The best metaphysics books 📚

Browse the best books on metaphysics as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of The Problems of Philosophy

The Problems of Philosophy

By Bertrand Russell

Why this book?

In this book, one of the great philosophers of the first half of the 20th century sketches his take on two central philosophical tasks -- explaining what kinds of things exist in reality, and how they are related, and delineating what we can know and how we know it.  In so doing, Russell illustrates the new method of logical and linguistic analysis he used in The Philosophy of Logical Atomism (1918), to lay the foundations of an epistemological and metaphysical system rivaling the great systems of the past. A key transitional figure linking the history of the subject to contemporary…

From the list:

The best books on western philosophy: what it is and how to do it

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Riddles of Existence: A Guided Tour of Metaphysics

Riddles of Existence: A Guided Tour of Metaphysics

By Theodore Sider, Earl Conee

Why this book?

This is a popular, reliable, wide-ranging introduction to metaphysics by two respected philosophers. It covers topics such as personal identity, fatalism, time, God, free will and determinism, possibility and necessity, and criticisms of metaphysics itself. It asks why there is something rather than nothing, and whether distinctions between good and evil and between right and wrong have any objective reality. Ted Sider is a leader of new developments in contemporary metaphysics.

From the list:

The best books on contemporary epistemology and metaphysics

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Naming and Necessity

Naming and Necessity

By Saul A Kripke

Why this book?

This book, given as three lectures in 1970 by a 28-year-old wunderkind, made its author one of the greatest philosophers of our era.  Just as Russell transformed the philosophy of his day by demonstrating the significance of an advanced system logic he helped to found, so Kripke transformed the philosophy descending from Russell by inventing an expressively richer version logic, and illustrating its significance. This book, more than any other,  provided the starting point for contemporary metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind. It is, nevertheless, remarkably accessible.  Delivered in a delightfully informal style, it presents ideas capable…

From the list:

The best books on western philosophy: what it is and how to do it

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Life Divine

The Life Divine

By Sri Aurobindo

Why this book?

Sri Aurobindo is, in my opinion, the greatest writer of them all. His poetic prose hypnotizes while swirling around the most profound ideas of all — What is the divine? How can we know the truth? What is the best way to live? The Life Divine is Aurobindo’s magnum opus, his articulation of the path to self-realization and how to use it to make the world a better place. In other words, it’s everything you need to know.

From the list:

The best books to help you find your true self

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Spire

The Spire

By William Golding

Why this book?

Golding was living in Salisbury when he wrote The Lord of the Flies, and his day job as a teacher at a local boys' school left a clear imprint on his dystopic view of young men left to their own hierarchical devices. But the classroom also provided a very literal view of the inspiration for The Spire, a dense and disturbing parable in which rationality and physics crumble under evangelical mania and corporal lust. It is the story of Jocelin, Dean of a medieval cathedral, who, obsessed with a divine “vision in stone,” insists that the spire be…
From the list:

The best books about construction projects, literal and metaphysical

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Stone Book Quartet

The Stone Book Quartet

By Alan Garner

Why this book?

Like Golding, Garner is best known for his children’s books – tales that spring from the ancient mythology of his local Cheshire and wander into realms of high fantasy. But it is this slim novella, a collection of four stories binding as many generations of Garners (they have inhabited the region for centuries and they were, all of them - up until Alan, craftsmen, builders, laborers) that moves me to raptures. Beginning with a wide-eyed child’s discovery of cave drawings, the stories haul stone up above ground to lay out the longwalls of Garner’s mason progenitors and erect the spire…

From the list:

The best books about construction projects, literal and metaphysical

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Or, view all 42 books about metaphysics

New book lists about metaphysics

All book lists about metaphysics

Bookshelves related to metaphysics

Browse books by…