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Books which have influenced me most

I'll go with the "gut list," rather than the "I've thought about this for a long time list." I'll also stress that books are by no means the only source of influence. The books are in no intended order, although the list came out in a broadly chronological stream

I read these very early in life and they taught me about trying to think philosophically and also about meta-rationality.

This was the first book I ever read on economics and it got me excited about the topic.

This got me excited about the idea that production is what matters and that producers must have the freedom and incentives to operate

The market as a discovery procedure and why socialist calculation will not succeed.

Keynes is one of the greatest thinkers of economics and there are new ideas on virtually every page.

This got me thinking about how one's ideas change, and should change, over the course of a lifetime. Plus Mill is a brilliant thinker and writer more generally.

This is actually a book about how to arrive at a deeper understanding than the one you already have, although I suspect few people read it that way.

This convinced me that a strictly individualistic approach to ethics will not in general succeed and introduced me to new ways of reasoning and new ways to plumb for depth.

I don't think the ideas in this book have influenced me very much, but reading it was, for whatever reason, the impetus to start writing about the economics of culture and also to give a broader focus to what I write. Alex, by the way, was the one who recommended it to me.

La Rochefoucauld's Maxims also deserves honorary mention, on self-deception and related issues.

Harold Bloom's The Western Canon comes to mind as well.