Five last-minute philosophy gift ideas

Are you behind on your end-of-year gifts? What if you opted for philosophy books? Here is a small list of classics, exciting and not too technical, I promise!

What to give your aunt, who already has everything? What about your nephew, who doesn’t seem to care much anymore? Christmas gifts can be real headaches. A nice book, interesting, confusing, stimulating, is always a good idea. But now, philosophy is reputed to be difficult and intimidating… You’re not going to give your sister a treatise on metaphysics! We have therefore selected for you five classics, for five members that are often found in families. Between public speaking, questions about death, initiation to feminism, apology for idleness and poetics of nature, there is something for everyone.

For your uncle overbooked : The Right to Lazinessby Paul Lafargue (1883)

At the end of the 19the century, Paul Lafarguethe son-in-law of Karl Marx, takes the opposite view of a tendency of the socialist and labor movement, the valorization of work. This “fetishization” hard work is in his eyes a “madness”, which should not make us lose sight of what makes the salt of life: leisure. No more than three hours of work per day, offers Lafargue. An uplifting book that raises questions tearing left again today… Available here.

For your grandmother who is beginning to ask herself existential questions: The Letter to Ménécéeof Epicurus (IIIe century BC. AD)

Among the Epicurean wisdoms, the most famous lies in this assertion: “Death is nothing to us. » We don’t have to fear something that, by definition, we don’t experience. Death is indeed only a deprivation of sensation; with her, it’s the end of the pleasure but also of the pain. By the time it arrives, you will already be gone. So let’s be calm, and enjoy life. Available here.

Schopenhauer, the great master of sarcasm, offers here a very pragmatic work: as funny as it is useful, you will discover a number of stratagems to emerge victorious from the most difficult controversies and debates. A masterpiece of rhetoric and bad faith that will certainly serve to shut down any opponent during the Christmas debate. Available here.

For your niece who is interested in feminism: The Independent Womanby Simone de Beauvoir (1949)

“Woman has always been, if not man’s slave, at least his vassal. » The frame is set. In this book-chapter from the Second Sexthe masterpiece of Simone de Beauvoir, you will have a summary of the fundamentals of feminist philosophy. Brought up to date by an increased sensitivity to violence against women, you will find that it has not aged a bit. Available here.

For your meditative mother: Water and Dreams, by Gaston Bachelard (1942)

How is it that the contemplation of a lake or the ocean gives rise to such daydreams? Through this beautiful essay, Bachelard, in the continuity of his works on the natural elements, takes the reader on a meditation rich in lessons on the very properties of matter – and its influences on the mechanisms of the mind. Captivating! Available here.

We would like to give thanks to the author of this short article for this remarkable material

Five last-minute philosophy gift ideas

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