Best 10 Philosophy Books I Read in 2015

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I read only a handful of philosophy books published in 2015 (on this list: Nail’s Figure of the Migrant and Agamben’s Stasis) because I dedicated most of my “slow reading” to ancient and modern texts that contributed in a significant way to (mostly Western) understandings of self-discipline. The place to begin here was Foucault’s immensely influential 1983-84 lectures on the Stoic & Cynic ascetic traditions, followed by a comprehensive survey of the Cynic tradition by Desmond, and then a Stoic emphasis by Hadot’s Philosophy as a Way of Life. William James’ Energies of Men offered a modern psychological spin to all of this. Next, Svedson’s Philosophy of Boredom showed what happens when Western Civilization loses interest in asceticism more generally. Departing from this theme entirely: Sloterdijk’s Globes: Spheres II is one of my favorite philosophy books of all time; Nail’s Figure of the Migrant should be read by every citizen of the globe; and Agamben’s Stasis wasn’t great but I persuade myself to like everything he puts out.

  1. Peter Sloterdijk – Globes: Spheres II
  2. Lars Svedson – A Philosophy of Boredom
  3. William James – The Energies of Men
  4. Pierre Hadot – Philosophy as a Way of Life
  5. Diogenes Laertius – Lives of Eminent Philosophers
  6. William Desmond – Cynics
  7. Gavin Flood – The Ascetic Self: Subjectivity, Memory and Tradition
  8. Thomas Nail – Figure of the Migrant
  9. Foucault – The Courage of Truth: The Government of Self and Others II (Lectures at the College de France, 1983-84)
  10. Giorgio Agamben – Stasis: Civil War as a Political Paradigm
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