People keep asking me about this, and I always feel helpless because it’s like asking for an introduction to science.
Philosophy is stuff (arguments, proofs) you memorize, but it’s also a way of thinking that leads to a way of viewing the world.
At that stage, it’s like a religion of meditative thinking. But you don’t get to that stage directly, and not everyone can (or wants to!) do it.
I warn readers that to discover the way of thinking that is philosophy, they will need a good background in critical thinking, debate, logical analysis, literary theory and some psychology. Luckily, you can learn all of those with the aid of a good English or Philosophy program, because those skills are central to both disciplines.
So what I’ve compiled here is the barebones reading list for being conversant with the stuff of philosophy.
I. Thought Process
II. Specific Disciplines
III. Political Philosophy
It helps to have a guide as you go through the above, and you will probably need other people to help you. Join a debate society, or a debate team, or a literature program that emphasizes critical thinking and argument. Do not join any internet-based programs; on the internet, people can’t tell you’re a dog, so dogs outnumber people.