what "philosophy" books do you find most useful?

For me, Fooled by Randomness by Taleb Nassim, although it not may be a philosophy book

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Jan 17, 2022 - 11:42am
Managing Dictator, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Off the top of my head...

Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations" are worth a read, especially in an investing context. Puts an interesting spin on the typical probabilistic thinking in investing via stoic considerations on what is and isn't within your control. Good for mental health too.

I like to think about Mauboussin as a philosopher of the markets: "Expectations Investing", "More than you know" are pretty good reads. Not outright philosophy treatises, but interesting to see that sort of erudite mentality applied to investing. In that same vein, "Thinking in bets" is a fun read with some nifty "a-ha!" moments spread throughout.

"Alchemy of Finance" is a book that likely falls within your definition of "Philosophy", definitely worth a read.

Jan 17, 2022 - 5:28pm
rough diamond, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Traditional Japanese philosophy literature such as Hagakure , Banshenshukai and Gorin No Sho ( The book of the five rings) are superb and refreshing lectures that I vividly recommend to anyone looking for the edge of a natural balance in connection with the inner self in the midst of a competitive and fierce environment, priceless.

Jan 20, 2022 - 4:52am
rough diamond, what's your opinion? Comment below:

A little excerpt "The basic principle of the shinobi is to have correct mind in all respects, even though the

end results of this art are conspiracy and deception. Therefore, unless you can control your

mind in a righteous way, you cannot carry out your tactics in a flexible manner. Confucius

says that no man has ever governed himself while his own foundations are confused. What

we call Correct Mind is about keeping benevolence, righteousness, loyalty and fidelity in

check. Without these factors in mind, you cannot attain any great courageous achievement

nor fulfil any tactics required for the circumstances at hand.

Therefore, the Great Learning

1 says, 'If your mind is not present in the "here", you

cannot see even if you look, you cannot hear if you listen, or you cannot taste if you eat.'

'Here' means the principles of benevolence, righteousness, loyalty and fidelity. Those who

take this path should not neglect their roots nor regard the branches too much."

Jan 18, 2022 - 9:57am
rezjopls, what's your opinion? Comment below:



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  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jan 18, 2022 - 10:11am

Haha this is paraphrased since I haven't read it for years but the most useful piece of philosophy I've read was in the first chapter of the Republic by Plato.

Plato is just minding his own business, traveling to go teach or something, doesn't matter, when some old buddy or student or whatever sees him.

The old buddy is like "Plato! Yo! Dude good to see you! Why don't you come eat dinner and drink a bunch of wine with me tonight?"

And Plato is like "No man I'm busy, I'm traveling, can't you see that?"

And the buddy is like "I insist, you must come drink wine with me!"

And Plato meditates to the reader: This guy clearly did not just listen to a word I said. He's going to insist I come over for dinner no matter what. I could have told him anything and he'd still insist. You can't convince someone who won't listen.

And in finance... you can't convince someone who won't listen. Don't bother. There's no nobility in butting up against an ignorant rock. Learn to navigate around.

Jan 18, 2022 - 10:29am
CarsnWatches, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"This Is Water" by David Foster Wallace. It's a very short read as it is from a commencement speech he delivered. The message is relatable and digestible. I encourage others to listen to the speech or read the book.


Jan 18, 2022 - 12:54pm
rezjopls, what's your opinion? Comment below:

one of the best speeches ever


  • 1
Jan 18, 2022 - 2:33pm
ilovethefed, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you're looking for perspective on your personal purpose - The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus (The Stranger and The Rebel are also brilliant but in different ways)

If you're in a mentally stable place and want your shit rocked by an absolutely abysmal read - Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre

My go to for economics/business brain shit - Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

And finally, my personal favorite for economic philosophy which has shaped most of my own personal political-economic beliefs - The Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman

  • Associate 1 in ER
Jan 20, 2022 - 12:46pm

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jan 21, 2022 - 11:07am

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