Philosophy for beginners

If you are looking for a book about philosophy, Nigel Warburton’s A Little History of Philosophy is the place to begin. Warburton has authored other philosophy books, primarily introductions, and this latest book is accessible, funny and informative. Warburton begins with Socrates and Plato and covers, in 40 short chapters, the history of philosophy, its key players and writings, and ends with the controversial Peter Singer. Along the way, Warburton introduces Augustine, Niccolò Machiavelli, Blaise Pascal, Immanuel Kant, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Ludwig Wittgenstein and the three female philosophers of the group—Hannah Arendt, Phillipa Foot and Judith Thomson. Each chapter provides an historical overview of the philosopher’s life, a synopsis of the major work and a tie to the next philosopher, as well as an example of their work that contemporary readers will understand. Not a textbook, but a general interest introduction—and a good source for a reading list.