The best ontology books

Who picked these books? Meet our 18 experts.

18 authors created a book list connected to ontology, and here are their favorite ontology books.
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What type of ontology book?


I and Thou

By Martin Buber,

Book cover of I and Thou

Ilse Sand Author Of Confronting Shame: How to Understand Your Shame and Gain Inner Freedom

From the list on helping you to be authentic and true to yourself.

Who am I?

I am a psychotherapist and pastor. Since my first book Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World, which became an international bestseller, I have received letters from all over the world, from people, telling me about their lives. I discovered there is a need for books on how to live your life in an authentic way. I have studied Psychiatrist C.G. Jung and Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard at the university. The books, I recommend are easier to read than these two. In my books, I use many examples. It is important to me that the wisdom of great writers becomes accessible to all people regardless of their level of education.

Ilse's book list on helping you to be authentic and true to yourself

Discover why each book is one of Ilse's favorite books.

Why did Ilse love this book?

When I read this book the first time, I discovered the difference between two ways to relate to others and yourself. You can relate as if the other part were a thing. Predictable and without intentions and feelings. “I and it” Buber names this way to relate. The second way is to relate as if the other part is a living being, “I and Thou.”
I discovered that I sometimes related to myself or others in the first way. And that the second way was a bit scary, because there you can predict nothing and you must be ready to be changed yourself in contact with the other being in the now. It takes courage to meet your surroundings as a “You.” But it is all worth it.

By Martin Buber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Buber's main proposition is that we may address existence in two ways: [1] that of the "I" towards an "It", towards an object that is separate in itself, which we either use or experience; [2] that of the 'I' towards 'Thou', in which we move into existence in a relationship without bounds. One of the major themes of the book is that human life finds its meaningfulness in relationships. All of our relationships, Buber contends, bring us ultimately into relationship with God, who is the Eternal Thou.

Considered a landmark of twentieth-century intellectual history, this is Martin Buber's classic treatment…

The Courage to Be

By Paul Tillich,

Book cover of The Courage to Be

Kirk J. Schneider Author Of The Spirituality of Awe: Challenges to the Robotic Revolution

From the list on meaning and purpose of life.

Who am I?

Because of some early life-challenges, I have long been fascinated with human behavior and experience (my own and others). In this light questions about meaning and purpose in life, the big questions, have long been a passion of mine. I want to do everything I can to promote these inquiries, and the books I recommend are integral to that calling.

Kirk's book list on meaning and purpose of life

Discover why each book is one of Kirk's favorite books.

Why did Kirk love this book?

Tillich’s work is foundational for any “mystery-based” religiosity, or to put it another way, “awe-based” spirituality, and The Courage to Be is one of his most accessible and popular works. The Courage to Be, which influenced generations of humanistic and existential-oriented thinkers and therapists is about the willingness to face the anxieties of existence in the service of maximal participation in the life-space we are granted. It is all about boldness and risk-taking, with full awareness of limitation and fragility, to meet the demands of creative participation in love and work. 

By Paul Tillich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Courage to Be as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Selected as one of the Books of the Century by the New York Public Library

"The Courage to Be changed my life. It also profoundly impacted the lives of many others from my generation. Now Harvey Cox's fresh introduction helps to open up this powerful reading experience to the current generation."-Robert N. Bellah, University of California, Berkeley

Originally published more than fifty years ago, The Courage to Be has become a classic of twentieth-century religious and philosophical thought. The great Christian existentialist thinker Paul Tillich describes the dilemma of modern man and points a way to the conquest of the…

Event Factory

By Renee Gladman,

Book cover of Event Factory

Chana Porter Author Of The Seep

From the list on to shock, expand, and engulf you.

Who am I?

Writer and essayist Agnes Borinsky called my debut novel The Seep, A swift shock of a novel that has shifted how I see our world.Here are five short, urgent novels that continue to live with me in the months and years after reading them. These are some of my most beloved books, all of which happen to be under 200 pages, which ache with the inner mystery of what is hidden, and what is revealed. These books are my teachers, each a precise masterclass in world building, suspense, and purposeful storytelling. Enjoy these ‘swift shocks!’

Chana's book list on to shock, expand, and engulf you

Discover why each book is one of Chana's favorite books.

Why did Chana love this book?

The first in a series of surreal, poetic short novels, set in the fictional city of Ravicka, a linguist-travelerarrives during an unspecified state of emergency. Event Factory feels like a travelog of an unsettling yet beautiful dream. I return to this book often and always get something differentthe events evaporate, but the details remain. You can easily enjoy Event Factory as a standalone novel. Gladman is a master. Fun fact: Dorothy, the small feminist press which publishes these books, began specifically to launch these singular novels. 

By Renee Gladman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“More Kafka than Kafka, Renee Gladman’s achievement ranks alongside many of Borges’ in its creation of a fantastical landscape with deep psychological impact.” —Jeff VanderMeer

A “linguist-traveler” arrives by plane to Ravicka, a city of yellow air in which an undefined crisis is causing the inhabitants to flee. Although fluent in the native language, she quickly finds herself on the outside of every experience. Things happen to her, events transpire, but it is as if the city itself, the performance of life there, eludes her. Setting out to uncover the source of the city’s erosion, she is beset by this…

You Are the Universe

By Deepak Chopra, Menas C. Kafatos,

Book cover of You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters

Larry Gottlieb Author Of Hoodwinked: Uncovering Our Fundamental Superstitions

From the list on to help us understand human being.

Who am I?

As long as I can remember, I have wanted to understand how the universe works. I studied physics with a firm belief in scientific materialism, the belief that all things can or will be explained by science, including consciousness. However, after earning an advanced degree I found myself no closer to a satisfying answer to my inquiry into the relationship between consciousness and the physical world. Then, a personal experience of unembodied consciousness convinced me that my answers would have to come from a reexamination of all that I had believed, an internal journey over decades that has borne fruit in unexpected and magical ways.

Larry's book list on to help us understand human being

Discover why each book is one of Larry's favorite books.

Why did Larry love this book?

Deepak Chopra has been exploring the relationship between spirituality and science for many decades, and Menas Kafatos’s peer-reviewed research on cosmology and astrophysics, among other topics, is well documented. Their work in this book makes it clear that instead of living in a material, unknowing and uncaring universe, we instead live in what they call a human universe, one that is living, conscious, and evolving. This book makes the case convincingly that we create our own reality in a conscious universe that responds to the beliefs and thoughts that reside in our minds. I have watched Mr. Chopra speak numerous times, and I appreciate his loving and gentle delivery. This book gave me a condensed and satisfying explanation of his worldview.

By Deepak Chopra, Menas C. Kafatos,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked You Are the Universe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Deepak Chopra joins forces with leading physicist Menas Kafatos to explore some of the most important and baffling questions about our place in the world. 

"A riveting and absolutely fascinating adventure that will blow your mind wide open!" —Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi
What happens when modern science reaches a crucial turning point that challenges everything we know about reality? In this brilliant, timely, and practical work, Chopra and Kafatos tell us that we've reached just such a point. In the coming era, the universe will be completely redefined as a "human universe" radically unlike the…

Book cover of Thinking Plant Animal Human: Encounters with Communities of Differencevolume 56

Michael Marder Author Of The Philosopher's Plant: An Intellectual Herbarium

From the list on plants and philosophy.

Who am I?

For fifteen years now, I have been exploring the seemingly strange connection between plants and philosophy. The unexpected twists and turns of this theme have taken me to forests and gardens, to collaborations with plant artists and plant scientists, to ancient thought and twenty-first-century experimental design. Once you get over the initial surprise (What can philosophy tell us about plants?), you will be in for the exhilarating ride that is vegetal philosophy, finding plant heritage in human thought, politics, and society; witnessing traditional hierarchies and systems of classification crumble into dust; and discovering the amazing capacities of plants that testify to one important insight—plants are smarter than you think! 

Michael's book list on plants and philosophy

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

This book challenges us to leave behind the conventional distinctions and classifications that separate plants from animals and humans. Instead, Wood urges us to view different species and kingdoms from the standpoint of their collaborative being-with. Seemingly familiar realities, including human and vegetal realities, become strange, indeed, uncanny. Throughout, he focuses on plants—trees, above all—to illustrate the main point of his important study. Wood’s philosophical concern is similar to my own: he wishes to save plants from the unfair neglect, to which philosophers have historically submitted them, and to restore to them their rightful place in the history of life and of thought.

By David Wood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thinking Plant Animal Human as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Collected essays by a leading philosopher situating the question of the animal in the broader context of a relational ontology

There is a revolution under way in our thinking about animals and, indeed, life in general, particularly in the West. The very words man, animal, and life have turned into flimsy conceptual husks-impediments to thinking about the issues in which they are embroiled. David Wood was a founding member of the early 1970s Oxford Group of philosophers promoting animal rights; he also directed Ecology Action (UK). Thinking Plant Animal Human is the first collection of this major philosopher's influential essays…

Being and Time

By Martin Heidegger, John MacQuarrie (translator), Edward S. Robinson (translator)

Book cover of Being and Time

Lee Braver Author Of Heidegger: Thinking of Being

From the list on everything you want to know on existentialism.

Who am I?

I’m a professor of philosophy because when I got to college, philosophy sounded like what Gandalf would study—the closest thing we have to the study of magic. It turns out, I wasn’t far from the mark. Philosophy shows you entire dimensions to the world that you never noticed because they exist at weird angles, and you have to change your way of thinking to see them. Entering them and seeing the world from those perspectives transforms everything. A great work of philosophy is like having the lights turn on in an annex of your mind you didn’t know was there, like an out-of-mind experience—or perhaps, an in-your-mind-for-the-first-time experience.

Lee's book list on everything you want to know on existentialism

Discover why each book is one of Lee's favorite books.

Why did Lee love this book?

If aliens land and ask me what it’s like to be a human, I’ll give them Heidegger’s first book, Being and Time. Of course, that might prompt them to destroy all humans out of frustration at the difficulty of his writing, but if they persevere, they will find the best description of what it’s like to live out your time on this planet (One Hundred Years of Solitude comes in second).

By Martin Heidegger, John MacQuarrie (translator), Edward S. Robinson (translator)

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Being and Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A knowledge of Heidegger's Sein und Zeit is essential for anyone who wishes to understand a great deal of recent continental work in theology as well as philosophy. Yet until this translation first appeared in 1962, this fundamental work of one of the most influential European thinkers of the century remained inaccessible to English readers. In fact the difficulty of Heidegger's thought was considered to be almost insuperable in the medium of a foreign language, especially English. That this view was unduly pessimistic is proved by the impressive work of John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson who have succeeded in clothing…

Imagery, Ritual, and Birth

By Anna M. Hennessey,

Book cover of Imagery, Ritual, and Birth: Ontology between the Sacred and the Secular

Ann W. Duncan Author Of Sacred Pregnancy: Birth, Motherhood, and the Quest for Spiritual Community

From the list on exploring the spirituality of pregnancy and birth.

Who am I?

I became a mother while a graduate student. Bombarded by societal expectations and advice on pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, I quickly combined this life experience with my scholarly interests and wrote a dissertation on Christian women and childbirth. I later began to explore expressions of religion and spirituality outside of traditional religion – a topic that found expression in my book Sacred Pregnancy. I am a professor of American Studies and Religion at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD and have a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!

Ann's book list on exploring the spirituality of pregnancy and birth

Discover why each book is one of Ann's favorite books.

Why did Ann love this book?

Hennessey’s book looks directly at how birthing people use specific objects, ritual, poetry, and other aspects of material culture to infuse experiences of birth with ritual and being.

She blends theory with specific and captivating examples to develop a social ontology of birth – in other words, a description of how meaning in birth is created through these objects. What emerges is a striking case for the potential of birth for ritual and meaning and the necessary interweaving of religion, nonreligion, and a sense of the sacred.

By Anna M. Hennessey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Every human being is born and has gone through a process of birth. Yet the topic of birth remains deeply underrepresented in the humanities, overshadowed by a scholarly focus on death. This book explores how imagery is used ritualistically in religious, secular, and nonreligious ways during birth, through analysis of a wide variety of art, iconography, poetry, and material culture. Objects central to the book's study include religious figurines, paintings about birth, and other items representative of pregnancy, crowning, or giving birth that have an historical or original meaning connected to religion. Contemporary artists are also creating new art in…

Post Capitalist Philanthropy

By Alnoor Ladha, Lynn Murphy,

Book cover of Post Capitalist Philanthropy

Kristen Corning Bedford Author Of A Generous Heart: Changing the World Through Feminist Philanthropy

From the list on changing the way you change the world.

Who am I?

From earliest childhood I have been passionate about creating community, always seeking a sense of place and cultivating belonging. While completing my master's degree in Whole Systems Design, I co-founded a nonprofit which began my 20+ year career in philanthropy. I enjoy examining community-wide challenges and working with others to ask better questions and find the levers for systems change. Never satisfied with ‘the way things are,’ I actively pursue ways to make the world better. I’ve worked for nonprofits and foundations, founded several community initiatives, and held retreats for women philanthropists, all with a focus on being an informed, intentional and joyful philanthropist.

Kristen's book list on changing the way you change the world

Discover why each book is one of Kristen's favorite books.

Why did Kristen love this book?

Framing the philanthropic sector within the larger cultural era we’re living through, the authors outline the history of wealth accumulation and then lay out the ontological shift necessary for humans to create new ways of sharing resources in order to thrive on this planet. This book allowed me to step back, yet again, from the day-to-day work of reforming and redistributing, to think more broadly about what’s possible when we understand our collective history, humanity, and desire for the future. There are deep societal dynamics upholding the inequities we don’t want, but when we create context for our actions and policies, we can build new frameworks for visioning the possibilities of our shared future. This book will inspire you to be more intentional in how you engage in your philanthropy for the future you truly want.

By Alnoor Ladha, Lynn Murphy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Post capitalist philanthropy is a paradox in terms. A paradox is the appropriate starting place for the complex, entangled, messy context we find ourselves in as a species.” This is how long-time activists, political strategists, and accidental philanthropy advisors Alnoor Ladha and Lynn Murphy start their treatise on Post Capitalist Philanthropy. This book is a result of decades of practice and research, including a hundred plus interviews with leading activists, philanthropists, philosophers, social scientists, cosmologists and wisdom keepers. The authors take us on a journey from the history of wealth accumulation to the current logic of late-stage capitalism to the…

To Have or to Be?

By Erich Fromm,

Book cover of To Have or to Be?

Steve Taylor Author Of Extraordinary Awakenings: When Trauma Leads to Transformation

From the list on spiritual psychology.

Who am I?

I’m a spiritual psychologist who investigates areas such as spiritual experiences, personal transformation, near-death experiences, and psi. I also write spiritual poetry. I had spiritual experiences (feelings of euphoria, harmony, and connection to my surroundings) as a teenager and always wondered why they occurred, how common they were in others, and whether they could become permanent. I became involved in the field of transpersonal psychology (which really is spiritual psychology) largely because I wanted to answer those questions. I see myself as an explorer of “the farther reaches of human nature” (in Abraham Maslow’s phrase). I’ve written many books about my explorations, including The Leap, Spiritual Science, and my new book Extraordinary Awakenings

Steve's book list on spiritual psychology

Discover why each book is one of Steve's favorite books.

Why did Steve love this book?

Erich Fromm isn’t so well known nowadays, but I am a great admirer of his. He developed a wide-ranging vision of individual and collective well-being. He investigated the whole spectrum of human nature, from the cruelty and brutality of Nazi Germany (which he personally experienced, as a German Jew who escaped to the United States) to love and altruism. This book is his last major work, in which he decries modern society’s emphasis on having and suggests that the only authentic and fulfilling mode of life is being. He develops a concept of a new type of human being who lives in harmony with themselves and the world. Fromm rarely wrote explicitly about spirituality, but it’s an underlying theme of almost everything he wrote. 

By Erich Fromm,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Have or to Be? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To Have Or to Be? is one of the seminal books of the second half of the 20th century. Nothing less than a manifesto for a new social and psychological revolution to save our threatened planet, this book is a summary of the penetrating thought of Eric Fromm. His thesis is that two modes of existence struggle for the spirit of humankind: the having mode, which concentrates on material possessions, power, and aggression, and is the basis of the universal evils of greed, envy, and violence; and the being mode, which is based on love, the pleasure of sharing, and…

Notes on Complexity

By Neil Theise,

Book cover of Notes on Complexity: A Scientific Theory of Connection, Consciousness, and Being

Paul J. Mills Author Of Science, Being, & Becoming: The Spiritual Lives of Scientists

From the list on bridging the science and spirituality gap.

Who am I?

I started practicing meditation while I was in high school and within 2 months of starting I had a metaphysical experience. That experience led me to become a scientist, I wanted to learn ways to study the spiritual using the methodologies of science. I've had a successful career with over 400 scientific publications and have had my work featured in the media and presented at hundreds of conferences and workshops around the world, including at the United Nations. Many scientists today are working to bridge the so-called gap between science and spirit and the positive effects they are having on increasing our understanding of what it is to be human.

Paul's book list on bridging the science and spirituality gap

Discover why each book is one of Paul's favorite books.

Why did Paul love this book?

Dr. Neil Theise is a physician scientist whose been on a spiritual journey since childhood. A constant part of his explorations has been to understand how complex systems behave that illuminate the very nature of life itself, from quantum foam to single-celled organisms, to human beings, to entire ecosystems, and beyond.

In this book, Neil elegantly illuminates in clear and accessible prose the many surprising underlying connections within a universe that is itself one vast complex system. He takes us to the frontiers of human knowledge, where science meets philosophy and beyond.

He restores wonder to our experience of the every day, allowing us to approach the world with greater understanding and a renewed sense of meaning.

By Neil Theise,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An electrifying introduction to complexity theory, the science of how complex systems behave, that explains the interconnectedness of all things and that Deepak Chopra says, "will change the way you understand yourself and the universe."

Nothing in the universe is more complex than life. Throughout the skies, in oceans, and across lands, life is endlessly on the move. In its myriad forms-from cells to human beings, social structures, and ecosystems-life is open-ended, evolving, unpredictable, yet adaptive and self-sustaining. Complexity theory addresses the mysteries that animate science, philosophy, and metaphysics: how this teeming array of existence, from the infinitesimal to the…

Book cover of The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1

Charles P. Webel Author Of The World as Idea: A Conceptual History

From the list on how the world may or may not be what you think it is.

Who am I?

As a lifelong student with what I sometimes call “a multidisciplinary disorder,” I have been intrigued both about “the outer world,” or the “external environment of life on planet Earth, and “the mind that knows the world.” Hence, as a teenager in New York City, I read voraciously books in philosophy, history, and the social and natural sciences to learn what “great minds” have thought about “the world.” Much later, as an “academic” researcher and writer, I scoured the shelves of university libraries to examine what I considered the strengths and weaknesses of the academic disciplines that addressed our “knowledge of the world,” and their applications for “changing the world for the better.” My book The World as Idea is the first volume of a projected trilogy modestly entitled The Fate of This World and The Future of Humanity. I’m now working on the second volume, The Reality of This World.

Charles' book list on how the world may or may not be what you think it is

Discover why each book is one of Charles' favorite books.

Why did Charles love this book?

Schopenhauer is one of the 19th century’s most important, and frequently overlooked, thinkers.

His multivolume work, translated as The World as Will and Representation, or The World as Will and Idea, has had the single greatest impact on my own thinking about “the world,” and as clearly written as a German philosopher can make it, this multi-volume, sometimes appearing as one-volume abridged edition, should be on every educated reader’s bucket list.

Imperceptible Harms and Benefits

By Michael J. Almeida (editor),

Book cover of Imperceptible Harms and Benefits

Chrisoula Andreou Author Of Choosing Well: The Good, the Bad, and the Trivial

From the list on essay collections wth themes being tempted or torn.

Who am I?

I’ve been drawn to philosophical inquiry for as long as I can remember (even before knowing philosophy was a thing, which I didn’t realize until after high school). My most enduring interest is in inquiry concerning rationality and irrationality. My early studies focused on the relationship between morality and rationality. My current research focuses on choice situations and preference structures that can interfere with choosing well by prompting self-defeating patterns of choice. The relevant patterns are associated with being tempted or torn and include cases of individual and collective procrastination. Though not a cure-all, understanding rationality’s guidance can, I think, highlight certain pitfalls in life and help us avoid them.  

Chrisoula's book list on essay collections wth themes being tempted or torn

Discover why each book is one of Chrisoula's favorite books.

Why did Chrisoula love this book?

This collection explores a fascinating and currently highly relevant puzzle concerning cases in which the contribution of a single individual will not make the difference between success and failure with respect to a certain important goal (e.g., achieving decent air quality) because the contribution (e.g., walking to the store instead of driving) is too insignificant given the scale of the goal.

In such cases, it might seem not only tempting but permissible or even required that the individual refrain from contributing and instead spend her energy and resources in some more effective way (so as to actually make a difference with respect to some morally or rationally important goal).

Yet, if all reason in this way and refrain from contributing, the important collective goal will not be achieved at all.  

By Michael J. Almeida (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The papers collected here represent the most recent work on a much neglected problem in practical reasoning. It is the problem of imperceptible harms and benefits. It is perhaps better to characterize the problem as a collection of puzzles or paradoxes, since those who deny the existence (or possibility) of imperceptible decrements (or increments) face problems no less perplexing than those who affinn their existence. The puzzles and paradoxes combine very practical and pressing worries about our obligations to relieve starvation, mitigate suffering and conserve resources, with deep metaethical worries about the nature of practical rationality. I use these brief…

Book cover of Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

William Egginton Author Of The Rigor of Angels: Borges, Heisenberg, Kant, and the Ultimate Nature of Reality

From the list on the ultimate nature of reality.

Who am I?

I am a professor of humanities at Johns Hopkins and have spent my career thinking, teaching, and writing about the relations between literature, philosophy, and science. Many years ago I started out thinking I would be a scientist, but then got pulled into literature and philosophy. Still, that original passion never left me. As I studied and read the great authors and thinkers from Classical Antiquity through the Middle Ages to the modern era, the big, fundamental questions of our place in the universe and the ultimate nature of reality seemed as pertinent to poets and philosophers as it is to physicists and cosmologists. 

William's book list on the ultimate nature of reality

Discover why each book is one of William's favorite books.

Why did William love this book?

In this philosophical page-turner, Jim Holt seems to grab every major scientist and thinker he can find by the collar to make them face down arguably the most fundamental question of all: why there is something instead of nothing.

Whether talking to string theorists or experts on German existentialism, Holt keeps the tone as light as the questions are profound. In an added treat, the reader gets a real sense of the people behind some of the most creative minds on the planet. 

By Jim Holt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Why Does the World Exist? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tackling the "darkest question in all of philosophy" with "raffish erudition" (Dwight Garner, New York Times), author Jim Holt explores the greatest metaphysical mystery of all: why is there something rather than nothing? This runaway bestseller, which has captured the imagination of critics and the public alike, traces our latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe. Holt adopts the role of cosmological detective, traveling the globe to interview a host of celebrated scientists, philosophers, and writers, "testing the contentions of one against the theories of the other" (Jeremy Bernstein, Wall Street Journal). As he interrogates his list of…

Book cover of Introduction to Anticipation Studies

Rick Szostak Author Of Making Sense of the Future

From the list on the future.

Who am I?

I have read the future studies literature for decades. A few years ago an alumnus suggested that my university should create a course about the future. My dean encouraged me to look into it. On reading Bishop and Hines, Teaching About the Future, I was struck by the maturity of the field, the strength of their program that they describe, and the fact that they bemoan the lack of a book that could introduce newcomers to the field. I decided that I could write such a book, combining the latest research in the field with my own understandings of interdisciplinarity, world history, economics, and political activism.

Rick's book list on the future

Discover why each book is one of Rick's favorite books.

Why did Rick love this book?

Our views of how the future will unfold affect how we behave in the present.

This book summarizes the interdisciplinary research into how people anticipate the future and how this influences decisions. With the exception of one highly technical chapter (whose results are reprised in plain language), the book is very accessible.

By Roberto Poli,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Introduction to Anticipation Studies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book presents the theory of anticipation, and establishes anticipation of the future as a legitimate topic of research. It examines anticipatory behavior, i.e. a behavior that 'uses' the future in its actual decisional process. The book shows that anticipation violates neither the ontological order of time nor causation. It explores the question of how different kinds of systems anticipate, and examines the risks and uses of such anticipatory practices. The book first summarizes the research on anticipation conducted within a range of different disciplines, and describes the connection between the anticipatory point of view and futures studies. Following that,…