Recommended Reading

Science & Theory

Mathematics and computer science

More technical material

Decision theory

  • Martin Peterson: An Introduction to Decision Theory.
  • For more advanced recommendations on the decision theory of Newcomb-like problems, see our Decision Theory Research Overview.


  • Richard Dawkins (1976): The Selfish Gene.
  • Joseph Henrich (2015): The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter. (I didn’t find ch. 14-17 quite as interesting as the rest.)

How to do science

Human mind and society

Ethical Theory & Consciousness

Effective Altruism

The following two texts present introductions to effective altruism.

There are also some particular cause areas that people should read about. Much of this is essentially moral philosophy.

Rationality, Cognitive Biases & Personal Effectiveness

Note that while I do think that some “productivity hacks” etc. are better than others, what works for me often won’t work for you.


I don’t recommend reading biographies all that much, because they don’t attempt to convey general-purpose transferable knowledge and are thus usually ineffective. However, some biographies do teach quite a lot. Also, many people (including myself) find biographies more fun to read. So, here are some of the most informative biographies I have read:

Other Interesting Resources On What to Read

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