Next philosophy book to read?

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November 9, 2014 by NS

There are too many good books out there and I don’t know what to do! I am nearly done with my current readings, and I’m trying to decide where to go next. I’d love to hear any comments about what would be good to read next. My options, in no particular order:

1. Reasons and Persons, Derek Parfit
2. Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Robert Nozick
3. Something on Vedanta philosophy, perhaps the first volume of Complete Works, Vivekananda
4. Tractatus Logico-philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein
5. The Bible, various authors

I’d be happy to accept other suggestions also. I feel like I should also read Quine, but I thought it made sense to read Wittgenstein before Quine.

To give an idea of where I’m coming from, my most recent readings are:

A. The Bhagavad Gita according to Gandhi, M. K. Gandhi (this is a translation with brief commentary)
B. Justice As Fairness: A Restatement, John Rawls
C. Science and the Modern World, A. N. Whitehead

So, I am pretty interested in metaphysics, the nature of existence, but I am also interested in practical questions like the implications of basic ethical assumptions and the structure of society and suchlike. I am hesitant to read Parfit, because I feel like I’ve already been educated in a system that’s so thoroughly materialistic and analytic that I’m just way behind in my understanding of alternate worldviews, and thus it is wrong to prioritize deepening my understanding of modern analytic consequentialist thought, even though Parfit has been so influential on American moral philosophy and is therefore essential reading. I found the Gita really interesting, but I’m hesitant to dive headlong into Vedanta thought; I kind of want to review the Bible first, since I haven’t read it since I was a kid, and reviewing the Bible will enable me to study Vedanta in a more comparative way.



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