3 brilliant philosophers you should read in your late teens and early 20’s


Philosophers have been around for a really long time and it’s a pity we’ve lost our interest in them. My journey with philosophy started in high school, but became a real thing in my last year when I had to really study it for the exam we all take in the last grade.

The thing with philosophy is that it is really daunting, it seems really hard to start it, to pick up the book, we imagine it to be all Plato and ancient Greek, but there are a lot of philosophers that are alive, breathing with us through the 21st century. They are not really popular, but philosophers that lived from the 19th century are a pretty okay read that I think you will enjoy.

Therefore, I will try to tell you about 3 philosophers that you can read with almost no effort at all:

  1. Jean-Paul Sartre

Sartre is a philosopher that lived in the 20th century in France. He wrote in the first half of the century when there was a current called existentialism – which pretty much meant that because of the wars that took place, people lost their hope and happiness and lived in this constant state of sadness, depression, anxiety. So these times definitely affected Sartre’s works.

He writes mostly about the meaning of life- he mentions that we are fully responsible for anything that happens because we are „condamned to be free”.

  1. Albert Camus

Although Sartre and Camus are really important philosophers, Camus is a bit more popular among youngsters. He is also an existentialist philosopher who also enjoys talking about the meaning of life.

He proposes a well-known myth- that of Sisyphus. Sisyphus was condemned by the gods to roll a stone up to the top of a mountain, only for it to roll back to the ground for eternity. Although Sisyphus knew he had to do this for the rest of the eternity, we are encouraged by Camus to think of him as happy.

Why, you would ask? Well, because we are Sisyphus, we know that anything we do, we will one day die and it will all –theoretically, be for nothing- but we keep doing stuff, we keep studying, working, making friends, falling in love; because in the end, we have nothing else to do but enjoy our time here.


  1. Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir is one of the greatest philosophers out there that mentions feminism. She was quite close to Sartre and they were said to have had a romantic relationship going on, but we cannot be sure. One of the most popular books of hers is „Second Sex” where she debates the problems of how women are viewed in the world and how this should change.

One of the her best quotes is : „You are not born a woman, you become one”. I think this might give you something to think about.


There are a lot of versions of books of these popular philosophers out there, but if you want to just be familiarized with them, check out this Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDiyQub6vpw&list=PLwxNMb28XmpeypJMHfNbJ4RAFkRtmAN3P

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