Speaking of books that everyone should read, Jon Cogburn writes:
I think Kaufmann is an underappreciated treasure, especially for ninteen year olds. His Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Anti-Christ is up there with Ray Monk's The Duty of Genius, Marcuse's One Dimensional Man, and Magee's The Philosophy of Schopenhauer as easy to read philosophy books that would be required teen reading if I had my druthers.And elsewhere (although I can't find it now) he has suggested that everyone should be familiar with the critiques of religion presented by Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. (If he didn't say this then I will.) But what exactly should people read by Nietzsche? As far as I know he didn't write a nice 20-page "Right, here's what I think about religion" essay that teenagers could read and understand. If everyone ought to know what he thought, though, then it would be handy to have some version of it to give to people who won't (or haven't yet had the opportunity to) study his work more seriously.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, what else should everyone read? I'm thinking especially of lucid, accessible, reliable critiques of influential ideas and ideologies. Partly I'm thinking what I should try to get my students to read, but partly also I'm wondering, if I've missed Hacking (whose book I was at least aware of), what else might I have missed? And someone with a slight knowledge of Derrida's work recently asked me how Wittgenstein's related to it. What should someone like that (an interested non-philosopher) read? I'm tempted to tell people like that just to give up, but that's not very friendly, and they aren't likely to listen. So is there a decent Philosophy of Language for English Professors book out there? (That's not an English professors = dummies joke. The friend who asked is an English professor, and he's not alone in being interested.) Or perhaps these books don't exist and I should be writing them.