Seneca on the Art of Reading (and How to Teach Yourself Philosophy)

Letters from a Stoic SenecaReading a great book (specifically nonfiction) is to acquire, within a matter of hours, the insights and knowledge that the author spent months, years, and sometimes decades developing. Books are therefore knowledge multipliers, shortcuts to years of research and thinking, and the more books you read, the more hard-won knowledge you accumulate in a fraction of the time.

Reading is therefore your most powerful intellectual tool. This means that you had better get it right, otherwise you are squandering your best opportunity to enhance your intellect and understanding.

We all read for different reasons, sometimes simply for entertainment or to extract some quick information, but reading for true self-improvement comes from intentional, analytical reading. The question is, how do you optimize your reading habits for maximum intellectual development?

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The Best Philosophy Books of All Time

The Death of SocratesThe following is a timeline of the great books of western philosophy, by century, beginning with Plato and ending with the great works of the twentieth century. The timeline comprises 73 books drawn from multiple lists, including:

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The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2018

Enlightenment Now Steven PinkerThe best nonfiction books for 2018 included three phenomenal releases in United States history; one of the best books to date on the practice of Stoicism; a much needed book on skepticism reminiscent of Carl Sagan’s The Demon Haunted World; and releases by both Steven Pinker and Yuval Harari.

Here are my picks for the top 10 nonfiction books of 2018:

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