100 books like A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality

By John Perry,

Here are 100 books that A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality fans have personally recommended if you like A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Tetralogue: I'm Right, You're Wrong

Gordon Barnes Author Of How Do You Know? A Dialogue

From my list on philosophy written as engaging dialogues.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Associate Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Brockport. I have been teaching and writing philosophy for over 20 years. I have published articles in professional journals on a wide range of subjects, from epistemology to philosophy of religion and political philosophy. I think that philosophy, at its best, is a good conversation, in which people give reasons for their views, and listen to others give reasons for theirs. That’s the best way for human beings to think about philosophical questions. That’s why I love philosophical dialogues—they do philosophy in a way that embodies what philosophy is, at its very best.

Gordon's book list on philosophy written as engaging dialogues

Gordon Barnes Why did Gordon love this book?

This book grabs your attention right from the start. Four people are on a train, and one of them believes in witches. That’s crazy, right? (The witches part, not the train part.) But can you prove that he is wrong? One character trusts science, and only science. Another is a relativist, who believes that each person’s opinion is “true for them.” And then there is the annoying young philosopher, who is just as irritating as she is logical. This is a great book about truth, knowledge, fallibility, and tolerance. Timothy Williamson is one of the best philosophers alive today, and yet this book is accessible and engaging for anyone who wants to think about fundamental questions. The characters are compelling, and the writing is witty and fun.

By Timothy Williamson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tetralogue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Four people with radically different outlooks on the world meet on a train and start talking about what they believe. Their conversation varies from cool logical reasoning to heated personal confrontation. Each starts off convinced that he or she is right, but then doubts creep in.

In a tradition going back to Plato, Timothy Williamson uses a fictional conversation to explore questions about truth and falsity, and knowledge and belief. Is truth always relative to a point of view? Is every opinion fallible? Such ideas have been used to combat dogmatism and intolerance, but are they compatible with taking each…


Book cover of The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia

Joanne B. Ciulla Author Of The Working Life: The Promise and Betrayal of Modern Work

From my list on reads when your job is ruining your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

At one point in my life, I took Ph.D. classes in the morning, taught philosophy in the afternoon, and tended bar at night. I was always working, and money was tight. Then, one day at a faculty meeting, my colleagues and I discussed developing an appealing new course. I suggested one on the philosophy of work and ended up teaching it and writing my dissertation on work and moral values. I loved teaching the class to the part-time students. They came to class straight from work and shared their experiences. Those students taught me more about work than any book in the library. Years later, I wrote The Working Life.

Joanne's book list on reads when your job is ruining your life

Joanne B. Ciulla Why did Joanne love this book?

This is a wise and witty philosophical reflection on the meaning of games and life. Suits asks: If we didn’t ever have to work again, would we have to replace work with things like the housebuilding game or the lawyer game? If so, would the game about work satisfy the need to work?

By Bernard Suits, Frank Newfeld (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Grasshopper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the mid twentieth century the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein famously asserted that games are indefinable; there are no common threads that link them all. "Nonsense," said the sensible Bernard Suits: "playing a game is a voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles." The short book Suits wrote demonstrating precisely that is as playful as it is insightful, as stimulating as it is delightful. Through the jocular voice of Aesop's Grasshopper, a "shiftless but thoughtful practitioner of applied entomology," Suits not only argues that games can be meaningfully defined; he also suggests that playing games is a central part of the ideal…


Book cover of Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

Gordon Barnes Author Of How Do You Know? A Dialogue

From my list on philosophy written as engaging dialogues.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Associate Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Brockport. I have been teaching and writing philosophy for over 20 years. I have published articles in professional journals on a wide range of subjects, from epistemology to philosophy of religion and political philosophy. I think that philosophy, at its best, is a good conversation, in which people give reasons for their views, and listen to others give reasons for theirs. That’s the best way for human beings to think about philosophical questions. That’s why I love philosophical dialogues—they do philosophy in a way that embodies what philosophy is, at its very best.

Gordon's book list on philosophy written as engaging dialogues

Gordon Barnes Why did Gordon love this book?

This book is a classic in the philosophy of religion. The great Scottish philosopher, and noted skeptic, David Hume, did not dare publish this book during his lifetime. He gave careful instructions to have it published after his death, and so it was first published in 1779. More than two centuries later, philosophers are still debating the merits of Hume’s arguments. What makes this book so great is that Hume does not straw man his opponents’ arguments. Instead, the characters in Hume’s dialogue state the traditional arguments for the existence of God extremely well. Only then, after they have stated the arguments so well, does Hume’s protagonist, Philo, proceed to attack those arguments with the objections for which he is now legendary.  

By David Hume, Richard H. Popkin (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hume's brilliant and dispassionate essay Of Miracles has been added in this expanded edition of his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion , which also includes Of the Immortality of the Soul,Of Suicide, and Richard Popkin's illuminating Introduction.


Book cover of Phaedo

Gordon Barnes Author Of How Do You Know? A Dialogue

From my list on philosophy written as engaging dialogues.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Associate Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Brockport. I have been teaching and writing philosophy for over 20 years. I have published articles in professional journals on a wide range of subjects, from epistemology to philosophy of religion and political philosophy. I think that philosophy, at its best, is a good conversation, in which people give reasons for their views, and listen to others give reasons for theirs. That’s the best way for human beings to think about philosophical questions. That’s why I love philosophical dialogues—they do philosophy in a way that embodies what philosophy is, at its very best.

Gordon's book list on philosophy written as engaging dialogues

Gordon Barnes Why did Gordon love this book?

The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once said that all of Western philosophy is a footnote to Plato. That might be an exaggeration, but not by much. One of the greatest features of Plato’s philosophy is that he wrote almost entirely in the form of dialogues. His writings modeled the idea that philosophy is an ongoing conversation between different points of view. They also modeled the idea that philosophy is an exchange of reasons, in pursuit of the truth. Plato wrote many great dialogues, every one of them worth reading, but the Phaedo is my favorite. In this dialogue, Plato comes out of the closet as, well, a Platonist, and whether you agree or disagree, it’s a wild ride.  

By Plato, G.M.A. Grube (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Phaedo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A first rate translation at a reasonable price. --Michael Rohr, Rutgers University


Book cover of A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman: Complete Short Stories

Randy Kraft Author Of Rational Women

From my list on short stories for smart women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved short stories since I was a young girl introduced to Edgar Allen Poe. There’s something especially exciting about a complete story in few words, and once I had to balance work, children, and personal relationships, stories became all the more cherished for short takes. I especially like tales about and by women, relating to our real challenges, and I review them often so other busy women discover better writers and interesting tales. There is nothing like a short story any time of day, especially in the evening, to soothe the soul. 

Randy's book list on short stories for smart women

Randy Kraft Why did Randy love this book?

The one and only collection by this great novelist [and the sister of A.S. Byatt] is one of my most favorite. These short tales explore all sorts of relationships, not only marriage and friendship, but our relationships with personal identity, politics, and the culture which defines us. The writing is absolutely divine – images pop from the page and characters stay with us as if we’ve actually known them. And between the lines there is a lot of philosophical musing, which I love – just enough to make us think but never wear us down. These stories are for women who like to explore the existential. Think of them as a workout for the brain. 

By Margaret Drabble,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Margaret Drabble is one of the major literary figures of her generation. In this collection of her complete short fiction from across four decades, she examines the intense private worlds and passions of everyday people.

From one man's honeymooning epiphany in 'Hassan's Tower' to the journeying fantasies of 'A Voyage to Cythera', and from the sharp joy of 'The Merry Widow' to the bloody reality of the collection's title story, these are moving, witty and provocative tales, exploring cruel and loving relationships, social change and personal obsessions, and confirming her status as a leading practitioner of the art of the…


Book cover of Poison for Breakfast

Jocelyn Cole and Sharon Nagel Author Of Shady Hollow

From my list on off-kilter mysteries for off-kilter readers.

Why are we passionate about this?

We almost said “quirky” instead of off-kilter in this title. But quirky is becoming synonymous with cozy, which is weird because it doesn’t mean the same thing at all. So, off-kilter it is. Done well, playing with expectations makes for an especially engaging read. We’ve attempted that trick in our own Shady Hollow Mysteries, which uses the form of a traditional murder mystery, but in a world of anthropomorphic animals. So naturally we love when other authors play with the form. These five books all fit the description of “off-kilter,” and we hope you can find fun and joy in reading them.  

Jocelyn's book list on off-kilter mysteries for off-kilter readers

Jocelyn Cole and Sharon Nagel Why did Jocelyn love this book?

Lemony Snicket is no stranger to unfortunate events, but this standalone book contains perhaps the worst of all: the news that he, the author, has consumed poison while eating the first meal of the day. Of course, this being a Snicket story, there’s more going on. This book is a bit mystery, and a bit philosophy (or is it the other way around?). More importantly, it is also a meditation on the wonderfulness of books and reading, a part of life that remains important even if one is quite sure one has been poisoned and now has an indeterminate amount of time to discover the truth of what happened.

By Lemony Snicket,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Poison for Breakfast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the years since this publishing house was founded, we have worked with an array of wondrous authors who have brought illuminating clarity to our bewildering world. Now, instead, we bring you Lemony Snicket.

Over the course of his long and suspicious career, Mr. Snicket has investigated many things, including villainy, treachery, conspiracy, ennui, and various suspicious fires. In this book, he is investigating his own death.

Poison for Breakfast is a different sort of book than others we have published, and from others you may have read. It is different from other books Mr. Snicket has written. It could…


Book cover of Ways of Drawing: Artists' Perspectives and Practices

James Hobbs Author Of Sketch Your World: Drawing techniques for great results on the go

From my list on to inspire you to draw.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started drawing in my twenties when I was lucky to meet and be inspired by tutors who passed on their passion for it. I have drawn and kept sketchbooks ever since: they trace the everyday things, my travels and important life events, but they are also places for thoughts and experiments, notes, and phone numbers. I don’t dare leave home without a sketchbook and pen in case I miss some unmissable thing. I went to art college, trained as a journalist, worked at a variety of art publications, have written three books about drawing, and exhibit and sell my drawings and prints. 

James' book list on to inspire you to draw

James Hobbs Why did James love this book?

There’s nothing like looking at the work of other artists to inspire you to draw. In this book, contemporary artists and teachers from the Royal Drawing School in London reflect on drawing and the diversity of ways to go about it through a series of essays that are interspersed with hundreds of drawn images by alumni and leading artists through the ages. A series of practical propositions for you to try out can lead to change and inspiration in your own work, whether it is based in the studio, out in the open, or from your imagination. This book makes drawing seem vital, current, and rich with possibilities. 

By Julian Bell (editor), Julia Balchin (editor), Claudia Tobin (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ways of Drawing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ways of Drawing brings together a sophisticated, exciting range of reflections on markmaking by practising artists, teachers and writers. From explorations of how it feels to draw and personal accounts of artistic development, to short, imaginative propositions for looking, understanding and experiencing afresh, this collection repositions drawing as a vital creative and intellectual endeavour.

The book is divided into three sections: 'Studio Space', which focuses on drawing within four walls; 'Open Space', which ventures out into the cityscapes and landscapes around us; and 'Inner Space', which returns to the living, feeling, drawing person. Each section is comprehensively illustrated with a…


Book cover of Marquesan Encounters: Melville and the Meaning of Civilization

Wyn Kelley and Christopher Sten Author Of "Whole Oceans Away": Melville and the Pacific

From my list on understanding Herman Melville’s itch for adventure.

Why are we passionate about this?

We approached our book, theme, and recommendations as readers and lovers of Melville’s work who were inspired by following in his footsteps to places “whole oceans away,” as he describes the Pacific in Moby-Dick. Melville traveled widely and kept up his travels throughout a lifetime of further exploration, as well as voluminous writing. We want to share the exhilaration of traveling with a writer: that is, by reading of Melville’s travels, traveling to the places he visited, and also hearing from people who know those places too. We hope our book gives readers contact with the many dimensions of global travel, in whatever form they find for themselves.

Wyn and Christopher's book list on understanding Herman Melville’s itch for adventure

Wyn Kelley and Christopher Sten Why did Wyn and Christopher love this book?

In past and present narratives of the Marquesas, along with other Pacific paradises, writers tend toward sensational or romantic exaggeration. T. Walter Herbert sets the record straight, showing what Melville likely encountered during his sojourn to Nukuhiva. In Herbert’s book, Melville is one of three examples of visitors to the islands, along with ship’s captain David Porter, whose narrative describes his laying violent waste to villages in the interior, and missionary William Alexander. Herbert shows what these visitors misunderstood about people characterized as “savages” and “barbarians”—readings that continue to influence cultural attitudes today. No one writes with quite the controlled fury and keen insight of this author!

By T. Walter Herbert Jr.,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marquesan Encounters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1980 Hardcover. No dust jacket. Minimal wear, otherwise nice clean readable copy.


Book cover of The Oxford Companion to the Mind

Rita Carter Author Of Consciousness

From my list on how to start exploring consciousness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was hooked on brain science from the moment in the 1980s when I saw the first blurry images that revealed the physical markers of thought. I set out to find out all I could about this astonishing new area of discovery, but there was practically nothing to be found – neuroscience as we know it barely existed. I pounced on every new finding that emerged and eventually wrote what was one of the first books, Mapping the Mind, that made brain science accessible to non-scientists. There are hundreds of them now, and these are some of the best.

Rita's book list on how to start exploring consciousness

Rita Carter Why did Rita love this book?

This is the one to get if you are shipwrecked on a desert island – or forced into another lockdown. Or, for that matter, if you need a doorstop that happens to contain fascinating essays on aspects of brain and mind from Abacus to Wittgenstein. Dip into it for a guaranteed good read or use it as a superior Google when you want to know things like why mirrors only reverse one way or the origin of the phrase “mad as a hatter”. It won’t disappoint.

By Richard L. Gregory,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Oxford Companion to the Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Oxford Companion to the Mind,edited by Richard L. Gregory, is a classic. Published in 1987, to huge acclaim, it immediately took its place as the indispensable guide to the mysteries - and idiosyncracies - of the human mind. In no other book can the reader find indiscussions of concepts such as language, memory, and intelligence, side by side with witty definitions of common human experiences such as the 'cocktail-party' and 'halo' effects, and the
least effort principle.

Richard Gregory again brings his wit, wisdom, and expertise to bear on this most elusive of subjects. Research into the mind and…


Book cover of Through the Looking-Glass

Peter Cave Author Of Humanism: A Beginner's Guide

From my list on grappling with what it is to be human.

Why am I passionate about this?

Who knows why, but I have always been enticed by absurdities, paradoxes, incongruities — I use them in my talks, articles, and books — of everyday lives, our humanity, and mysteries of our ‘going on.’ Reflections on being human can be triggered by humour such as Cambridge’s Beyond the Fringe and New York’s sitcom Seinfeld — within which I wallow — as well as by lengthy philosophical works and novels. My work draws on bafflements: for example, shampoo instructions “Lather, rinse, repeat” (making shampoo-ing infinite?); Barmaid to Peter Cook, “Bitter?”, reply being “Just tired”— and Samuel Beckett’s “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” Yes, I go on.

Peter's book list on grappling with what it is to be human

Peter Cave Why did Peter love this book?

Many of us, when young, read Looking-Glass with Carroll’s first work, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but it was as an adult, eager to reflect philosophically, that I began to appreciate deep puzzles within our language and consciousness – and these are more prominent in Looking-Glass.  

I taught philosophy for many years  oops, not true, I don’t think philosophy can be taught. Rather, I encourage people to step back and think philosophically by confronting paradoxes, using their imagination, and looking beyond appearances. I often recommend Looking-Glass to achieve a sense of bewilderment and the delicious desire to dig into and question everyday assumptions of living.

By Lewis Caroll,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Through the Looking-Glass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alice, who is bored, falls asleep in a chair and dream that it happens on the other side of the mirror of the show. The mirror of the world is both the English countryside, a chessboard, and the upside down world, where you have to run very fast to stay put. Alice came across chess pieces (queen, knight) and characters of children's culture of the Victorian era. One finds in this novel the mix of poetry, humor and nonsense that makes the charm of Lewis Carroll. It is better to know the basic rules of chess to appreciate the subtleties…


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