A Reading List on Western Philosophy and Christian Philosophy and Apologetics

A Reading List on Western Philosophy and Christian Philosophy and Apologetics

 by Celucien L. Joseph, PhD

Below, I recommend some of the most influential works in the history of Western philosophy, American philosophy, as well as Christian philosophy and apologetics. The list below is not meant to be exhaustive. For example, it does not deal with classical philosophy (with the exception of three to four titles on the list ); rather, the emphasis is on modern thought or history of ideas. I do not, for example, include works by African and Caribbean philosophers. I hope you will find the selected works helpful and meaningful to your own personal philosophical and spiritual growth and intellectual progress.

*** I wrote this post as a response to various inquiries I received from individuals and students who are passionate about the life of the mind and also from those would like to be well-versed in both Western Philosophy and Christian philosophy.

  1. Western Philosophy
  • A New History of Western Philosophy by Anthony Kenny
  • The History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell
  • Why I Am Not a Christian by Bertrand Russell
  • The Great Philosophers: An Introduction to Western Philosophy by Bryan Magee
  • A Brief History of Thought by Luc Ferry
  • The Enfranchisement of Women by Harriet Taylor Mill
  • Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison by Michel Foucault
  • The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences by Michel Foucault
  • The Archaeology of Knowledge: And the Discourse on Language by Michel Foucault
  • Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
  • Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  • Two Treatises of Government by John Locke
  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
  • Some Thoughts Concerning Education by John Locke
  • Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
  • Critique of Judgment by Immanuel Kant
  • The Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant
  • Phenomenology of Spirit by W. F. Hegel
  • Beyond Good And Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The Gay Science by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Existentialism Is a Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume
  • An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals by David Hume
  • The History Of England by David Hume
  • Civilization and its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
  • Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt
  • The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt
  • Intention by G.E.M Anscombe
  • Modern Moral Philosophy by G.E.M Anscombe
  • Truth and Method by Hans-Georg Gadamer
  • Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics by Jean Grondin
  • The Hermeneutic Tradition: From Ast to Ricoeur
  • Structuralism: An Introduction by Robert Scholes
  • The Concept of Dread by Søren Kierkegaard
  • The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
  • Capital: Volume 1: A Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx
  • On Liberty and the Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill
  • Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill
  • A Discourse on Inequality by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • On Certainty by Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  • The Ethics of Ambiguity by Simone de Beauvoir
  • Virtues and Vices by Philippa Foot
  • The Passion of the Western Mind by Richard Tarnas
  • Ethics in the Real World by Peter Singer
  • Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for our Treatment of Animals by Peter Singer
  • Practical Ethics by Peter Singer
  • Famine, Affluence, & Morality by Peter Singer
  • Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  • God is not Great Christopher Hitchens
  • The Portable Atheist by Christopher Hitchens
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

2. American Philosophy

  •  Nature and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Essays: First and Second Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The Will to Believe and Other Popular Essays by William James
  • The Varieties of Religious Beliefs by William James
  • Human Nature and Conduct by John Dewey
  • Experience and Nature by John Dewey
  •  The Public and its Problems by John Dewey
  • The Quest for Certainty by John Dewey
  •  The Soul of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty
  • Consequences of Pragmatism by Richard Rorty
  • Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity by Richard Rorty.
  • The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism by Cornel West
  • Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought by Lewis R. Gordon
  • Women, Culture & Politics by Angela Y. Davis
  • Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics by bell hooks
  • Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks
  • Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education by Martha Craven Nussbaum
  • Love’s knowledge: essays on philosophy and literature by Martha Craven Nussbaum
  • Sex & social justice by Martha Craven Nussbaum
  • On Race and Philosophy by Lucius Outlaw
  • Philosophy Born of Struggle: An Anthology of Afro-American Philosophy From 1917 by Harris Leonard
  • In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture by Kwame Anthony Appiah
  • Existence in Black: An Anthology of Black Existential Philosophy by Lewis Gordon
  • African-American Philosophers: 17 Conversations by George Yancy
  • In a Different Voice by Carol Gilligan
  • Visible Identities: Race, Gender and the Self by Linda Martín Alcoff
  • The Age of Atheists: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God by Peter Watson
  • The Evolution of God by Robert Wright
  • The Moral Landscape: How Evolution Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris
  • The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris
  • Breaking the Spell by Daniel C. Dennett


3. Christian Philosophy and Apologetics

  • City of God by Augustine of Hippo
  • Confessions by Augustine of Hippo
  • On Religion or The Christian Faith by Friedrich Schleiermacher
  • Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
  • The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis
  • The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
  • Warranted Christian Belief by Alvin Plantinga
  • God, Freedom, and Evil by Alvin Plantinga
  • The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton
  • Foolishness to the Greeks by Lesslie Newbigin
  • Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity by J.P. Moreland
  • A History of Western Philosophy and Theology by John Frame
  • Our Reasonable Faith by Herman Bavinck
  • Philosophy and the Christian Faith by Thomas V. Morris
  • Philosophical Foundations For A Christian Worldview by J. P. Moreland and William Lane Craig
  • Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective by Norman L. Geisler
  • Practice in Christianity by Søren Kierkegaard
  • The Christian God by Richard Swinburne
  • Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics by William Lane Craig
  • Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig
  • The Reason for God by Tim Keller
  • Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith by Douglas Groothius
  • How (Not) To Be Secular by James K. A. Smith
  • Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul by J.P. Moreland
  • Against the Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism by John C. Lennox
  • Fool’s Talk: Recovery The Art of Christian Persuasion by Os Guiness
  • Renaissance by Os Guinness
  • Can Man Live Without God by Ravi Zacharias
  • The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog by James W. Sire
  • The Francis A. Schaeffer Trilogy: The 3 Essential Books in 1 Volume/the God Who Is There/Escape from Reason/He Is There and He Is Not Silent by Francis A. Schaeffer
  • The Postmodern World: Discerning the Times and the Spirit of Our Age by Millard J. Erickson
  • Truth or Consequences: The Promise and Perils of Postmodernism
  • God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams by David F. Wells
  • When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties by Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe
  • Thant’s Just Your Interpretation: Responding to Skeptics Who Challenge Your Faith by Paul Copan
  • Foolishness to the Greeks and the Gospel and Western Culture by Lesslie Newbigin
  • Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity by Nancy Pearcey
  • The Passionate Intellect: Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind by Alister McGrath
  • Christ and Culture Revisited by D. A. Carson
  • The Intolerance of Tolerance by D.A. Carson
  • The Gagging of God by D.A. Carson
  • How Shall We Live? Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey



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