10 Contemporary Gifts for Philosophers you have never seen before
What to get for someone who likes philosophy?
So you are searching for gifts for deep thinkers or philosophy nerds?
"Philosophy gifts": Gifts for philosophy lovers, gifts for philosophy students, gifts for philosophy majors or even presents for philosophy professors!
Western Philosophy may be about 3000 years old, dating back to pre-Socratic Greek thinkers, but it will forever be fresh, modern and contemporary.
That is the reason why modern Greek designers got inspired to produce products with meaning and soul: Respecting the centuries old themes and bringing them to the 21th century. If you are interested you can also read a dedicated blog article about gifts specifically inspired by Greek statues here.
We have some unique suggestions for your friend who likes philosophy: Contemporary gifts, made in Greece under the Acropolis for philosophy nerds and lovers.
We also describe why these philosophy presents are perfect for the philosophy lover by telling the story behind each suggestion. So here are these unique "Philosophy gifts":
1. The Owl of Athens
There is no other symbol of wisdom with such a universal appeal.
In the base of this figurine the quote "Wisdom begins in wonder" - Socrates is curved.
This owl is handmade in Athens, based on owl figurines found in excavations. It is a decorative item beyond the usual and can be used in modern decoration.
It is made of ceramine, a mixture of earthy and marble powders, which imitates the ancient Greek recipe. It is a non-toxic and environmentally friendly material.
This owl has "Olive Green" color.
Your philosophy loving friend will appreciate the connection to the olive tree that goddess Athena gave to Athenians as a gift. They appreciated this present and gave their city the goddess name "Athens" in the famous fight between Athena and Poseidon.
2. Philosophy and wine!
If your philosopher friend is also a wine enthusiast, don't look further:
Plutarch, the philosopher and historian wrote in "De tuenda sanitate" (Advice about keeping well) of the Moralia collection that wine is a useful drink, tasty medicine and pleasant food (as we understand it).
The exact quote can be found in this organic t-shirt:
Get the details about this wine t-shirt here!
3. The real quote of Socrates mug
They say that coffee or tea are the fuel of an intellectual!
A mug therefore is a must have accessory for every philosopher, even if it is used as a pencil holder!
There is a misconception about the original quote.
Here is the real story:
Everybody attributes the quote "I know one thing that I know nothing" to Socrates.
This is a wrong attribution since Socrates as far as we know did not say it (although he meant it).
The real quote is the one you see in the mug: "I neither know nor think I know".
Check this mug here and find the original source!
Since we are talking Socrates check this aluminum bottle.
Socrates was sentenced to death for corrupting the minds of the youth. He chose to drink the conium poison
This ECO Socrates aluminum bottle can be found here.
4. Contemporary Aristotle bust
Aristotle (384-322 BC), the "Master of those who know“ according to Dante.
One of the most influential humans of all times. A thinker that shaped the western world.
This Aristotle bust is handmade in Athens, based on busts found in excavations. It is made of ceramine, a mixture of earthy and marble powders, which imitates the ancient Greek recipe. It is a non-toxic and environmentally friendly material.
"Happiness depends upon ourselves" quote by Aristotle is curved on the busts base.
We think Aristotle himself would like to explore the idea of his bust being black:
He would reconcile the contrast between sensual appearance and idealized being.
He would consider it like any other case: The colored bust as an imitation which must first trigger a process in us. He would just be curious and explore it in the „modern“ way.
Your philosophy nerd friend, will get it immediately and smile.
Here you can purchase this contemporary Aristotle bust.
5. The "Golden Ratio" Notebook
"If you want to be a writer, write", Epictetus.
This fine goat leather notebook is handmade in Athens, under the Acropolis.
It has a silkscreen print, depicting in a contemporary way the concept of "golden ratio" as seen in a classical Greek architecture building.
The binding of this journal is done by hand with waxed thread and the inks used are of the finest quality.
The golden ratio, the magical number φ=1.61803398875, is the brainchild of Greek mathematical philosophical thinking and a concept used in aesthetics, design, mathematics and architecture through the centuries.
A philosopher needs to write. And this notebook has a practical A6 size, so your philosopher friend can always write his ideas by just reaching to his pocket.
This journal is a part of our leather journal collection.
You can also check this dedicated blog article for gifts inspired by the golden spiral.
6. Plato bust in lemon color
Plato (427-347 BC): The great philosopher and founder of the first university of the western world. He was among others the teacher of Aristotle and student of Socrates.
This Plato bust is handmade in Athens, based on busts found in excavations. It is made of ceramine, a mixture of earthy and marble powders, which imitates the ancient Greek recipe. It is a non-toxic and environmentally friendly material.
The quote "Philosophy begins in wonder" (Plato) is curved on its base.
Plato's central doctrine: the realm of ideas.
Would Plato be excited to find the idea behind a lemon colored, not „natural“ head?
Let your philosophy loving friend discuss this with you. And check here for more Plato related gifts.
Find this Plato bust here! (CURRENTLY SOLD OUT)
7. The owl, small leather pouch
The owl as a symbol of wisdom does not need an introduction.
Among other symbolism, the owls in ancient Athens were also referring to the coins, the ancient Greek drachma that depicted this owl.
A pouch to organize a philosophers pens and pencils, to keep his/hers money in an "ancient way" or to store his/hers pipe tobacco etc. is also a great gift.
It is made of fine goat leather and handmade in Athens, under the Acropolis.
It has a silkscreen print (best quality Italian inks) and a hand colored finish.
8. Socrates bust
Socrates (470-399 BC). Worlds first influencer!
He helped to shape Western philosophy,was teacher of Plato but also controversial in Athens and sentenced to death for „impiety“.
He introduced universal definitions of moral virtue, his „apology“ is a central document of Western culture. The Socratic method of dialectic inquiry is still used in schools.
This Socrates bust is handmade in Greece, based on original busts found in excavations. It is made of ceramine, a mixture of earthy and marble powders, which imitates the ancient Greek recipe. It is a non-toxic and environmentally friendly material.
The quote "I know one thing that I know nothing" is curved on its base. Ask your philosophy lover friend, what is the meaning of this Socrates quote, and why we think he said that! Or did he not?
For Socrates „beautiful“ was what is good and true.
We consider a white or ice gray Greek statue as "true", but are we right?
Is white a color? Would Socrates view it as not being „true“?
Let your philosopher friend guide you with the "Socratic method" through this questions - he will have much to say about it.
Check this Socrates bust here now. (CURRENTLY SOLD OUT)
9. The "Philosophy" pillow
This might be the most useful of this lists presents! Pillows can transform a space and are affordable.
This throw pillow has the word PHILOSOPHY printed in a modern way.
Did you know? Philosophy is a Greek word that originates from "Philo" (Friend) and "Sophia" (Wisdom). It literally means friend of wisdom!
A cushion to decorate and make the philosophers reading corner cozy and warm (and modern!).
10. The Owl of Athens Bookend or Paperweight
Truth is that getting a book to a philosopher is like "bringing owls to Athens" (ancient Greek proverb meaning "something that is pointless"). They have the books they love to study, that's who they are.
A Great Idea is to give them a bookend to help them organize their books!
An owl guarding the wisdom!
This decorative bookend is screenprinted, lazer cut & hand made using custom machinery. The creators of this bookend live in Sparta, Greece.
Purchase this perfect gift for your philosophy loving friend here. (CURRENTLY SOLD OUT)
Or the owl paper weight, design object.
Help your philosopher friend organize his papers with this unique paper weight.
It is double sided with a great story on the back.
Plexiglass art, screenprinted, lazer cut & hand made using a unique silkscreen method.
Handmade in Sparta, Greece, using custom machinery.
You can purchase this paper weight / design object here.