The list author says: "This is a list created to get you acquainted with the history of philosophy. For the newcomer to philosophy, I would start with The Problems of Philosophy by Betrand Russell in order to find out just what philosophy is, and what problems it is concerned with, and how that is set apart from religion and science (although philosophy, science, and religion frequently interact). Then I would look into A History of Western Philosophy for a comprehensive reference guide to the major western thinkers, and The Way and Its Power to learn about Chinese philosophy. After that, I would pick and chose from what is most interesting to you. Included are books on Greek philosophy, then the Enlightenment era, and the era that follows after the enlightenment, specifically the late 19th/20th century where philosophy splits into three main traditions: the pragmatic tradition, the analytic tradition, and continental tradition. Afterwards, there are books on specific issues in contemporary thought that are of particular practical interest."
"This monumental work is a nearly 900 page history of western philosophy, starting with the Pre-Socratic philosophers all the way to the modern philosophers, and includes a statement of Russell's on views."
"This is an excellent introduction to Chinese thought. It begins with a 100 page introduction that covers information about Chinese philosophers and schools of thought leading up to Taoism, and afterwards an in depth study of the Tao Te Ching, followed by a translation of the Tao Te Ching. For those who wish to compare ancient Greek to ancient Chinese thought, this is an invaluable resource."
"The Republic warrants a listing here. This translation is easy to read compared to some others. In this Plato presents his theory of ideas by using Socrates as a character, and uses his theories in the end to justify a totalitarian style aristocracy ruled by philosopher kings. This conclusion is a bit perturbing, but this historical piece is worth reading."
"This includes parts of the main writings of Thomas Reid. Thomas Reid was a Scottish philosopher that was an empiricist, but is often left out of philosophical history. He was more popular than David Hume in his time, but his advocacy of Common Sense Realism fell out of fashion and it is the trio of Locke-Hume-Berkeley that are commonly thought of as being the main empiricists."
"This correspondence between Thomas Jefferson (best described as an agnostic deist) and John Adams (best described as a Unitarian Theist) has much discussion of politics and philosophy. This is included because it shows how different philosophical views influenced the founding fathers of the United States."
"This introduces the 4 big German thinkers: Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. These 4 thinkers largely developed the continental tradition of thinking that went on to include such schools as existentialism, idealism, and postmodernism."
"I don't have this book but I have checked it out at the library. This is an illustrated introduction to the ideas of SÃ¸ren Kierkegaard (a Christian), who along with Friedrich Nietzsche (basically an atheist) inspired the movements of existentialism and eventually postmodernism, which are schools of thought in the continental tradition."
"This has writings from various thinkers in the pragmatic tradition. Note that pragmatism isn't a distinct philosophy, but a tradition of philosophy like analytic philosophy or continental philosophy. Each of these 3 traditions contains a variety of opinions and schools of thought within them."
"Some of these are included in the Pragmatism Reader, but here they are not edited for length, and include further ideas from Peirce. Some of these are more advanced thinking, but include some very good essays. Bertrand Russell called Peirce the most original American thinker, and Karl Popper lamented at not reading Peirce before writing his own books."
"Philosophy started out with the question of, Who are we? How does the world work? Where did we come from? It was from these questions that philosophy, religion, and science arose. This is a wonderful in depth look at the history of humanity, starting from the early universe, tracing the development of our planet, the dawn of life, and the evolutionary path leading to us."