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Updated 2 December 2023
Philosopher biographies – From Socrates to Colin McGinn.
No longer updated as of December 2022.

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163. The Women Are Up to Something (2021)
by Benjamin Lipscomb
The remarkable story of Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley, and Iris Murdoch.
162. An Event, Perhaps: A Biography of Jacques Derrida (2020)
by Peter Salmon
Accessible, provocative and beautifully written.
161. Frank Ramsey: A Sheer Excess of Powers (2020)
by Cheryl Misak
The full story of Ramsey’s extraordinary life and intellectual achievement.
160. Catherine & Diderot: The Empress, the Philosopher, and the Fate of the Enlightenment (2019)
by Robert Zaretsky
The famous encounter between the French philosopher and the Russian empress.
159. Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely (2019)
by Andrew S. Curran
A spirited biography of a prophetic philosopher who helped build the foundations of the modern world.
158. Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Søren Kierkegaard (2019)
by Clare Carlisle
Lucid and riveting – rescues Kierkegaard from the scholars and shows why he is such an intriguing figure.
157. Isaac Newton and Natural Philosophy (2018)
by Niccolò Guicciardini
Sets Newton the natural philosopher in the troubled context of the religious and political debates that took place during his life.
156. Philo of Alexandria: An Intellectual Biography (2018)
by Maren R. Niehoff
The first biography of a man who left behind one of the richest bodies of work from antiquity.
155. The Young Descartes: Nobility, Rumor, and War (2018)
by Harold J. Cook
Cook tells the story of a man who did not set out to become either an author or a philosopher.
154. Ibn Khaldun: An Intellectual Biography (2018)
by Robert Irwin
The definitive account of the life and thought of the medieval Arab genius who wrote the Muqaddima.
153. The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke (2018)
by Jeffrey C. Stewart
The definitive biography of the father of the Harlem Renaissance.
152. I Am Dynamite!: A Life of Friedrich Nietzsche (2018)
by Sue Prideaux
Brings readers into the world of a brilliant, eccentric and deeply troubled man.
151. Hermann Cohen: An Intellectual Biography (2018)
by Frederick C. Beiser
A complete intellectual biography of Hermann Cohen, covering all his major philosophical and Jewish writings.
150. Søren Kierkegaard (2018)
by Alastair Hannay
The absorbing story of a man destined to become a thorn in the side of society.
149. The Infidel and the Professor: David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought (2017)
by Dennis C. Rasmussen
On the remarkable friendship of two towering thinkers.
148. Leonardo da Vinci (2017)
by Walter Isaacson
A powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life, based on da Vinci’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work.
147. Portraits of Wittgenstein (1999, 2016)
by F. A. Flowers III & Ian Ground (eds.)
Scores of recollections of one of the most elusive personalities in the history of modern philosophy.
146. Kierkegaard: A Single Life (2016)
by Stephen Backhouse
A welcome new account of Kierkegaard’s thought and his life: a story filled with romance, betrayal, humor, and riots.
145. The Discovery of Chance: The Life and Thought of Alexander Herzen (2016)
by Aileen M. Kelly
A diligent study of the farsighted genius who was as famous in his day as Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.
144. Hume: An Intellectual Biography (2015)
by James Harris
The first extensive overview of the career of one of Britain’s greatest men of letters.
143. Kepler and the Universe: How One Man Revolutionized Astronomy (2015)
by David K. Love
A colorful, well-researched biography of a pivotal figure in the history of astronomy.
142. The Astronomer and the Witch: Johannes Kepler’s Fight for His Mother (2015)
by Ulinka Rublack
The tale of an extraordinary episode in Kepler’s life.
141. Machiavelli: A Portrait (2015)
by Christopher S. Celenza
The man whose name became shorthand for all that is ugly in politics was more engaging and nuanced than his reputation suggests.
140. Hannah Arendt: A Life in Dark Times (2015)
by Anne C. Heller
A fast-paced yet comprehensive biography of one of the most gifted and provocative voices of her era.
139. Seneca: A Life (2014)
by Emily Wilson
A riveting and complete picture of Seneca’s complex and compromised life.
138. Habermas: A Biography (2014)
by Stefan Müller-Doohm
Traces the intellectual development of one of the most important public intellectuals of our time.
137. Sartre: A Philosophical Biography (2014)
by Thomas R. Flynn
An extensive work and a major contribution to Sartre studies.
136. Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life (2014)
by Howard Eiland & Michael W. Jennings
A major new biography from two of the world’s foremost Benjamin scholars.
135. The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter: A Portrait of Descartes (2013)
by Steven Nadler
A unique combination of philosophy, biography, and art history.
134. Niccolò Machiavelli: An Intellectual Biography (2013)
by Corrado Vivanti
A colorful, comprehensive, and authoritative account of Machiavelli’s life and thought.
133. A Life in the Academy (2013)
by Robert Paul Wolff
A delightful self-portrait that includes an inside look at a variety of institutions of higher learning in the United States and South Africa.
132. A Mind and its Time: The Development of Isaiah Berlin’s Political Thought (2013)
by Joshua L. Cherniss
A detailed account of Berlin’s philosophical views and historical understanding.
131. Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life (2013)
by Jonathan Sperber
A magisterial biography that promises to become the defining portrait of a towering figure.
130. Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist (2012)
by Christof Koch
Part scientific overview, part memoir: one man’s quest for an explanation for consciousness.
129. Derrida: A Biography (2012)
by Benoit Peeters
The story of a Jewish boy from Algiers who went on to become the most widely translated French philosopher in the world.
128. Frank Ramsey (1903-1930): A Sister’s Memoir (2012)
by Margaret Paul
Margaret Ramsey’s memoir of her prodigious brother and the era in which they lived.
127. How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer (2011)
by Sarah Bakewell
Montaigne’s life through the questions he posed and the answers he explored.
126. Machiavelli: A Biography (2011)
by Miles J. Unger
Machiavelli was a deeply humane and perceptive writer whose theories were a response to the violence and corruption he saw around him.
125. Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution (2011)
by Mary Gabriel
The heartbreaking and dramatic story of Karl and Jenny Marx’s marriage.
124. Schopenhauer: A Biography (2010)
by David E. Cartwright
The first complete biography of Schopenhauer in English.
123. Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life (2010)
by Nicholas Phillipson
The one book which anyone interested in the founder of economics must read.
122. Voltaire: A Life (2010)
by Ian Davidson
The definitive biography of Voltaire’s life― from his scandalous love affairs and political machinations to his brilliant philosophy.
121. Galileo (2010)
by John L. Heilbron
A masterpiece, far surpassing all previous biographies of Galileo.
120. The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life (2010)
by Bettany Hughes
A brilliantly vivid portrait of Socrates and of Athens in its Golden Age.
119. Ibn Khaldun: Life and Times (2010)
by Allen James Fromherz
Tells the life story of Ibn Khaldun in an accessible way and introduces readers to the fourteenth-century Mediterranean world.
118. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Intersecting Lives (2007, 2010)
by François Dosse
The prolific if improbable relationship between two men of distinct and differing sensibilities.
117. A Short History of My Philosophy (2010)
by Agnes Heller
A philosopher traces the development of her ideas in the context of challenging life circumstances.
116. Auguste Comte: An Intellectual Biography, Vols. 1-3 (1993-2009)
by Mary Pickering
The most complete work on Comte’s life and thought available in any language.
115. Marcus Aurelius: A Life (2009)
by Frank McLynn
One of the great figures of antiquity still speaks to us two thousand years after his death.
114. Boyle: Between God and Science (2009)
by Michael Hunter
The first biography of Robert Boyle in a generation and the culminating achievement of a world-renowned expert on the man.
113. Leibniz: An Intellectual Biography (2008)
by Maria Rosa Antognazza
A unified portrait of this unique thinker and the world from which he came.
112. Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic (2008)
by Ingrid D. Rowland
In a sixteenth-century Europe where everything was in question, a valiant man defends his ideas to the end.
111. Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher (2008)
by Leonard Harris & Charles Molesworth
Reclaims Locke’s place in the pantheon of America’s most important minds.
110. Ernst Cassirer: The Last Philosopher of Culture (2008)
by Edward Skidelsky
The first extensive intellectual biography of Cassirer in English in two decades.
109. Locke: A Biography (2007)
by Roger Woolhouse
This will be the authoritative biography for years to come of this truly versatile man.
108. Leo Strauss: An Intellectual Biography (2007)
by Daniel Tanguay
Indispensable for anyone seeking to understand Strauss’s philosophy and legacy.
107. John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand (2007)
by Richard Reeves
A riveting and authoritative biography of a man whose life was spent in the pursuit of truth and liberty for all.
106. The Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and Ideas (2006)
by James Buchan
Breathes new life into Adam Smith’s legacy and the beginnings of modern economics.
105. Rousseau’s Dog: Two Great Thinkers at War in the Age of Enlightenment (2006)
by David Edmonds & John Eidinow
The bitter quarrel that made Hume and Rousseau mortal foes.
104. The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World (2006)
by Matthew Stewart
Rescues both men from a dusty academic shelf and brings them to life.
103. Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity (2006)
by Rebecca Goldstein
Rediscovers the flesh-and-blood man beneath the veneer of rigorous rationality.
102. Descartes: A Biography (2006)
by Desmond Clarke
Descartes’ unique contribution was to construct a philosophy sympathetic to the emerging new sciences of his time.
101. William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism (2006)
by Robert D. Richardson
Eldest sibling in an extraordinary family, the story of an immensely complex and curious man.
100. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius (2005)
by Leo Damrosch
An extraordinary life, traced with novelistic verve.
99. Voltaire Almighty: A Life in Pursuit of Freedom (2005)
by Roger Pearson
Roger Pearson’s brilliant biography brings Voltaire vividly to life.
98. Descartes: The Life of René Decartes and Its Place in His Times (2005)
by A.C. Grayling
A stunningly accessible and fascinating portrait of the man and the era in which he lived.
97. The Owl of Minerva (2005)
by Mary Midgley
An elegiac and moving memoir of friendships found and lost, bitter philosophical battles and of a profound love of teaching.
96. Paul Grice, Philosopher and Linguist (2005)
by Siobhan Chapman
Relates Grice’s work to the major events of his intellectual and professional life.
95. Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel (2005)
by Rebecca Goldstein
An unforgettable account of one of the great moments in the history of human thought.
94. Adorno: A Biography (2005)
by Stefan Müller-Doohm
This outstanding biography will be the standard work on Adorno for years to come.
93. Anne Conway: A Woman Philosopher (2004)
by Sarah Hutton
An insight into both the personal life of a very private woman and the richness of seventeenth-century intellectual culture.
92. Kepler’s Witch (2004)
by James A. Connor
An astronomer’s discovery of cosmic order amid religious war, political intrigue, and the heresy trial of his mother.
91. A Life of H. L. A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream (2004)
by Nicola Lacey
A chronicle of a life which made an impact far greater than many of us realize.
90. Alfred Tarski: Life and Logic (2004)
by Anita Burdman Feferman & Solomon Feferman
The first full-length biography of one of the greatest logicians of all time.
89. Henry Sidgwick: Eye of the Universe (2004)
by Bart Schultz
A magisterial overview of this great Victorian sage.
88. John Stuart Mill: A Biography (2004)
by Nicholas Capaldi
A special feature of this biography is the attention devoted to Mill’s relationship with Harriet Taylor.
87. Nature From Within: Gustav Theodor Fechner And His Psychophysical Worldview (2004)
by Michael Heidelberger
Reestablishes Fechner’s place in the history and philosophy of science.
86. Iris Murdoch as I Knew Her (2003)
by A. N. Wilson
A brilliant, controversial and insightful biography.
85. Hans-Georg Gadamer: A Biography (2003)
by Jean Grondin
Gadamer’s life and his ideas in the context of some of the century’s darkest and most complex historical events.
84. Heloise & Abelard: A New Biography (2003)
by James Burge
New revelations about one of the greatest romances in history.
83. Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of René Descartes (2002)
by Richard Watson
Impeccably researched, Watson brings Descartes and his milieu to life as never before.
82. The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey Through Twentieth-Century Philosophy (2002)
by Colin McGinn
The self–portrait of a penetrating mind over a life straddling the Atlantic.
81. The Philosophical I: Personal Reflections on Life in Philosophy (2002)
by George Yancy et al
Fascinating self-portraits by 16 philosophers in the United States and Canadian academy.
80. Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography (2002)
by Rüdiger Safranski
No other modern philosopher has proved as influential as Nietzsche and none is as poorly understood.
79. St. Augustine of Hippo: Life and Controversies (1963, 2002)
by Gerald Bonner
The considered reflection of a lifetime’s study of one of the towering figures of church history.
78. Kant: A Biography (2001)
by Manfred Kuehn
The first full-length biography of Immanuel Kant in more than fifty years.
77. Philosopher: A Kind Of Life (2001)
by Ted Honderich
The story of a perilous progress from boyhood in Canada to the Grote Professorship of Mind and Logic in London.
76. Jürgen Habermas: A Philosophical-Political Profile (2001)
by Martin Joseph Matuštík
A lively and dramatic engagement with major themes of Habermas’ adult life in postwar Germany.
75. Iris Murdoch: A Life (2001)
by Peter Conradi
A magisterial biography, fully authorized, of one of the twentieth century’s most perceptive and influential English writers.
74. Wittgenstein’s Poker (2001)
by David Edmonds & John Eidinow
In a crowded Cambridge room, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper came face to face for the first and last time.
73. Bertrand Russell: The Ghost of Madness 1921-1970 (2001)
by Ray Monk
Volume 2 of a penetrating portrait of one of the century’s most eminent intellectuals.
72. Kierkegaard: A Biography (2001)
by Alastair Hannay
The first biography to reveal the delicate imbrication of Kierkegard’s life and thought.
71. Hegel: A Biography (2000)
by Terry Pinkard
The story of an ambitious, powerful thinker living in a period of great tumult dominated by the figure of Napoleon.
70. Mary Warnock: A Memoir (2000)
by Mary Warnock
Mary Warnock reflects on her life as a woman philosopher in Oxford and Cambridge.
69. Karl Popper: The Formative Years, 1902-1945 (2000)
by Malachi Haim Hacohen
A compelling portrait of the young Popper as socialist reformer and revolutionary philosopher.
68. Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (1967, 2000)
by Peter Brown
An acclaimed portrait of the bishop of Hippo.
67. Spinoza: A Life (1999)
by Steven Nadler
The first complete biography of Spinoza in any language, based on detailed archival research.
66. Hobbes: A Biography (1999)
by A. P. Martinich
The most complete and accessible biography of Hobbes now available.
65. A Philosopher’s Story (1999)
by Morton White
Professional philosophers seldom write their memoirs and, when they do, they rarely produce books as engaging as this one.
64. A. J. Ayer: A Life (1999)
by Ben Rogers
A powerful biography of a provocative and unforgettable man whose ideas changed the landscape of Western thought.
63. The Life and Thought of Josiah Royce (1985, 1999)
by John Clendenning
A revealing portrait of this remarkable intellectual figure.
62. Nietzsche: The Man and His Philosophy (1965, 1999)
by R. J. Hollingdale
A classic biography of Nietzsche reissued with its text updated in the light of recent research.
61. Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch (1998)
by John Bayley
John Bayley’s account of his long and loving marriage to the great novelist Iris Murdoch.
60. Isaiah Berlin: A Life (1998)
by Michael Ignatieff
Berlin agreed to talk about himself, and so for ten years, he allowed Michael Ignatieff to interview him.
59. Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil (1998)
by Rüdiger Safranski
The best intellectual biography of Heidegger ever written: a best-seller in Germany.
58. His Glassy Essence: An Autobiography of Charles Sanders Peirce (1998)
by C. S. Peirce & Kenneth Laine Ketner
Entertaining and illuminating insights into Peirce’s life and world.
57. The Solitary Self: Jean-Jacques Rousseau in Exile and Adversity (1997)
by Maurice Cranston
Volume 3 of a monumental trilogy – the last tempestuous years.
56. Confessions of a Philosopher (1997)
by Bryan Magee
In this infectiously exciting book, Bryan Magee tells the story of his own discovery of philosophy.
55. Abelard: A Medieval Life (1997)
by M. T. Clanchy
Introduces the reader to medieval life through the experience of Peter Abelard, the master of the Paris schools.
54. Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude 1872-1921 (1996)
by Ray Monk
Volume 1 of a penetrating portrait of one of the century’s most eminent intellectuals.
53. Descartes: An Intellectual Biography (1995)
by Stephen Gaukroger
The first intellectual biography of Descartes in English.
52. Descartes: His Life and Thought (1995)
by Geneviève Rodis-Lewis
Illuminates many aspects of Descartes’s life from his early years to his death, his burial, and the fate of his remains.
51. Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend (1995)
by Paul Feyerabend
The self-portrait of one of the century’s most original and influential intellectuals.
50. George Berkeley: Idealism and the Man (1994)
by David Berman
Examines the full range of Berkeley’s work and links it with his life, focusing in particular on his religious thought.
49. The Passion of Michel Foucault (1993)
by James Miller
A startling portrait of one of the twentieth century’s most influential philosophers.
48. The Lives of Michel Foucault (1993)
by David Macey
The richest account to date of Michel Foucault’s life and work.
47. The Noble Savage: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1754-1762 (1991)
by Maurice Cranston
Volume 2 of a monumental trilogy – eight key years of Rousseau’s life.
46. The Life and Philosophy of J. McT. E. McTaggart (1991)
by Gerald Rochelle
The life of a mystic philosopher and his search for the true nature of existence.
45. Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy (1990)
by Rüdiger Safranski
Brings to life an intriguing figure in philosophy and the intellectual battles of his time.
44. Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius (1990)
by Ray Monk
Deeply intelligent and generous to the ordinary reader. A beautiful portrait of a beautiful life.
43. Ludwig Wittgenstein - A Student’s Memoir (1990)
by Theodore Redpath
The reminiscences of a student at the philosopher’s Cambridge seminars from 1934-1940.
42. Wittgenstein: A Life – Young Ludwig 1889-1921 (1988)
by Brian McGuinness
Traces the life of Wittgenstein from his privileged childhood to the appearance of the Tractatus.
41. Sartre: A Life (1987)
by Annie Cohen-Solal
An acclaimed biography that incorporates previously untold aspects of Sartre’s private, political, and literary life.
40. The Time of My Life: An Autobiography (1985)
by Willard Van Orman Quine
One of the world’s most famous philosophers as no one else has seen him before.
39. More of My Life (1984)
by A. J. Ayer
A picture of a rich public and private life: the second of two autobiographies written by Ayer.
38. Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir (1958, 1984)
by Norman Malcolm
A classic memoir, updated with a biographical sketch by G. H. von Wright and Wittgenstein’s letters to Malcolm.
37. Four Reasonable Men: Marcus Aurelius, John Stuart Mill, Ernest Renan, Henry Sidgwick (1984)
by Brand Blanshard
A fascinating biographical study of what it means to be reasonable.
36. Alan Turing: The Enigma (1983)
by Andrew Hodges
A bestselling biography: the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life.
35. Jean-Jacques: The Early Life and Work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1754 (1982)
by Maurice Cranston
Volume 1 of a monumental trilogy – youthful wanderings.
34. Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World (1982)
by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl
Prize-winning biography of one of the foremost political philosophers of the twentieth century.
33. Part of My Life (1977)
by A. J. Ayer
A picture of a remarkably precocious boy: the first of two autobiographies written by Ayer.
32. Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography (1976)
by Karl Popper
At the age of 8, Popper was puzzling over infinity and by 15 taking a keen interest in his father’s lavish library.
31. The Life of Bertrand Russell (1975)
by Ronald W. Clark
The eloquent and intimate biography of one of the most significant figures of the last century.
30. My Father, Bertrand Russell (1975)
by Katharine Tait
A biography of the philosopher Bertrand Russell by his daughter Katharine Tait.
29. Moses Mendelssohn: A Biographical Study (1973)
by Alexander Altmann
First published in 1973, its stature as the definitive biography of Mendelssohn remains unquestioned.
28. Wittgenstein (1973)
by William Warren Bartley III
The portrait that emerges from this account is human, all too human, but the author’s respect for Wittgenstein is never in doubt.
27. All Said and Done (1972)
by Simone de Beauvoir
Chronicling the decade 1962-1972, an older and wiser philosopher looks back over her life and recognizes that it was all for the best.
26. Josiah Royce: An Intellectual Biography (1972)
by Bruce Kuklick
A biography of Josiah Royce the philosopher known as the founder of the Harvard school of logic.
25. Ernst Mach; His Life, Work, and Influence (1972)
by John T. Blackmore
The first full-scale biography and a useful bird’s eye view of Mach’s achievements.
24. Bertrand Russell: Autobiography (1967-9)
by Bertrand Russell
A most compelling memoir by one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century.
23. Words (1964)
by Jean-Paul Sartre
Sartre’s brilliant recollection of growing up within the confines of French provincialism in the period before the First World War.
22. Hard Times (1963)
by Simone de Beauvoir
A subdued and somewhat cynical de Beauvoir in the decade 1952-1962 comes to terms with fame, age, and French atrocities in Algeria.
21. After the War (1963)
by Simone de Beauvoir
Describes the intellectual blossoming of post-war Paris in the period 1944-1952, rich with anecdotes on writers, filmmakers and artists.
20. Montesquieu: A Critical Biography (1961)
by Robert Shackleton
Will hold a high place among scholars seeking a clear and authoritative account of Montesquieu’s life and thought.
19. The Prime of Life (1960)
by Simone de Beauvoir
Tells of her life in Paris in the period 1929-44, her relationship with Sartre and of Parisian intellectual life of the 1930s and 1940s.
18. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (1958)
by Simone de Beauvoir
An intimate picture of growing up in a bourgeois French family, rebelling as an adolescent, and striking out as a young woman in the 1920s.
17. John Locke: A Biography (1957)
by Maurice William Cranston
“Locke is an elusive subject for a biographer because he was an extremely secretive man.”
16. The Life of David Hume (1954)
by E. C. Mossner
The standard biography of this great thinker and writer.
15. The Life of John Stuart Mill (1954)
by Michael St. John Packe
Will undoubtedly remain the standard life of Mill for a long time to come.
14. The Life of George Berkeley: Bishop of Cloyne (1949)
by A. A. Luce
The standard biography of one of the great philosophers of the early modern period.
13. Montaigne (1948)
by Stefan Zweig
Written during the Second World War, Zweig’s biography of his hero is also a passionate argument for humanity in times of barbarity.
12. Ibn Khaldūn: His Life and Work (1941)
by Mohammad Abdullah Enan
Tells of the turbulent period of unrest in Ibn Khaldun’s life marked by political rivalries and the writing of the Muqadimmah.
11. An Autobiography (1939)
by R. G. Collingwood
The self-told life-story of an English academic, seen from Oxford just before the Second World War.
10. Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Ox (1933)
by G. K. Chesterton
Chesterton’s brilliant sketch of Aquinas is as relevant today as when it was first published.
9. Gandhi: Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1927)
by M. K. Gandhi
Gandhi offers his life story as a reference for those who would follow in his footsteps.
8. Erasmus and the Age of Reformation (1924)
by Johan Huizinga
A very readable biography: a classic work on the sixteenth-century scholar/humanist.
7. Solomon Maimon: An Autobiography (1888)
by Solomon Maimon
Indelibly portrays one man’s devotion to truth on his own terms regardless of the cost to himself or others.
6. John Stuart Mill: Autobiography (1873)
by John Stuart Mill
The life of one of the most influential English-speaking philosophers of the nineteenth century.
5. The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1782)
by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The memoirs of one of the most influential and controversial of the Enlightenment thinkers.
4. My Own Life (1777)
by David Hume
One of the shortest but also one of the most celebrated autobiographies ever written.
3. The Story of My Misfortunes (c. 1132)
by Peter Abelard
A brilliant thinker paints an absorbing portrait of monastic and scholastic life in twelfth-century Paris.
2. The Confessions of Saint Augustine (c. 400)
by Augustine of Hippo
A deeply personal yet timeless story of sin, regret, and redemption.
1. Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (c. 200-250)
by Diogenes Laërtius
A rich source of invaluable insights into the private lives of the Greek sages.
163. The Women Are Up to Something (2021)

by Benjamin Lipscomb

The remarkable story of Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley, and Iris Murdoch.