All philosophers are autodidacts. The true philosopher, I believe, is a self-motivated learner who seeks knowledge for its own sake. As such, the philosopher seeks knowledge on her own terms and for her own sense of self-worth. My suggestion to those interested in philosophy is simple: read. Read widely! Read everything and anything that piques your curiosity. But in this age of unlimited information, where to begin? An area that has always interested me and one that has sustained 30+ years of sustained inquiry is the history of philosophy. I liken it to the history of ideas. It’s not your typical kind of history. To help the introductory level philosopher, here is a selection of books and resources I have found particularly helpful:
Copleston, A History of Philosophy;
Cornford, Before and After Socrates;
Durant, The Story of Philosophy;
Miller, The Examined Life;
Russell, A History of Western Philosophy;
Scruton, An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Philosophy;
Steffens and Williams, The History of Science in Western Civilization;
Woodcock, The Marvellous Century.
I am also enjoying and highly recommend King’s College’s, Peter Adamson’s podcast, “Philosophy Without Gaps”….Enjoy!