So You Want To Be a Philosophy Major–Recommendations and Book List

Philosophy can be an exciting, challenging, and exhilarating field of study.  It often gets a bad rap for being an impractical (and not so cost effective) academic pursuit.  Why study philosophy?  Aside from extrinsic factors there is much intrinsic value in studying philosophy.  Bertrand Russell, a famous logician and philosopher, succintly writes about the value […]

Philosophical Fiction: Fifty Books

In no specific order or rank, the following list collects important books of philosophical literary fiction.  These books are novels (or novellas) with philosophical or existential themes (e.g., God, free will, personal identity, the meaning of life): 1) Albert Camus.  The Stranger and The Fall.  [Essay: “The Myth of Sisyphus”]. 2) Jean-Paul Sartre.  Nausea. [Drama: No […]

Twenty Important Philosophy Books

If I were asked for a list of the most significant philosophy books (ever written), then I might produce the following list.  Why is such a list relevant?  These books could be considered essential reads for any novice philosophy student or someone who is interested in reading philosophy… (this list is not comprehensive or ranked […]

On Lines From Horace’s Epistles

Here are lines from David Ferry’s translation of Horace’s Epistles on fortune, authentic contentment, and the achievement of happiness. Horace suggests that we would do well to consider the efficacy of achieving happiness in the present–in daily life–as opposed to thinking about it as an abstract concept or as achievable in a remote future.  It may […]

On Creativity and Originality: Brad Mehldau’s Beethoven

I was researching Brad Mehldau shows on and discovered the jazz pianist’s writings on Beethoven and Coltrane.  How fascinating!  In his first installment, Mehldau mentions that scholars categorize an artist’s corpus into periods of artistic development: early, middle, late.  This analytical procedure has advantages and disadvantages, but one problem concerns the evaluative criteria by […]