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6 Best Philosophy Books to Gift Friends & Family

Posted on October 14 2021

philosophy books to give as gifts

Philosophy can be an overwhelming subject for some, but despite its reputation as a complex topic, the ideas are rather fundamental. It’s an essential part of human nature to question our existence, our purpose, and the meaning of the world around us.   

As the world becomes more fractured and complicated, it can provide great solace to consider our place in the universe. In fact, for centuries, the study of philosophy has explored and attempted to answer these existentialist questions in ways that give us understanding and a better worldview. 

Whether a family member is beginning to study philosophy, enjoys casually discussing the topic, or could use a different perspective, knowing which books to gift them can be incredibly difficult, especially if you’re not familiar with the topic. 

We understand it’s easy to get intimidated by the very concept of philosophy, that’s why we’ve compiled a helpful list. From classic philosophy texts to religious devotionals to ancient eastern books, make your gift giving easier this year with our list of the 6 best philosophy books to gift your friends and family. 

Top Recommendations For The Best Philosophy Books To Give As Gifts 

#1 Why We Think the Things We Think: Philosophy in a Nutshell By Alain Stephen

philosophy bookThe perfect read for philosophy beginners, this helpful book breaks down some of the world’s most central questions of philosophy. For example, have you ever been asked if the glass is half full or half empty? Do you wonder what true happiness is or how to attain it? Or maybe nothing really matters if everything is just an illusion or a dream? 

These philosophical inquiries have engaged, troubled and exasperated some of the greatest minds throughout the history of human civilization, provoking argument and debate in an attempt to broaden the horizons of human thought. 

Author Alain Stephen attempts to demystify some of these key questions by tracing their origins in the writings of prominent thinkers through the ages, from the colonnades of ancient Greece to the intellectual salons of twentieth-century France, and show how these ideas and concepts developed over time. 

Why We Think the Things We Think provides plenty of food for thought for both the amateur philosopher and enlightened thinker to digest.

Buy Why We Think The Things We Think> 

#2 Mindfulness and the Big Questions: Philosophy For Now by Ben Irvine

mindfulness bookIs a friend or family member struggling with some big questions lately? Things like, Why am I here? What does it all mean? These are just a few of the tough questions we all ask ourselves at some point. Offering an enlightening approach to these universal conundrums this book explores how mindfulness can reveal hidden solutions to life's mysteries.

Weaving together philosophy and mindfulness to reveal how we can become wiser and happier simply by paying attention to everyday life, Dr. Ben Irvine illustrates how the feeling of existential angst can be turned into a sense of wonder and opportunity. Offering a positive approach to the common problem of existential angst, he teaches how to embrace life's uncertainties through the transformational practice of mindfulness meditation, and provides practical and thoughtful meditations for everyday life, bringing us back to the here and now.

Buy Mindfulness And The Big Questions>

#3 An Appeal To The World By The Dalai Lama

dalai lama bookAs one of the most profound thinkers of our time, this Dalai Lama international bestseller makes the perfect gift for almost anyone. In this brief yet profound address to global humanity, His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet reveals that we all hold the seeds of world peace within us: “I see with ever greater clarity that our spiritual well-being depends,” the Nobel Peace Prize winner writes, “on our innate human nature, our natural affinity for goodness, compassion, and caring for others.”

An Appeal to the World outlines both the inward and outward paths to peace, addressing a wide range of contemporary topics—from the rise of nationalism, the Trump presidency, refugee crisis, climate catastrophes, and materialism to meditation, universal ethics, and even neuroscience. 

Buy An Appeal To The World> 

#4 Press Here! Chakras for Beginners: A Simple Guide to Balancing Your Energy Centers

book about chakkrasDo you have a child, niece, or co-worker who is looking to get more in touch with themselves and learn better ways to practice self-care? This beginner’s guide to mindfulness makes a perfect gift for teens, young adults, and college-aged adults. 

Chakras are the body's energy centers and key to physical health, emotional stability, and mental clarity. Ensuring your chakras are perfectly balanced offers a new dimension of healing and growth. With a robust toolbox that utilizes sound, color, smell, energy, philosophy, and mindfulness, these beautifully illustrated step-by-step meditations and exercises will help you achieve this balance. 

Buy Press Here>

#5 Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind by George Makari

philosophy bookLooking for a book to gift someone who is a history buff? Soul Machine takes us back to the origins of modernity, a time when a crisis in religious authority and the scientific revolution led to searching questions about the nature of human inner life. This is the story of how a new concept―the mind―emerged as a potential solution, one that was part soul and part machine, but fully neither.

In this groundbreaking work, award-winning historian George Makari shows how writers, philosophers, physicians, and anatomists worked to construct notions of the mind as not an ethereal thing, but a natural one. From the ascent of Oliver Cromwell to the fall of Napoleon, seminal thinkers like Hobbes, Locke, Diderot, and Kant worked alongside often-forgotten brain specialists, physiologists, and alienists in the hopes of mapping the inner world. 

Conducted in a cauldron of political turmoil, these frequently shocking, always embattled efforts would give rise to psychiatry, mind sciences such as phrenology, and radically new visions of the self. Further, they would be crucial to the establishment of secular ethics and political liberalism. Boldly original, wide-ranging, and brilliantly synthetic, Soul Machine gives us a masterful, new account of the making of the modern Western mind.

Buy Soul Machine>

#6 Think Differently: Open Your Mind. Philosophy for Modern Life by Adam Ferner

philosophy bookWhile some people tend to think of philosophy as on par with rocket science, it's much more basic than that. Philosophy is simply about our lives and how we live them. Using a unique, visual approach to explore a variety of philosophical concepts, Adam Ferner shows how philosophy is one of our best tools for responding to the challenges of the modern world.

From philosophical 'people skills' to ethical and moral questions about our lifestyle choices, philosophy teaches us to ask the right questions, even if it doesn't necessarily hold all the answers. With 20 dip-in sessions from history's great philosophers alongside today's most pioneering thinkers, this book will guide you to think deeply and differently.

Buy Think Differently> 

Enjoy More Essential Philosophy Reads 

At Marissa’s Books, we pride ourselves on curating an extensive collection of philosophy books for every type of reader and skill level. From classic philosophy books and inspiring christian devotionals to books on ancient mysticism and eastern philosophy, discover our range of the best philosophical books for adults and teens online today.

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