly a subjective understanding thereof. If you're the sort of person that believes that we need more than just logic and rationality to truly grasp the nature of the world we live in, then you should definitely spend some time here.

If you have any interest at all in Eastern philosophy, there's so much to be gained and there's actually a fantastic free resource that's all-inclusive for every major Chinese philosophical text from the ancient pre-Qin era to the early 20th century. If you don't know much about Chinese philosophy, I'd definitely glance at the Wikipedia article for Confucianism and Daoism just for a brief introduction. Unfortunately, I haven't studied Mohism in detail, so I can't speak to the nature of it, or the most important readings. In particular, though, I would certainly recommend the classics:

Under the Confucianism dropdown, The Analects(, and Mengzi are the two most important works.

For Daoism, you definitely want to look at Zhuangzi and the Dao de Jing. Daoism can be very esoteric and confusing to some people, and there are scholars who devote their entire career to just a few texts in this study, but that doesn't mean you can't derive value or an interpretation out of it. It quite simply advocates for people to live a good life through presence, patience, clear-mindedness, and wisdom - but the Way to obtain these are not so simple.